Shillong: Father George who is associated with a Alcoholics Anonymous group said in life, an individual experiences many ups and downs, but my relationship with Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon is up, up, and up.
Father George was speaking at the second convention of Alcoholics Anonymous North-East Region 2019 recently.
Father George’s association with AA Shillong Foundation Group began ten years ago when he was a student and completing his Masters in Social Work.
According to him, he was invited to attend a meeting by the members, even as he said, “I went looking for silver, hoping for gold, and found diamonds.”
Father George said that members of AA and Al-Anon are precious diamonds and he was proud to state that he is a friend of alcoholics. “I admire their honesty, their sense of gratitude, their belief in their Higher Power,” Father George said. According to him, their faith in their Higher Power is at times stronger than his own faith. According to Father George as per the World Health Organisation, 3.3 million people die from alcohol related diseases every year.
Meanwhile, Dr Jasmine Lyngdoh said in hospitals one gets disheartened and frustrated by the life-long diseases one encounters like cancer, diabetes, cardiac diseases. “But the disease of alcoholism disturbs us even more for it affects the functionality of the individual and deprives him of his ability to maintain his status quo in society. It also impacts the social standing of his family and their sense of self-worth and self-esteem within the community,” Dr Lyngdoh said.
She also pointed that there is a connection between alcoholism in the northeast with the traditional cultural rites and rituals. “The lack of treatment centres and community support, education and career opportunities are not addressed creating frustration amongst the youth and career-minded people which pushes them to alcohol and substance abuse,” she added.
Dr Lyngdoh pointed out that the frustrations become worse when an individual loses his or her sense of self-worth and self –esteem, and places the spouse and the children in danger when they too fall prey to alcohol and drugs and the cycle continues.
“Fortunately, for us the AA Foundation Group Shillong, has broken down the secrecy and stigma of alcoholism and given us hope that there is a way out. AA restores the self-worth of the alcoholics and the families,” said Dr Lyngdoh. On the occasion, a one-minute silence was observed in memory of Father Cilia of the Christian Youth Centre who was the backbone and the mentor of Alcoholics Anonymous Shillong Foundation Group. Alcoholics Anonymous began in 1935 in the United States of America when two alcoholics got together to share their experiences about their alcoholism. This historic meeting lead to the establishment of AA and today the movement is worldwide. The Foundation group of Shillong began 25 years ago.
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