My work's psychologist diagnosed me as a habitual alcohol abuser in early remission and said that I would need to stay in AA the rest of my life to be considered reformed as alcohol abuse is a form of alcoholism....
These days, medical professionals generally use the scientific term "Alcohol Use Disorder" or "AUD" rather than the colloquial word "alcoholism". My understanding is that both terms mean essentially the same thing and describe the same symptoms. Mayo Clinic has an online website describing identifying symptoms and recommended treatment protocols. AA meeting attendance is usually recommended by most rehab specialists.
AA's 3rd Tradition says the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. The wording of this Tradition means that it doesn't matter if someone is an "alcohol abuser", a "potential alcoholic", a "problem drinker", a "temperate drinker", a "moderate drinker", a "serious drinker", a "heavy drinker", a "hard drinker", an "habitual drinker, a "whoopee drinker", a "real alcoholic", etc. or just a plain ol' garden variety drunk like me. Regardless, membership in AA only requires that we have a desire to stop drinking. You have expressed a desire to stay sober; therefore you are an AA member.
So here I am reaching out. Is what I have done enough or am I still at risk? I don't ever want to go back to the way I was so I can't see how AA would not be a good tool to keep me from ever taking a step in the wrong direction. Any opinions on my particular conundrum is appreciated.
Your finance sounds like a wonderful, emotionally mature person who supports your continued sobriety and that is a good thing for both of you. Adding to that support system by seeking out, finding and befriending other recovering sober female alcoholics in AA will also be a good thing for both of you. My ESH is that I think it's great to have male friends, but being a woman, I've found that I think differently than men, identify problems and solutions differently than men, and have experienced many issues in sobriety that only another female AA friend can really relate to or understand. Having other sober female AA members as friends has really been an essential part of my recovery and spiritual growth and has allowed me to become a fairly "low maintenance" partner in relationships instead of the black hole of neediness I became during my drinking days. As another female alcoholic, I think you will discover the same kind of benefits to making friends with other sober female alcoholics in recovery.
AA has many spiritual tools in its toolkit and its 12 Steps are geared specifically for alcoholics who want to remain sober, learn how to cope with life on life's terms and live a "happy, joyous and free" lifestyle. I worked the Steps without a sponsor except for my 5th Step, but many of AA's members choose to work the Steps with a sponsor. There are also many Step Study AA groups, both online and live, where each AA member works each of the Steps as a group, and these have become very popular options for AA members in the last couple of decades as well. However you choose to proceed at this time, know that you can always change your mind and opt for other choices down the road.
Thank you for sharing your story, RadGirl.
Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson