If you spend much time around addicts, you’ll quickly discover that just about everyone has some type of origin story that they’ll share about how they decided to get sober. In fact, I think that one of the most common questions people ask in the beginning is who convinced you to go to to AA and how. The answer to this question is often intertwined with other stories such as how someone knew that they’d hit rock bottom, or you may even hear someone claim that they never had a bottom since they were able to get help before everything went wrong.
For me, the decision to go to AA came about slowly. I wish I could pin my decision to go to rehab on a single person, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, my alcohol addiction led to many different people realizing that I had a problem, and they each tried to convince me to get help in different ways. From my old boss, I got a talk about how I’d no longer be able to stay in my position if I didn’t stop showing up to work late or smelling like alcohol. My partner told me that they’d have to break off our romantic relationship if I couldn’t stop drinking, and my best friend said they’d stop inviting me to parties since I often embarrassed them in public. Hearing these things was painful, but they did force me to confront the fact that my actions were hurting everyone else.
How I Found Myself at My Own Intervention
I knew people had caught on and were getting sick and tired of my behavior, but I hadn’t realized it had hit a boiling point until I came home to find my closest loved ones waiting for me. Discovering that I was at my own intervention was painful, embarrassing and honestly awkward. At first, I felt like I was being attacked and that everyone had gotten together behind my back. I decided to stay, though. Mostly because I wanted to counteract whatever it was they were going to say. Once they started talking, I realized that that plan wasn’t going to work. I’ve never seen my friends and family members be so determined to make their point. Each person took their turn talking about our relationship and how my alcoholism was hurting them. This part of the intervention was pretty painful.
At times, I would try to zone out and not listen. Then, I’d feel myself starting to be pulled back in to the things that they were saying. It was impossible to ignore that each person genuinely loved me and cared enough to show up to the intervention. No one straight up said that they wouldn’t be my friend or spend time with me anymore, but they did set boundaries that made my need to get sober completely clear. That day, I agreed to go to AA, but I told them I was only going to do it if I could find a program that felt right for me.
My Advice to People With Loved Ones Who Need Help
If you’re trying to convince someone to go to rehab, then I want you to know that you don’t want to give up. I was rude to a few of the people who talked to me at first, and I hate to admit it, but I also lied and denied my addiction. Slowly, however, I realized that I didn’t need to hide my problem anymore. This became easier to accept the more I realized that no one wanted to end our relationship.
Letting your loved one know that you care about them despite their addiction can give them the strength to open up about their problem. If you do host an intervention, then remember to keep your focus on the alcoholism alone. Things will get intense, but staying as positive as possible gives your loved one reassurance that you’ll always be there for them. You’ll also want to have a treatment program in mind to suggest if you get a good answer right away.
How I Finally Convinced Myself to Go to AA
If the truth is told, then you should also know that the real convincing came down to me. Only I could decide to go to AA. While my loved ones could offer to drive me there or listen to my concerns, I was ultimately the only one who could go to those meetings and make it work. As a final note, I also sought out a sober community where going to AA meetings was normal. Being around other people who prioritized sobriety made it feel like a more natural part of my life. Do you or someone that you know need to get sober? We can help you make it happen. Reach out to us at 954-523-1167.