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Byron Shire
June 24, 2024

You don’t have to be pissed to have a problem with alcohol

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Peta*, AA Mullumbimby member.

I read with interest your article in regards to the AA convention which is happening March 23-25 in Mullumbimby.

I feel that it would have incredibly helpful to also profile someone in that article who attends AA and who is not the ‘typical alcoholic’ that everyone thinks of.#

Anyone who relies on a drink at night to ‘take the edge off’ or ‘as a reward for being a grown up’ has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. If you had of interviewed someone who fell into this category you would have done an incredible service to the community as more people who read that article would identify with the person being interviewed. It is very easy for people to dismiss their drinking as normal as it is so pervasive in our society.

I walked into AA for the first time in late December and had no idea what it was actually like. My impression was that it would be full or drunk people slurring or falling off chairs with odd behaviours. How uninformed of me as those people are still out in the world drinking!

As I discovered within five minutes of being at that first meeting, it is full of people with insight into their own behaviour and the courage to change something about themselves.

For me, I knew alcohol was the one thing holding me back from living the life I wanted to live. It is not easy. It is a daily practice and one needs to look within oneself to see the reason why we rely on alcohol. Most of my friends drink like I did. Daily, or with a break every now and then, but able to be parents, hold down jobs and act normal. If it is easy to stop for you but hard to stay stopped and this letter resonates with you I hope you come to the Public Information session being held on the Friday night so you can listen to what AA is really like.

I will be there.

* It is a condition of AA membership that members do not publicly identify themselves.

# Our interview subject was referred to us by AA.

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