Mentors show the way
AFTER almost 30 years of involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous, Jude has come to realise there is no quick fix for an addictive personality.
Jude (last name withheld) credits AA with saving her life, while also giving her a reason to stay sober day in, day out.
These days she is a guiding light for new arrivals struggling to turn their lives around.
Jude's story is, of course, not the only one of success within the AA organisation, which has branches throughout the Ipswich and West Moreton region.
As part of its annual drive to reach out to those who are yet to seek help for their addictions, Ipswich AA will host Soberfest at the Humanities Building from Friday, May 31, to Saturday, June 1.
Jude said anyone was welcome - alcoholic or not.
"Chances are, if you are not an alcoholic then you have a friend or a family member who is," Jude said.
"A big part of AA is the sponsorship thing, where you become a mentor to a newer member and form a really good bond with them.
"I think alcoholics - even when we are writing ourselves off - what we really want in life is to be useful.
"It's an amazing thing to be involved in someone else's recovery."
Paul started attending Ipswich AA meetings two years ago, when his drinking became so serious he would shake uncontrollably.
"Alcohol was on my mind all the time. I didn't have an off switch," Paul said.
"My mindset at that time was that I was always a victim of circumstance.
"Eventually I hit my rock bottom, where I couldn't live without a drink and I couldn't keep drinking."
Paul saw the light through his own AA sponsor.
A panel of AA members will speak about their own experiences at the Soberfest event, joining guest speaker Dr Jeremy Hayllar, the clinical director of alcohol and drug services for Metro North Mental Health.
For information on local AA meetings, phone 0488 220 278.
WHEN: May 31-June 1
WHERE: Ipswich Humanities Centre, 56 South St, Ipswich.
FRIDAY: Features guest speaker Jeremy Hayllar, Q&A with AA members
SATURDAY: Features open meetings, author Graham B and Back to the Eighties Party