UPWARDS of 1,000 people struggling with drink problems will have contacted the Limerick branch of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) before the end of the Christmas/New Year holiday period.
The AA holds 65 meetings a week in the city and county and there are now meetings organised and facilitated by AA members on Christmas Day.
One of the people who has been helped by the AA is Margaret, who is working in Limerick city and who says she was not a “fall down drinker”.
“I had a good job, I did not skip work, I was rarely out from work, no matter what state I was in, I got up for work, the day may have been not as productive as I would have liked, but I managed, at the same time, swearing this would be the last time I would drink like that.
“This was particularly the case when my knowledge of the drinking session was somewhat hazy, and my knowledge of getting home was also hazy, It is still a surprise to me that I managed to escape without any injury, getting mugged, attacked or worse”.
Margaret eventually contacted the AA after several attempts to stop drinking without on-going support.
“What is very difficult to do, is to give up drinking on your own for a sustained length of time, I know I tried it, I am intelligent, articulate and you would not know that I was alcoholic.
Margaret “reluctantly” agreed to attend her first AA meeting.
“For a long time, I asked myself what I was doing there, the only think that kept me going, was the people in there had not drank and were quite happy within themselves,
“I was not in that position, I was discontented, unhappy, blamed everyone and wanted to keep drinking, and I did not like being told what to do. However, I did not drink, I hung in there when some days I wanted to die, and the day finally arrived when I was able to accept that drink was not for me, I was to stay off it a day at a time, and this year, it is 30 years since I took a drink”.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a free fellowship of men and women whose main purpose is to keep themselves sober and help other alcoholics.
Information on meetings is available on the Alcoholics Anonymous web site www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie and there are at least three meetings every day in the city.
To talk to someone who will listen call another alcoholic about their drinking, the telephone number is 085- 2406867 or 061 311222.
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