February 16, 2013

Recovery is a Personal Decision

Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune. ~Thomas Fuller 

Statistics say that there are about 12 million alcoholics in this country; that's a lot of sick people! Experts have further estimated that every alcoholic's sickness has a major effect on the lives of at least 10 other people, including family, friends, and coworkers. Thus the "body count" of the afflicted and the affected goes up to 120 million~ten times as many people as live in New York or Los Angeles. 

Few of us reading these pages, or any pages, have been untouched by our own or someone else's problem drinking. As the epidemic rages on, it is well for us to remember that recovery is a personal decision. As much as we  hope and pray for the drinking to stop, we can't force anyone else to change. We can refuse sick alcoholics our money and our company~we often have to do this for our own survival~but the decision to change must originate with them, not us.

The most powerful tool we have is the example of our own lives. The only force we can bring to bear is the moral force of our own health, serenity, and compassion. We can turn on the light and put out the welcome mat, but mostly we have to get on with our own lives. 

My self-esteem hinges on my own battles, not someone else's. 

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