ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS ( AA) – A FELLOWSHIP

A self help fellowship group called “Alcoholics Anonymous ( AA)” is organizing its IInd International Convention in Mangluru, Karnataka on 25,26 and 27 January 2018. It also celebrates its 60th Anniversary of  the  Formation of A A in India and Mangalore.  The aim of A A  International Convention is to create awareness among the general public  about the dreadful disease called Alcoholism and to find the way to regain hope to lead a good life. 

A A is a fellowship of men and women  who share  their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees  for A A membership ; We are self supporting through our own contributions.  A A is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution;  does not  wish to engage  in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes  any causes.  The primary purpose of A A members is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve  sobriety ( This is the preamble of A A). A A members place principles before personalities. Thereby maintaining anonymity. 

Not every person who drinks becomes an alcoholic , there are  many categories among alcohol consumers. The first  are social drinkers who drink on rare occasions . but stop  with the first drink. The second group called drunkards  they drink  heavily  once in a while on a particular day but are not compelled nor have the urge to have a drink the next day.  The third category called addicts who drink almost every day but not before completing their daily responsibilities . They drink only before having their dinner. The last category are alcoholics  who drink at any time of the day for any reason and consume any brand available to them.   

‘Alcoholism’ is  declared as a illness by Word Health Organization in the year 1956. The syndrome called alcoholism can only be described but cannot be defined. This is a syndrome of mental obsession to drink , and later the physical allergy takes over  activating  the urge to drink more alcohol. The rationality of an alcoholic stops working after his first drink . The third part of the illness is a hidden malady called spiritual  bankruptcy. This is a progressive disease and ends up in either epilepsy, hallucination or premature  death. 

An alcoholic shuns reality and seeks refuge in alcohol. An alcoholic cannot imagine life either with or without alcohol. Drinking is only the outer manifestation of an inner problem of deep seated emotional disorder. Alcoholism cannot be cured but can be arrested, it can be controlled only through abstinence by accepting the A A program, thus leading to a life of sobriety. In A A the members who have recovered from this malady of alcoholism, guide the new comers, to keep away from the first drink and help them to tackle their problems and lead a life free from alcohol.  

 

Alcoholism is an age old problem. Many countries, organizations, institutions and social workers have failed to find a solution for Alcoholism. A A has a program to help suffering alcoholics to find a remedy for their problem only if they have The Desire To Stop Drinking.  It then becomes the business of A A to help alcoholics to avoid relapses and attain sobriety through the simple spiritual  program  which is derived from all religions along with  a little help from medicine and some principles of psychology . The program enables to keep away from the first drink one day at a time.

A A was born in 1935 in the city of Akron USA. The co-founders of A A were Bill.W. a stock broker and Dr. Bob a surgeon who were alcoholics and suffered immensely. They met each other by sheer chance and the duo found a way to get over this malady of alcoholism. Ever since then the fellowship of A A slowly spread in more than 120 countries and at present more than 40 lakh  members are leading a life of sobriety by staying away from that first drink. In 1957 a Mangaloren  Harry.M. got the A A message through a recovering alcoholic from Canada. Out of the first five recoveries in India, four were  from Dakshina Kannada District. A A groups started in Mumbai and later Vittal Pai took the lead to form General  Service Office (India) of A A  in Mumbai and served as its chairman for seven years (May 5th  1957 is considered as the day of the first A A Meeting). The A A Message reached Mangalore in 1958 through late Jimmy . M. and Charles D’sa. At present many A A groups are functioning every day in Mangalore, Bangalore, Malenad, Davangere, Mysore, Udupi, Utthara Kannada and many other places  all over India and the number of members runs in thousands. 

In spite of the great increase in the size and the span of the fellowship, at its core it remains simple and personal. Each day somewere in the world , recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength and hope.

 

Patrick Braggs 

New Road

 
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