A Personal Message from Our Group
The thought of attempting to quit drinking while in Chile might be quite overwhelming.
For one reason, this is a culture that prides itself on its wines and pisco sours. Chileans love to celebrate. There is at least one holiday every month and at least one asado every weekend. These celebrations appear to revolve around alcohol. Bars serve up drinks which contain at least fifty percent alcohol and for a couple of lucas one can buy a large bottle of powerful liquor.
Secondly, Spanish is probably your second or third language. It is difficult to locate AA information here, perhaps more difficult to find the meetings, and nearly impossible to understand what is being said if you don’t have a pretty solid grasp of the language (the Chilean version of Spanish).
And there is very little information available to doctors and psychologists about how to treat the alcoholic.
But there is GOOD NEWS!
You have found our website, so you have found us. And our experience shows that it is possible to quit drinking while in Chile and it is possible to continue sobriety started somewhere else while living here.
We will share with you some of our suggestions:
Attend Meetings – We currently have 9 English-speaking meetings in Santiago. They are listed here on our website. We look forward to you becoming part of our group! There is also a link to the AA in Chile where you can find dozens of meetings in Spanish.
Consider getting a local sponsor – Having someone here in Santiago to help guide you through the steps and familiarize you with our meetings and traditions could be priceless.
Literature – At our meetings we have the Big Book, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions and Daily Reflections for sale. As well as many informational pamphlets for free.
Fellowship – Given that our English-speaking community of ex-problem drinkers is relatively small in Santiago, we recognize the importance of our personal connections. We often contact one another to do fun things and speak in English!
Is AA For You??
Twelve questions only you can answer
Copyright © 1973 by A.A. World Services, Inc.
IS A.A. FOR YOU?
Only you can decide whether you want to give A.A.a try —
whether you think it can help you.
We who are in A.A. came because we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely. Then we heard from other A.A. members that we were sick. (We thought so for years!) We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt and loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we had the disease of alcoholism.
We decided to try and face up to what alcohol had done to us. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly.
If we answered YES to four or more questions, we were in deep trouble with our drinking. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.
Answer YES or NO to the following questions.
1 – Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
Most of us in A.A. made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to A.A. A.A. said: “Just try not to drink today.” (If you do not drink today, you cannot get drunk today.)
2 – Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking– stop telling you what to do?
In A.A. we do not tell anyone to do anything. We just talk about our own drinking, the trouble we got into, and how we stopped. We will be glad to help you, if you want us to.
3 – Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
We tried all kinds of ways. We made our drinks weak. Or just drank beer. Or we did not drink cocktails. Or only drank on weekends. You name it, we tried it. But if we drank anything with alcohol in it, we usually got drunk eventually.
4 – Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
Do you need a drink to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not drinking “socially.”
5 – Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can take it or leave it.
6 – Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
Be honest! Doctors say that if you have a problem with alcohol and keep on drinking, it will get worse — never better. Eventually, you will die, or end up in an institution for the rest of your life. The only hope is to stop drinking.
7 – Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
Before we came into A.A., most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us drink. We could not see that our drinking just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere or anytime.
8 – Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
Most of us used to have a “few” before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of party. And if drinks were not served fast enough, we would go some place else to get more.
9 – Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don’t mean to?
Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we drank because we wanted to. After we came into A.A., we found out that once we started to drink, we couldn’t stop.
10 – Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
Many of us admit now that we “called in sick” lots of times when the truth was that we were hung-over or on a drunk.
11 – Do you have “blackouts”?
A “blackout” is when we have been drinking hours or days which we cannot remember. When we came to A.A., we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of alcoholic drinking.
12 – Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
Many of us started to drink because drinking made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into A.A., we felt trapped. We were drinking to live and living to drink. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Did you answer YES four or more times? If so, you are probably in trouble with alcohol. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people in A.A. have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves — the hard way. But again, only you can decide whether you think A.A. is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped drinking ourselves. Just call. A.A. does not promise to solve your life’s problems. But we can show you how we are learning to live without drinking “one day at a time.” We stay away from that “first drink.” If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. And when we got rid of alcohol, we found that life became much more manageable.
Is AA for You?
Here are links to the official AA page with the pamphlet in pdf form and the quiz.
The link to the pamphlet is http://www.aa.org/lang/en/catalog.cfm?category=4&product=5
The link to the quiz is: http://www.aa.org/subpage.cfm?page=71
The primary purpose of A.A. is to carry its message of recovery to the alcoholic seeking help. Almost every alcoholism treatment tries to help the alcoholic maintain sobriety. Regardless of the road we follow, we all head for the same destination, recovery of the alcoholic person. Together, we can do what none of us could accomplish alone.
We are English-speaking members of AA in Santiago. Some of us are in Chile permanently, others live here for months at a time and we are blessed at our meetings with the presence of tourists coming through Chile. We warmly invite you to join us, wherever you come from.
We have meetings from Mondays to Saturdays in the “HABLA INGLESA GROUP”.