(PRWEB) September 21, 2004
If you were to try putting the question Âcan alcoholics recover and drink normally again?Â to members of your family, friends and neighbours, they would probably come up by way of response with the tired old clichÃ©s from Alcoholics Anonymous like Âonce an alcoholic, always an alcoholicÂ or Âjust one drink sets up the compulsionÂ.
But if you try keying in the question Âcan alcoholics recover and drink normally againÂ on one of the main Internet search engines like Google, MSN, Yahoo, Lycos or AskJeeves, you will come up with a very different answer.
The top result listed on all the major search engines will link you through to one of the websites run by Murdoch and Lilian MacDonald, two former alcoholics who have recovered from alcoholism so completely that they are now able to take a drink quite normally and safely again, if and when they so wish.
Murdoch (58) and Lilian (60), a married couple from Ayrshire in Scotland, have set up their websites to tell their story to the world. Because until now they believe that alcoholics have had a raw deal, as the quasi-monopoly enjoyed by Alcoholics Anonymous has effectively denied them any real choice about their own treatment.
ÂWe are not against anybody going to AA if thatÂs what they want,Â says Lilian. ÂBut we say that lifelong sobriety is not recovery from alcoholism, as AA prescribes. That is only treating the symptom rather than the underlying cause, and as such is merely a damage-limitation exercise.Â
ÂAlcoholism is not a disease, as AA and other 12-Step programmes maintain,Â argues Murdoch. ÂAlcoholism, like other so-called addictions, is a behaviour problem stemming from childhood. There is no reason why anybody who is prepared to identify and address these issues from the past cannot make a real and full recovery and drink safely and normally again, if and when they so wish. We know, and we do.
ÂNobody is incapable of changing their behaviour. And that is one of the fundamental differences between Alcoholics Anonymous and us. AA disempowers people Â the first of the Twelve Steps says: ÂWe admitted we were powerless over alcoholÂ Â but we are fighting to give them that power back.Â
Ten years ago the couple had hit rock bottom, sleeping rough for two weeks on the streets of Cambridge, where a quarter of a century previously as an undergraduate Murdoch had received an honours degree in English Literature. They had moved there from Ayr with the idea of Murdoch doing research for a doctorate (PhD), but reverted to their old habits, started binge drinking, and were thrown out of their lodgings.
After a fortnight, and when they were just about at the end of their tether, two nurses on their way home after a Saturday night out took pity on Lilian and Murdoch, bought them a cup of tea and found them a place in a homeless hostel.
The couple spent the next twelve months there getting to the roots of their alcoholism. They tried AA one last time, before concluding that it was a quasi-religious cult whose ideas on alcoholism were inadequate and outdated.
Instead, by reading psychology, they decided that the causes of their alcoholic behaviour lay in problems experienced during childhood. And that once these problems were realised and addressed, there was no longer any need for escape through alcoholism, and they could even drink normally like other people again.
Ten years after selling newspapers from a stand in Market Square, Cambridge, so that he and Lilian could get back on their feet financially, Murdoch now writes his own regular column in the local weekly paper and also runs his own public relations consultancy.
And Lilian is so keen to pass on the benefits of their experience to others who still have problems with alcohol, that the couple are building a website http://www.alcoholicscandrinksafelyagain.com to spread their message of hope.
They also have a community group website at http://groups.msn.com/AlcoholicsCanDrinkSafelyAgain which includes a chat room and message board where members can exchange thoughts, ideas and experiences.
Lilian and Murdoch have completed the first draft of a book about their experiences, and are currently looking for a suitable publisher.
Lilian and Murdoch MacDonaldÂs web links:
Fame Publicity Services
10 Miller Road
Scotland KA7 2AY
Telephone: +44 (0)1292 281498
# # #