One of my close friends is an alcoholic. That's certainly not something I ever saw myself typing (or something my friend thought she'd be) and yet here I am.
She's been sober for a year now, and it's been an interesting journey to walk with her through rehab and begin the adventure through the twelve principles of AA. Sometimes I feel like my support and prayers just aren't enough...but it's all I can do.
A year ago, when she hit rock bottom, I didn't know her well. I knew who she was (& vice versa) but we never spent time together. We saw each other almost daily but never really connected. I knew she had ended up in the hospital but didn't find out until mid-summer exactly why that was. Come early fall, her transformation from party-all-night to motivated-stick-to-it girl was noticeable and we began to hang out. She seemed thankful to have someone to do non-alcohol related activities with, and the more we hung out, the more I heard of her story. I never pushed or asked questions but as we became more comfortable with each other, parts of our past were naturally shared. Hers just happens to be a bit more "exciting" than mine!
Throughout her journey, I've learned a lot too. I never knew AA meetings are held multiple times a day, although it makes total sense. I never knew that one of things members of AA are encouraged to do is to "confess" their wrongdoings in life to someone outside their family, as a part of moving ahead in life. Truthfully, I believe many people (alcoholics or not) could learn from AA and their principles. My friend has become more spiritual and connected to God in the past year than I knew possible, especially for her. The two of us joke that really, everyone should attend AA for the simple reason of spiritual renewal- not far from the truth.
Of course, some of her old tendencies shine through-- she's still as sarcastic, still sassy and direct when something makes her mad, her family issues still drive her insane...but I'm proud of her and how far she's come. A year can and does make a difference.
I can only imagine how hard this journey is for her...I wish I could do more than stand by and cheer her on.