In the program of Alcoholics Anonymous there are tools outlined to help its members stay sober. One of them is phone calls. Someone new to recovery might question how a phone could keep them sober. Here we outline how it works:
There are people who have 3 days of sobriety, while others have 30 years. Both experience cravings to drink. When these impulses arise, A.A. members reach out to others in the fellowship for support through it. The conversations vary from person to person. Some will talk about what the trigger was, while others will reflect on why they have chosen not to drink. Sometimes a fellow A.A. member will give direction of going to a meeting or doing step work. What we know is that all cravings eventually pass. If you wait it out long enough it will pass and sobriety can be maintained. Cravings can be incredibly painful though. Like other difficult life experiences we weather them better when we do it together.
Many people who abuse alcohol and drugs struggle with emotion regulation. That can be both low and high emotions. When we experience sadness, loneliness or depression reaching out to another person and sharing what’s going on is an important part of developing an understanding of what’s going on within oneself before cravings start popping up. Similarly, good emotions like happiness and joy are also reasons to connect with others. Talking about the good things happening in ones life helps one to remember what makes them happy and why.
Addiction has often been coined as “a disease of isolation.” A 12 step program builds connections for it’s members through sponsorship, meetings and service. When someone reaches out to another a connection starts. Repeatedly reaching out fosters not only connection, but a friendship, and eventually community. Part of the reason why the rehab setting works for an addict is the daily, consistent format that creates bonding and connection.