Timely return for support

Colac’s Alcoholics Anonymous group has resumed face-to-face meetings just in time for national Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Colac’s AA group, which was forced to hold its meetings via Zoom to obey coronavirus social distancing rules, had its first in-person meeting for three months on Thursday.

A group spokesperson said the stress of isolation meant it was a good time to remind people about the Colac group.

“Everyone knows there has been a lot of excessive drinking during this lockdown, so it’s an opportune moment to remind people that we’re here,” the spokesperson said.

“We’ve been doing Zoom meetings, for the last two or three months, so we have still been getting by.

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“We’re going to start now doing an extra meeting on a Monday night over Zoom for people who cannot leave their home with the virus.”

Colac’s AA group has been supporting community members with alcohol problems for more than 60 years.

“We’re only a small group, but you could fill the civic hall up twice over with people who’ve been through the doors, but we currently only have a handful of people, but it’s a sliding scale,” they said.

“The families that have been saved by people getting sober in the district by coming along to the meetings, there’s a lot of good that’s come out of it.

“It’s not an easy thing to do, that’s what they first said to me when I joined, that it would be the hardest thing I ever did but the most rewarding.”

The spokesperson conceded that attending AA for the first time was daunting, but encouraged people to come along.

“It is daunting for probably every new comer, but in my experience, probably 80 or 90 per cent of people have come because they have reached what we call rock bottom,” they said.

“That’s what’s forced them to come, they’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked, their husband or wife has gone, they’ve got court cases and fines, and a light switch comes on and they say ‘I’m going to try this’.

“There was a cliché many years ago which went ‘if alcohol is costing you more than money then you should have a look at it’ and that’s still not a bad one today.”

Alcoholic’s Anonymous is recognising 75 years in Australia this year.

Colac’s AA group meet Thursday’s from 7.30pm at the St Andrew’s Church Hall.

People can contact the group on 0427 048 875.

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