From Little Acorns Grow…

LifeRing Ireland

It all started in a dining room of a house in north County Dublin. Present and correct were two men, two women and two dogs. I can’t speak for the dogs but I know for a fact that the four humans were (and are) recovering addicts, mainly alcoholics but there was some drug abuse, too.

LifeRing had arrived in Ireland.

Tonight, in St. Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin, we had two groups of 19 people, each recovering (or hoping to recover) from whatever their drug of choice happens to be. People from all walks of life, looking for hope, support, and camaraderie. The St. Patrick’s group is one of three active meetings in Dublin. The other two are located at the Methodist Mission on Abbey Street, and the Stanhope Street Alcohol Treatment Centre. The last piece of the jigsaw, St. John of God’s Hospital, will fall into place within the next month or two.

LifeRing has arrived in Ireland.

It’s a recovery program without a program. By this I mean there are no Steps, no Higher Power, no powerlessness over our addiction. The choice to whether or not drink or use is put in our hands. We alone are responsible for picking up a drink or drug. End of story. Sure, we’re powerless once we do — that much is obvious — but if we chose not to, that choice empowers us. That, in essence, is what LifeRing is all about. We keep it secular and leave our Higher Power (if we have one) outside the room until we leave. We chat to each other, we cross-talk, we laugh, cry, but ultimately we’re all about positivity. Our “drunk-a-logues” and “drug-a-logues” are a thing of the past. Our “war stories” remain just that — stories. We talk sobriety in the here and now. We ask each other: “How was your week in sobriety?”

It is an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and its Twelve Steps, and without becoming all preachy, LifeRing offers the addict a different forum from which to draw strength. Some addicts can’t “get” the AA approach, so LifeRing shows them another way. It has worked well in the U.S.A. and the signs are that it will work well here in Ireland, too.

12 responses to “From Little Acorns Grow…

  1. Awesome!

    I’m all for using whatever LifeRing works for the individual involved.

    Higher power, Inner power, Spiritual power . . . or just plain Man power!


  2. Amen (or A-women) 🙂

  3. Pingback: Beat Alcoholism 101

  4. A wonderful initiative, especially the secular approach.
    (But isn’t Ireland full to the brim with tipsy priests?)

    Good luck all with their journey to sobriety.

  5. Very well done my friend. I have passed this on to Marty N. in California. I can speak for the dogs. They said, let us out of here; we want a walk!

  6. What a wonderful group. I hope its membership continues to increase and more people find the strength to say no to the substance that controls them.

  7. Suzanne Bogue

    James. This sounds like a wonderful alternative to AA and I think both programs work quite well. There has long been a need for an alternative b/c yes, some people can’t get the AA way. I’m in favor of encouraging people to find something that works for them. And I support you in your choice. As Spock would say, “Live long and prosper,” dear friend.

  8. Life Ring sounds like a powerful support group. The symbol for the organization is interesting. I understand some of the symbolism, but would be interested in learning about the embellishments of the L and R.

  9. Hehe I’m literally the first reply to this great article.

  10. Hey Jimbo, Where are you? What are you up to?

  11. James, Are you still blogging?

  12. Welcome to Ireland Lifering, I hope you have many successes and help and aid many lives onto the path of recovery and go onto lead a fruitfull and rewarding Life.

    Best of Luck


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