Mike Miller writes the following on the Breaking the Cycles blog:
As a recovering alcoholic I know how hard it is to stop drinking. I also know that someone who really wants to can begin the “alcohol recovery” process at any time.
Right now is always a good time to quit drinking. Right now is a good place to begin the “alcohol recovery” process. And a good place to start is by taking an alcohol awareness class. These courses educate not only about the dangers of alcohol and diving under the influence, but more importantly teach skills on how to begin the alcohol recovery process and follow it through to a lifelong commitment to sobriety.
There is no quitting alcoholism. Alcoholism is a life-long addiction. That certainly does not mean that once you are an alcoholic all is hopeless. Quite the contrary, despite being an alcoholic, a life of sobriety is only one major decision away – the decision not to drink EVER again.
You see once you are an alcoholic you MUST STAY SOBER. You must not drink alcohol ever again. That does not have to be frightening. After all, if you are an alcoholic, odds are you are not happy being an alcoholic.
If there is a strong desire to change it will happen. An alcoholic cannot stay in denial forever. Long before I declared my alcoholism I knew I had a serious problem. Evidenced by that were my many chances at quitting – all ending in failure when I thought I could handle one beer, or one glass of wine. Sometimes months of effort were thrown out the door by these one drink nights.
STAGE 1 – QUITTING
So now you have accomplished the first hurdle of the alcohol recovery process – you decided to and quit drinking. Heck, this part may be tough, but most of us alcoholics who have been sober for years were able to get to this phase many, many times. Once you have quit 10 or 11 times, quitting is the easy part.
I hope that Lauren Elizabeth Kelley can see that right now is a good time for her to quit drinking and doing drugs—before the next semester starts.
STAGE 2 – SUPPORT
I am not belittling the important of stage 1 – without it; there could never be a stage 2. Simply put, this is where you stay sober for the rest of your life. This is the hard part because it is for the rest of your life (really, you cannot go back and drink if you want to stay sober).
However, the hardest part of stage two are the first 2 weeks, then the next 2 months, then the next six months, then the next year.
What I am trying to say is the alcohol recovery process gets easier and easier.
The key to long-term success is support. You MUST have support. Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar group should definitely be a part of your post-quitting alcohol recovery program.
I want Lauren Elizabeth Kelley to know that I love her and will be there for her if she decides to try and fight her addictions. It is what I promised her, her mother Sue and her sister Bridget. I have asked Lauren Elizabeth Kelley to marry me and want to spend the rest of my life with her still—even if it means spending it walking beside the incredible woman that loves me on her long road to recover for the rest of my life.
Lauren Elizabeth Kelley must know that if she wants my help, she needs to ask me for help soon. If she does not ask me for help before January, when I will be walking away from the drug-addicted alcoholic, she will have to do so much more to get the help I have promised her. Instead of just making her amends and asking me for help, Lauren Elizabeth Kelley will have to seek me out; make amends for the devastation and lies that her addictions have caused; show me that she is once again herself and more than the drug-addicted alcoholic that she has been for eighteen months; show me that she has made a place in her life beside her and that she is willing to fight to keep me there; and that she is as committed to me and our relationship as I have always been.
Lauren Elizabeth Kelley knows that the man she loves deserves at least this much for being as committed, devoted and loyal to her—even when the drug-addicted alcoholic she has become wasn’t deserving of it. Lauren Elizabeth Kelley knows that this is the right thing to do.
God Bless you Lauren Elizabeth.
May God watch over you and protect you from all harm—even that you cause yourself.
I hope God gives you the strength to fight your addictions and the wisdom to see the truth about what the alcohol and drugs are doing to you.
I pray that God grants you the serenity and peace you will need to love yourself once again and to forgive yourself for the things your addictions have made you do.
I ask that God helps you find your way back to being the amazing, beautiful, intelligent, feisty, stubborn, strong, and devout woman He wants you to be.
Finally, may He grant you the ability to see yourself as I do and let you remember who we are to each other; let you remember the years of friendship, love and devotion we once shared; and give you the strength to make amends so we can start the future together we talked about last June.
All this in Jesus’s name I pray.