Blackpool Convention – News

News from Blackpool

From your Northern National Convention Correspondent.

The 40th Northern National Convention which took place over the weekend of 21st to 23rd March was a great success with 1018 members of AA, Al-Anon and Al-Ateen attending. 772 members put their sobriety dates on the Sobriety Wall and their total sobriety added up to an amazing 7,999 years! The average length of sobriety works out at 10.4 years.

Apart from the many meetings which were on offer this was a great opportunity to meet old friends, make new ones and spend time in fellowship with all of them.

The Saturday night dance was an opportunity to let our hair down and have a real good time. I am pleased to report that the numerous Chester and North Wales contingent were prominent in these festivities. I can honestly say that they were the wildest most exuberant dancers, and I saw a new side to many members. Although our principle of anonymity prevents me from naming names – they know who I mean!

The highlight of the Convention for me was the Sobriety Countdown.  This started with the longest sober member who had 51 years, (“Keep Coming Back” one comedian shouted), and running right down to the newest sober member who had just two days. The biggest cheer came when the countdown reached five months and a proud father at the front stood and held up his baby, five months old and five months sober, brilliant!

For all those who were there, thank you for a memorable weekend and come back next year. For those who weren’t there, why not come next year and see what you’re missing.

Alcohol Awareness Article – November 2013

Alcohol recovery helping man appreciate his life

Published date: 29 November 2013 | 

Published by: Jonathan Grieve
Read more articles by Jonathan Grieve

Graham - Leader

 EVERY year in the run up to Christmas we are bombarded with images of smiling families gathering around the table to tuck into their turkey and, of course, enjoy a festive drink.

But could this seemingly happy image mask a wider problem and at what point does enjoying a drink turn into a problem?

Figures released in the 2012 Welsh Health Survey showed seven per cent of adults in Wales drink alcohol every day. In Wrexham, figures for alcohol-attributable hospital admissions have risen, from 894.79 per 100,000 people in 2001-02 to 1035.14 per 100,000 in 2011-12.

Last week, it was reported police are launching a campaign against the sale of super strength alcohol in Wrexham in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour.

Graham – not his real name – a Wrexham alcoholic, told his story and warned of the dangers of the festive period for heavy drinkers.

“Christmas time camouflaged my drinking,” said Graham. “I lost the true meaning of spending time with people and loved ones. The truth was it was Christmas 52 weeks a year for me but I got away with it at Christmas time because everyone else was drunk.

“I stole time from loved ones and people who wanted to be around me. But I had to go through that to be who I am today.”

Graham has been involved in a recovery programme with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) since 2005 and says the service gave him his life back.

“Now I love being able to spend Christmas Day with my family and not having to apologise for my behaviour and ruining Christmas for my family and friends,” he said.

“I was in a treatment centre and it was compulsory to go to one meeting a week.

There was a guy there sharing his story and it was so real to me, it was like he was sharing my story with other people.

“My drinking cost me everything. It cost me my home, it cost me a good job. Even when I was in prison, all I could think about was when I get out I can have a drink. I thought I could stop whenever I chose to stop, I didn’t even know I had a problem.

When I went into the treatment centre I was nine and a half stone and I realised I couldn’t stop drinking.

“I was let out of there. If it hadn’t been for AA I wouldn’t be here. I was in there with 13 people and 10 of them are dead now. Drink took me to a place where I didn’t care about anyone else. It was all about where I can get the next drink from. I drank myself into a  squalor.

“But I have a wonderful life today. I enjoy being able to go on walking holidays, I love the freedom to be able to play chess and to be able to have friends in my life and not worry about if I am going to be able to connect with people without alcohol.

“I know most people can go out and enjoy a drink and they are not alcoholics, but I would say to people if it costs you more than money, do you have a problem?

“People were there for me when I first came around. I am just a bog-standard alcoholic who doesn’t take a drink one day at a time.

“Sometimes I would love to drag people into AA but all I can do is share my experiences and hope  someone  may read this and get the courage to step through the doors.”

Groups requiring support & members

The following groups require visitors and home group members:

Rhyl Sunday - Meeting start at 8.00pm urgently request support by members attendance for this group meeting. Membership and attendance is low and might been in danger of closing unless members help by supporting its attendance. 

SaltneyThe Vibrant Saltney group meeting, held Tuesday 8pm at Oddfellows Hall is looking for group members to commit and joint the group and actively take part in the running of the group. This is key to keep the meeting running along AA guidelines and service helps us all to integrate and become apart of our fellowship. Please embrace this opportunity and contact Lisa / Sue if you would like to discuss joining.

Ruabon -The Friday Ruabon, 8pm meeting at Ruabon Community Centre, Wrexham urgently request support by female members attendance for this group meeting. Looking for group members to commit and joint the group and actively take part in the running of the meeting, it may need to close unless members help by supporting its attendance. For  information please contact Andy / Owen at the meeting.

Old Colwyn Tuesday - The Tuesday ‘big book read’ group in Old Colwyn is struggling. Its current group leader travels a fair distance to ‘help’ but cannot do it alone. The group desperately needs support and members who may in time wish to assist! Please pass this message on, if your ‘regular’ Tuesday night group is flourishing, maybe excusing yourself to support this group would be a kind gesture and prove helpful

The details are (and maybe contrary to where to find etc) Sure Hope/interchange, Old Colwyn opposite Texaco (formerly BP) garage. 19.30 to 21.00. The group looks forward to your support.

See find a meeting section for full details of addresses and start times.