Alcoholism is a disease that does not distinguish between sex, religion, social class, economic level, or nationality, as defined by Chris Anderson and Alejandro Mariscal, members of The Sons of Chaos, a AA group which unfolds in Anchorage, Alaska.
There is always a similar story behind someone who suffers from alcoholism. Many Latinos leave their country searching for better opportunities but will miss their family or encounter various difficulties in a strange land. Soon they find themselves drinking their loneliness or stress away and falling prey to the disease.
The Sons of Chaos was born a few years ago with the firm purpose of supporting Latinos based in Anchorage, Alaska. In unity, men and women share their experiences, strength, and hope, aiming to be able to solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism.
“To be a member of the group, the only requirement is to have the desire to stop drinking alcohol, because if you don’t have the desire, and just go and listen to what others say, it is anot going to work for you at all,” says Chris Anderson, one of the group’s founders.
Within the group which meets twice a week for an hour, the same treatment is offered to everyone, there are no bosses, no leaders, “we are all the same, members and volunteers, everyone talks about what they want, about how alcoholism affects their life. It is a group open to anyone whenever they want to come in,” adds Chris Anderson.
Alejandro Mariscal, who is 86 years old, and is also a member of the group, makes a call to everyone who is an alcoholic “There are many people who have this disease, but sometimes they do not know how to stop. Many Latinos come to work and being outside their country, far away and feeling lonely, find in alcohol an easy way out and only through many blows and setbacks in life, we understand that alcoholism is not the solution, we invite all of them to join the group, and let us try to help.” Their personal stories share the same message of hope and victory, of failure and despair, and that is what you will find within their AA group in Anchorage.
Success stories like Alejandro Mariscal’s are common among the group, “From an early age, at the age of 12 to be precise, I started drinking alcohol.My drinking went on for more than 50 years, suffering the consequences; I fell and got up, but entering the program saved my life. Luckily, I have a family, although I made them suffer a lot, and because of the respect and affection they have for me, helped and supported me. My family, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were the basis for getting ahead and the help I needed to give up drinking.”
Also, in the words of Chris Anderson, who was a victim of alcohol too, the best help I have found to deal with the disease is within the AA program. “I went to clinics within the United States and in Europe to treat my alcoholism. The cost was pretty high, but it was in the AA program, which is also free, where I managed to give up drinking. The program works for whomever wants it to work. AA is a group where true friendships are made.”
Currently, both Alejandro Mariscal and Chris Anderson participate in the coordination of sessions to help other members. They listen and talk to them, offering support to stay sober so they too can be part of society and their community.
For more information on meeting location and schedule, contact Alejandro Mariscal at 344-2572 or Kris Anderson at 764-0833.
Short History about Alcoholics Anonymous Alcoholics Anonymous was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1935, when Bill W., a New York businessman, wanted to tell another alcoholic of his success over not drinking for several days, which he had tried several times for several years. He realized his desire to drink diminished when I tried to help other people stay sober.
In coordination with Dr. Bob S., who also had problems with drinking, they started a group to share their experiences and help each other. In 1939, they published the book Alcoholics Anonymous, where they tell their story along with that of 100 men. The AA program became popular and spread throughout various parts of the world. It is estimated that AA is present in 180 countries and that there are almost 120 thousand groups made up of more than two million members worldwide. The basic literature it offers since 1939, The Great Book has been translated into more than 100 languages as diverse as Afrikaans, Arabic, Hindi, Nepali, Persian, Swahili, and Vietnamese, among others.
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE CO. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska