Dating member alcoholics anonymous
I sat at the desk thinking of Bruno in the hospital, alone, tired, scared. He came home within a few weeks, but he was never really the same again. The same courage that kept him alive in war zones all those years sent him to Alcoholic Anonymous and he began doing their famous 12-step programme.
I thought of how much responsibility he had taken on, so quickly after coming back from Africa. Like many wives living with alcoholic husbands, I was not an addict or an alcoholic and, therefore, I was an outsider.
It seemed quite natural to me that most people I knew ingested enormous amounts of alcohol and then rolled out of bed the next morning with no hangover.
I was 39 when Bruno proposed to me via satellite phone while I was in Somalia. ‘Let’s get married, let’s have a baby,’ he said, as a gun battle raged outside my hotel room in Mogadishu. ‘I don’t ever want to lose you.’I should have noticed, but didn’t, how thin Bruno had become, how obsessed he was with working, and how brave - but foolhardy, really - he was when he drove through heavy fire to rescue a friend and her child and take them to the airport. When he called me, he sounded sober - but he was not.
Occasionally, very occasionally, it’s a different story. Chips with everything AA is crazy about chips – or 'sobriety coins'. No two groups are the same Because AA is self-organising at the grass roots level, groups define themselves differently. Others are ‘participation meetings’, where everyone has a chance to share. There are men only meetings, women only meetings, and meetings for any variety of LGBT. Or so meetings like to chant at the end of the session, after reciting the Serenity Prayer. But it’s a refrain in the fellowship that AA works better than aversive medicine (the dreaded antabuse, Ebola in tablet form), white coats (cognitive intelligence therapy), or sermons from self-appointed experts who’ve never themselves been there but know all about it (which, alas, includes most of the medical profession. Nowadays, while sitting on appointment committees, I've seen personal statements in which the job seeker says they’ve been through AA (to counteract any mention of their drinking days in confidential letters of reference). God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
The most upmarket AA meeting I’ve attended was in Gstaad, Switzerland. You get a version of these small, key-ring medallions after 90 days, six months, and every calendrical milestone thereafter. I’ve had it thirty years and my thumb has worn the inscribed serenity prayer off its surface. Don’t try to work anyone else’s programme, is the guiding motto. Not exclusive (all are welcome), just self-selecting. But, of course, because of the anonymity rule, and no follow-up in the outside world, no one’s really that sure. Instruction about alcoholism at medical schools is abysmal). Never buy a car from someone in your group Likewise, never date anyone in your group.
That set the tone of the next 17 years of my life - high drama.
Keep it simple Supposedly the last words of AA's founder, Bill W (ilson). ‘Perhaps the Day after Tomorrow’ another proverb promises. But the rules have relaxed since the patriarchs, Bill W.
My husband and I met in a war zone in Sarajevo at the height of the siege.
They were hardly ordinary circumstances in which to meet and fall in love - but, then again, neither one of us was an ordinary person.
They can now begin to rebuild their life and get back many of the things they have lost.
Romantic relationships can be a great source of happiness in sobriety, but they can also be the source of great pain.
We next met in the middle of another war, this time in Algeria.