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Alcoholism is a progressive disease
Whether you start late or early, drinking gets more and more out of your control over time. Even trying to control one's drinking is just as much a symptom as a shivering hangover or terrifying amnesia.

Many alcoholics delude themselves with the fallacy of "geographic treatment". This was also the case of a small-towner whose marriage had been destroyed by alcohol: "I had to do something about my drinking. My daughter was growing up, and she was aware of what was happening. I wanted to move to a big city where I could use the gifts I had. But what I just got sicker, and I tried my best to hide my situation from my colleagues. I thought that if I moved to the country, I would be out of reach of temptations. I was trapped in the country."

Some alcoholics resort to the last resort. "This time the suicide attempt wasn't staged, like before. When I came to, I was in the hospital where the doctors and nurses told me that my breathing had reached the point where they couldn't do anything more to revive me. It was a miracle that I was alive. However, I felt as if I had died and someone else had woken up. I knew this was my second chance to live - or maybe my first chance! I was willing to do anything if someone would advise me".
There is a tipping point. You don't have to experience it in a hospital bed, near the end of your life. At any point and at any stage of the disease called alcoholism, it is possible to admit your own problem honestly. You can get the urge to do something about your drinking - the urge to ask for help.

The decision is yours. It doesn't matter if you are 16 or 60 years old, rich or poor or in between, with good grades or little education, self-sufficient or dependent on family finances. You have to make a decision, because only you yourself can take action. If you want to stop drinking, that's exactly what you have to do. However, you are not alone. If you just reach out, wherever you are, AA's hand will grasp your hand, ready to help just you. Despite your hopeless illness, you can "rejoin humanity" and live a fairly normal life. In reality, you will find your future life to be much happier than an average life. You don't go back to the old life you somehow endured until alcoholism took over. Your past life wasn't good enough for you, so you tried to escape your frustrations and despair by drowning them in drink. However, you can find a new life and be exactly who you were meant to be.

At AA, you will not be given forms or signatures, and no admission fees will be collected. You are not asked to profess any formal creeds. You will simply meet men and women who have found a way to break free from their addiction to alcohol. They have begun to repair the damage that alcohol has caused to themselves and their loved ones. Their way is the AA program and they are eager to share it with you - if you want it. You just have to want to try.

Participating in the first meeting has given the women such experiences as: "It was a warm feeling to be together with others who have the same problem as me", "I received guidance and understanding", "There was an atmosphere of unconditional love." and "I realized I wasn't alone."

AA has stopped drinking and reshaped countless desperate and devastated men and women. If you are willing and humble enough to allow AA to work for you, AA will not only put an end to your current rut, but will give you a new, indescribably good, good-doing way of life.

Ordinary people have little idea of ​​how AA works. No one can explain it very logically. But there is plenty of evidence that AA works. If you admit to yourself that you are powerless over alcohol and if you sincerely want help, you are asking for a power greater than yourself to take control of your life. On the surface, this doesn't mean much. But on a deep, emotional level, the strongest power a person can experience is released. The presence of power you feel is stronger than alcohol, which up until this moment has been your main motivator, winning over your family love, self-respect and even self-preservation. Even AA members do not know how to discuss this shocking experience very easily. But there is no need to discuss it, because the results leave no room for doubt. Nobody knows how it works, but it just does.
How did you become an alcoholic in the first place? Of course, not by chance, and not without purpose. Medicine and psychiatry have found that many people drink excessively for emotional reasons. There are women who have become alcoholics because they lost their children, and there are many others whose husbands abandoned them. Many alcoholics are perfectionists and idealists. They hope to do miracles in their lives. When they fail to achieve their ideals, they cannot bear to be disappointed in themselves.

Despite what other people generally think, alcoholics often have an unusually harsh conscience. They worry so deeply about everything that they cannot bear the pressure of their worries. When a troubled conscience is associated with a permanent inability to withstand the anxiety of worries, the temptation to drink excessively arises.
The emotional conflicts of hypersensitive people become so unbearable that they have to look for an escape route up to the point of destroying everything. In some alcoholics, the sense of inferiority born in childhood creates a counterbalance mechanism that produces a self-loving being who craves praise and success and is never satisfied with what he gets. A too strong ego in women requires flattery, pleasures and in some cases constant love affairs. Disillusioned by her excessive demands for perfection, the frustrated woman believes in the dreamy promises of alcohol, that heartless traitor.
When such an extreme state of emotional tension is associated with a physical allergy, falling into alcohol is inevitable. People drink because they are unhappy - and they are unhappy because they drink. The vicious cycle continues until no one can tell which was the cause and which was the effect.

On the way back from immeasurable torture, the recovering person must be offered treatment for both emotional distress and physical illness. Psychiatry and medicine have worked together in thousands of cases - and have sometimes succeeded. But the list of enduring successes is depressingly short. The alcoholic is called "the heartache of the medical practitioner" because all too often the doctor knows that the broken, suicidal person he is fixing will come back to him a few months later in exactly the same, if not worse, condition.

Positive results in AA are inexplicably good. It is usually estimated that almost 75% of alcoholics who want to try the AA method succeed. In some cases, this happens very simply. At the end of their own resources, they ask AA for help, and from that day on, they never take a drink again. Others have a "come and go" program with a monthly purchase. One young woman did this for no less than three years. Even some of the AA members who worked with him lost faith in this man's potential. But he stubbornly believed that he would finally be able to stop drinking: That's what happened in the end.
On this woman's three-year anniversary of sobriety, it was impossible to recognize her as the same person who had so hopelessly battled through so many years of darkness. When he first heard about AA, he had been drinking for eight years, starting when he was nineteen. At last his family had abandoned him, for he had sunk lower and lower and was thus beyond their reach. At twenty-seven, he looked forty - he was fat, dirty, and crying. However, on those anniversaries, she looked charming while blowing out three candles. It was almost impossible to believe that she had any connection to the red and swollen woman who took her last sip three years ago.

One of the wonders of AA is that it reshapes the body, emotions, and mind. Even the texture of the skin and hair seems to change. Women whose bodies had decayed through neglect and abuse now appreciate their appearance because, as one of them said, "God seemed to have painted a new portrait of me."

Ladies - You are not alone

You can be any age: a student girl, a young mother, an admired official, the wife of the most prominent citizen in your town, or a serious-looking grandmother. You can be the extroverted center of the club or a fearful, inferior little woman who needs to bottle up her courage before taking on any task. Even for a task that seems so simple to other people.

You may have been drinking for months or years. However, you would be horrified and vehemently deny your drinking if someone called you an alcoholic. But secretly you wonder if you are. I can answer your thoughts immediately. If you can't control your drinking and if you're drinking more than you'd like to admit, chances are you're an alcoholic. When I say that word, I mean a person afflicted with a disease. The disease gets progressively worse, constantly narrowing its victim's world until he wants nothing else and nothing else is real but alcohol.

Being a woman, your drinking is probably extremely secretive. You've done everything possible to hide it from everyone, including yourself. You can be successful. Perhaps no one knows yet that you ever take a sip, because you don't dare drink a single cocktail in public, knowing that the first sip is the misstep that will inevitably plunge you into a long-term cycle. You can be a bedroom drunk. In my mind, I can follow you to your own room, where you get the bottle you've hidden under your bedclothes or in the hat box on the top shelf. Perhaps your family has not yet become suspicious of your constant "headache".

On the other hand, you can be one of those shadows who live their lives in the obscurity of bars and restaurants. You may be a nuisance to the neighbors or a scandal in the town, and even the children will no longer try to defend you. You may have lost your family because you couldn't help your drinking.

No matter what stage you are in, there is hope. You should not be blamed or shamed. You don't deserve the self-righteous demands and hurtful accusations that everyone has thrown at you: "If you loved us you'd stop," "You don't think of anyone but yourself," "You should be ashamed—especially considering your upbringing and opportunities!"

However, you are not a selfish, immoral monster. On the contrary, you are anything but. You are a hopelessly sick woman.
Although recovering alcoholic women are different, they all eventually reached a point where they had to admit that alcohol was having a serious effect on their lives. Although they are different, young or middle-aged, they found the same answer. Through Alcoholics Anonymous' simple program, they found a way to stop drinking and maintain sobriety and a fuller and more fulfilling life than they ever thought possible.

The word "alcoholic" might tease you. It still reminds many of a person with a weak character or an outcast. This kind of attitude affects alcoholic women especially strongly. Most communities tend to look with tolerance or even amusement on a male drunkard - and to scorn a woman who is in the same state. The tragedy is made even bigger by the fact that the alcoholic woman often shares these prejudices herself. The burden of guilt that every drinking alcoholic carries with him can then be doubled.

In AA, however, women have lifted the crippling weight of false guilt from their shoulders. They have learned a medical fact firsthand. Alcoholism in itself is not a matter of morality or manners, although of course it affects both levels. Alcoholism is not a health problem, but a disease.

The concept of alcoholism as a disease is no longer revolutionary, but is actually well known. Most people accept the notion blithely: "Of course alcoholism is a disease". So isn't a private alcoholic also a sick person? That idea is no longer so easy to accept! When the field of vision narrows to a colleague, a neighbor, a friend, a relative or oneself, the old attitudes come back to the surface: "Why can't she drink like a nice woman?", "Why can't I drink like other women?", "Why can't I stop? I don't have the willpower!" or even "I'm a bad person!" On an individual level, the disease of alcoholism is often seen in its earlier stages as a lapse in etiquette and in its later stages as a serious lack of personal morality.

A female alcoholic suffers more deeply than a male. Her soul life and mental structure are more complex and sensitive than a man's. He can't stand his self-loathing so easily, and he feels worse the burning mark that ignorant society still associates with alcoholism.
Most women find it difficult to admit even to themselves that they are alcoholics. However, admitting it would be their first step towards sobriety and health. If you haven't taken that first step yet, let us help you do it today. If you can admit that your inner terror and emptiness are symptoms of alcoholism, you have already been helped.
Consuming alcohol at breakfast, for example, is considered obvious evidence of alcoholism. That's how everyone else thinks it is, except for the woman who drinks the bang. The most characteristic feature of the disease is its ability to hide from its sufferer.

"I struggled with two excellent psychoanalysts to get rid of my pain neurosis, which was caused by my childhood and current fears. Yet I never mentioned my drinking to them, and never once connected alcohol with my ever-growing fears."

If the disease is so difficult to recognize, then how can you tell if someone is an alcoholic? What is a valid measurement scale? A morning drink? Drinking alone? Not necessarily! Evidence of illness is not when, with whom, how much, where and what, nor even why you drink. The important question is, what has drinking done to you? How does your drinking affect your family, home, workplace or school work, your social life, your physical well-being or your emotions.

Difficulties in any of these areas of life indicate possible alcoholism. It's not necessarily a disastrous problem, at least not at first. For a surprisingly long time, many alcoholics even maintain a brilliant facade. "When my father-in-law - the vicar - only met me, I led a very respectable life. I always managed, even when hungover, to go to his church to teach Sunday school".

If you still keep your house, work or studies in good order, and you also hide the amount you drink, you should ask yourself how much effort is actually involved in all of that. How much pure willpower is required. Is that "fun" worth all the effort? Is there really any fun left?

Based on the stories heard in AA, many alcoholics start their drinking as apparently sociable drinkers and consume large quantities of liquor literally without feeling any discomfort.
"I could drink as much as the rest of the crowd put together, and when it came time for supper, I was the only one who could carry on. I was the only one who could stay on my feet. And I didn't suffer any serious consequences for it the next morning."

Others experience typical symptoms of alcoholism right from the start.
"During my student days, when I only drank at weekend parties, I had severe hangovers and memory loss. I could dance in fits - then it went blank - and I realized I was sitting in a bar".

How women find AA

Many localities have AA's number in the phone book. So you can call and get information about meeting times and places. Some women attend their first AA meeting in a hospital or prison where they are confined. Often, women are referred to AA by their doctors, psychiatrists, or priests; others are connected through friends who know someone in AA.
The most enlightening introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous and the best means of carrying out its program are one and the same: AA meetings. They are held regularly all over the world.

Anyone, alcoholic or not, can participate in an open meeting: you can bring your husband, a relative or a friend, even if your companion does not have a drinking problem.

An AA meeting is an impactful experience for anyone - even a non-alcoholic. You may be surprised that it is not a serious occasion. You will notice that there are all kinds of people there. In order to protect anonymity, only first names are used in the meetings.
AA members have said that even the first time they attended an AA meeting, they felt like they were at home. This is very understandable, because no one criticizes or blames, is not upset or upset about anything. In meetings, others are perfectly understood, because everyone present has themselves suffered the same purgatory. You cannot deceive those present with excuses, evasions or lies. They know all the explanations and will also tell you this. After living for years in a jumble of lies and excuses. it is a relief to be among such people.

There are meetings every day. Typically, slightly more men than women participate in them. There are also groups for men only, as well as special groups for women.
Alcoholism is an incurable disease. He who suffers from it can never go back to social drinking. Hypersensitivity to alcohol remains throughout life, but when you are in AA you don't have to be afraid of it. No one needs to hide alcohol or avoid people who normally drink alcohol. You just have to watch out for the first wrinkle - always and for the rest of your life.

AA members encouragingly say, "Don't take the first hit, then you'll never take another."

This is possible: one day at a time.

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