Helping Each Other Key to Recovery
September is designated as recovery month. In 1935, two men who met for the first time in Akron, Ohio, found they had a common problem and through their experiences developed a common solution. These men are credited with being the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Their solution was a culmination of spiritual, medical and psychiatric experiences. Together they found the missing piece to recovery was one alcoholic helping another. From their meeting and working together thousands – maybe millions – of people around the world have recovered from alcoholism. Prior to AA’s success no solution was known. Since that time AA has continued to grow and numerous anonymous groups have developed to address all forms of addiction.
Today many recovered individuals live and work among us. This is a far cry from having no solution. They have become better parents, grandparents, spouses, sons, daughters, employees, neighbors, and citizens. Imagine if they had no chance for something better. From two men trying to help themselves and each other, came a great ease of suffering to many around the globe. Millions still suffer as a direct or indirect result of alcoholism and addiction but because of the seemingly impossible efforts of the first members of AA, many alcoholics, addicts, and family members enjoy fuller, happier, more constructive lives.
Whatever your thoughts about alcoholism or addiction may be, please take some time today to reflect upon the positive contributions of the co-founders of Alcoholic Anonymous and those who came after them passing on the message of recovery. Know that alcoholics and addicts in recovery have unique qualifications to help others to recovery. They understand that their own ability to keep the life they have found depends upon helping others. Isn’t this an admirable way for all of us to view our lives?
Martha Polinsky, project coordinator
Ohio County Substance
Abuse Prevention Coalition