A newly sober individual faces a struggle every single day to avoid alcohol. Those going through a 12 step program or attending AA meetings will be instructed and encouraged to completely abstain from alcohol. Research has shown that even a taste of alcohol during recovery can cause a person to relapse. A person who has experienced alcoholism is much more likely to relapse back into it, and recovery often lasts the rest of the person’s life.
Alcohol is All Around Us
For someone who is struggling to completely avoid alcohol for the rest of their life, alcohol is evident in nearly every aspect of life. In our society, people have a beer to celebrate a victory, they unwind after a long day with a glass of wine, and they toast the bride and groom at a wedding dinner with champagne. To abstain from alcohol usually means the person must remove themselves from these situations or make excuses for not drinking if they stay.
Helping Others Stay Sober
Staying sober after alcoholism is a difficult task, and there will always be the temptation to go back to drinking. Someone in recovery can expect to be surrounded by alcohol in this life and will need the help of support groups and therapy to continue in their recovery. There are, however, things that we can do to make this task for those in recovery easier.
A story that made headlines a few years ago was when baseball’s American League Division champions, the Texas Rangers, celebrated with ginger ale, not champagne, after the game in the team’s locker room. A member of the team had struggled with alcoholism in the past, and the organization was being considerate of this person’s recovery.
The temptation to drink alcohol will not go away in a society like ours, but just like the Texas Rangers, the rest of us can be a little more understanding of those in recovery. There are ways society can help those who want to abstain from alcohol. We could skip the celebratory drink and rejoice over a victory in other ways. We could offer non-alcoholic options at the company Christmas party. We could go someplace other than a bar to hang out with friends. If we would all be mindful of the struggle of others, we could help our society focus less on alcohol and more on the important things in life.