Dear Annie: Regarding recent letters about Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs, whatever works best for you is what you should do. With 8 billion people on the face of this earth, and 1 in 10 an alcoholic, we need all the help we can get.
The fellowship of AA and the 12 steps worked for me. I drank alcoholically for 45 years and couldn’t stop. I tried on my own and couldn’t do it.
I applaud anyone who found a way out from under the obsession. I am grateful to have found AA. That doesn’t mean it’s the only way to get sober, but it does have a decent track record.
With the combination and permutations of the global population, there are going to be many methodologies that can be applied to the problem. The trick seems to be to “keep coming back.”
I would highly recommend that anyone who is struggling with addiction of any sort continue to investigate all the possibilities that are available. A filter to use is, “If the shoe fits, wear it.” What other people think is none of my business, but what keeps me sober is. Just keep coming back.
I went to AA for my drinking; now I go for my thinking. It does work if you work it.
Dear Recovering: Thank you for sharing your story, and congratulations on your sobriety. They say “keep coming back” at AA meetings because consistency is a key component to habit formation.
You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but if you show up and try to be consistent, that will work with any program of recovery.
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Dear Annie: With regards to “Bewildered,” who is interrupted while speaking, I think her predicament is a product of our internet era. When I was young, conversation was different than it is today. People actually listened to each other and then took their turn to speak.
Today, it seems that listening has become a diminished quality and projecting one’s opinion trumps courtesy.
However, “Bewildered” just needs to kindly take the time to make her conversational point. Look the interrupter in the eye, smile and finish your thought. You will be heard.
Thank you for your great column.
— Listening with Kindness
Dear Listening with Kindness: Kindness is key. It is true that we are more distracted by technology and our dependence on it. I believe it is more important than ever to set aside an hour or so of “technology-free” time. Get into nature and unplug.
And thank you for your insights.
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— A native Californian, Annie Lane writes her Dear Annie advice columns from her home outside New York City, where she lives with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Her latest anthology, How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?, features favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation, and is available as a paperback and e-book. Email your Dear Annie questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.