hippoThe other day on the drive home from school, my younger son said hippos were one of the most dangerous land animals on the planet.

I was incredulous, “What?! Hippos?! No way. Hippos are those cute fat animals that splash around and play with their young.”

The most logical next step of any modern family disagreement was to, “Google it.”  So, we Googled it. And he was right. In fact, hippos are actually pretty darn aggressive. I gave him a dollar.

Laughing, my oldest son asked how old I was when I started using the internet. He looked stunned when I told him I was 25.  It was one of those, “I had to WALK FIVE MILES to school in 8 FEET OF SNOW,” conversations we have with our kids to let them know how easy they have it compared to, “When I was your age!”

I told him if we wanted to find out about hippos, we’d have to get our parents to take us to the library, hope the specific volume of encyclopedia wasn’t already in use, and look up hippopotamuses…then find the specific section and passage which mentioned their temperaments. We’d have to take notes if we wanted to take the information home with us because we weren’t allowed to check out reference books.

By the look on his face, I think he actually felt sorry for me. (Mission accomplished, ha!)

What’s my point? Sometimes I annoy myself because I take way too long to get to my point when i write. SEARCHING. Searching is my point. We are all searching for answers…either to academic questions, trivia, lyrics to our favorite songs, or the meaning of the universe. So, we Google it. 

Since I hadn’t blogged in such a long time, I checked the stats on the backend. Even when I wasn’t posting anything, I had thousands of visitors per month coming to my blog. WTF? So, I dug deeper. WordPress gives us the exact “search terms” that are most often used to find us.

Here they are…this is what people are SEARCHING for when they find Catholic Alcoholic through Google:

  • catholic alcoholic
  • alcoholic from a catholic perspective
  • patron saints for alcoholics
  • prayer for alcoholic
  • my husband is an alcoholic, catholic view
  • stop drinking catholic
  • catholic aa
  • help for catholic to stop drinking
  • catholic and can’t do aa
  • is there something other than aa for catholic alcoholic
  • alcoholism catholic view
  • prayers for my son alcoholic
  • catholic addiction recovery
  • catholic alternatives to aa

So, there you have it. We’re all searching. Searching for something, whether it’s why hippos are so angry all the time, what time is the Braves game tonight, or help me I’m Catholic and can’t stop drinking…. We don’t have to call a hotline and speak with anybody. We can do an anonymous Google search to hopefully find what we’re looking for.

Fortunately, questions about hippos have easy, definitive answers. Deeper questions, those that relate to recovery from alcoholism or helping a loved one with an addiction…those answers aren’t solved by Googling. Wouldn’t that be great, tho? If there was ONE right answer.

This blog post is sort of making me sad. I have no answers. I guess all I’d say is never give up, never stop searching. Giving up is NOT an option. Keep trying. Each day is a new beginning. Who CARES what “they” say? You’re worth it. Keep searching.

AA is a big part of my recovery equation. But don’t feel hopeless if you can’t do AA. Please. Keep searching. I can see from these search terms that there are thousands of alcoholics that really want help but can’t do AA. I get it. You are NOT ALONE. I’m not here to sell anybody on my way. One of my dear friends has been sober three years by daily recitation of the Rosary. Another by daily Mass and a commitment to weekly Reconciliation. I wish that was my story. I need all the help I can get. So that’s sort of why I started this blog to begin with…because I felt strange…i needed a Catholic slant to my recovery. I just did. It’s who I am. So, anyways, good night. This post isn’t making sense even to me.








26 thoughts on “searching

  1. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I write. You read my desperate heart, I am one of those that searched for you, for a quick answer to “my husband is an alcoholic” . I found you, human in recovery, my inner most desire for him, something that seems so very far away and not feasible since he isnt ready….I also found hope. Like today’s post…keep working through and writing its soothing to hurting hearts.
    Peace and prayers,

    • i had to write you again. just to let you know…there are thousands and thousands of spouses who feel what you’re feeling and are experiencing what you’re experiencing. Sometimes there are no answers. But there is comfort in knowing we’re not alone in our struggles. sleep well tonight, ok? peace.

  2. Very good reference list. I am blessed that my sponsor is Catholic and his sponsor is Catholic. There are about 3-4 of us who attend daily Mass before our morning home group meeting.

    I would think that practicing alcoholic Catholics would find the steps just out of our catechism. Turn it over to our Lord, examination of one’s conscience, confession, penance and evangelize! Simple? Yes! Hard? Yes!!


    James P. Vaughn, OFS Secular Franciscan Order St. Thomas More Fraternity – El Cerrito (510) 734-8675


    • wow that is so wonderful. to have a group of men you can attend daily Mass and a meeting with…you are truly blessed. truly. i have a 7am daily meeting. but if i had three or four like-minded women to attend daily or even a couple times a week or adoration with…. the camaraderie and trust…. so awesome. pax.

    • I have been praying for that kind of support. I am struggling now because I would like to find a Catholic sponsor and haven’t found one. I have a sponsor, but it isn’t working out. I would appreciate your prayers.
      Thank you,

      • Oh man I hear you. My experience, strength and hope:
        I searched for a Catholic sponsor but every time I thought I found one, I put them on a pedestal and they let me down. I did meet confessors who were in AA or al-anon who were a great resource. I’ve learned that as long as my AA sponsor focused solely on taking me through the 12 steps–with no weird “spiritual” influence evident lol…then I could find enough non-AA Catholic mentors to truly guide my spiritual journey. Keep your boundaries. But remain open minded and honest about your Catholic spirituality and faith to your sponsor. If they are negative about our Faith then drop them like a hot potato. –Catholic sponsors aren’t necessarily necessary, but be careful of x-Catholic sponsors who might ignorantly try to sway you to their “enlightened” form of spirituality.. Xo
        Good luck!

  3. Most excellent. You have so much to write about that people are searching and yearning for.. Keep writing! Stay sober! One day at a time.

  4. Another awesome post! Thank you! Several months ago that was me searching for you. Either under Catholic Alcoholic or Help for the Catholic who wants to stop drinking. Either way, I’m just glad to have found you. Wish I had the nerve to return to meetings. Got sober with AA back in CA 15 years ago. Relapsed after several years. Got sober with WFS in MN. Relapsed. Vowed off all meetings since. Maybe it’s time to reconsider. Dread the thought though. Definitely need to pray about this. Thanks again for being here! 🙂

  5. Thank you for this blog. I needed a Catholic approach to sobriety that my local AA meetings didn’t offer. You’ve helped…tremendously. Bless you.

    • Awesome. I am interested.
      Email it to me I will read it and review it
      Yay you
      My mom and sister are big devoted to Saint Faustia
      I’m a more Dominican/mystic/contemplative so I haven’t been able to relate
      But I believe because they believe

  6. It makes sense to me. There is not only the one, right way. God calls each of us to Him, and to be ourselves, the best version of ourselves, for Him. So it kind of figures that for each individual, there will be a unique response to that call, to a way of life.

    At least, I think that’s kind of what you’ve tried to say. Xxx

  7. Thank you so much Catholic Alcoholic for this amazing perspective. I started drinking at a very young age and it took me a very long time and some drastic events to make me realise that i had a problem. When I took that first step to getting better I felt happy again, but I relapsed 4 times! However, I’m happy to say I’m 9 years sober. So don’t worry if you relapse! It’s okay it happens, but never stop trying. At a young age I left home and I missed my parents so much, but I always got the chance to visit them and with every visit I felt a little less attached every time. Until eventually I did not miss them anymore. I will always love them, but I became independent. And the same is true for alcohol! I hope this helped someone! I got better at and I highly highly recommend it!

  8. Hello Number 9…….
    I happened on this blog yesterday and have working all around it. I was very interested to see if you started a Calix society in your parish?? I’ve discussed it with my pastor and he likes it but is more interested in establishing a recovery program for all addictions and problems along the lines of Celebrate Recovery. Have you ever heard of anyone combining aspects of both Celebrate Recovery and Calix (Catholic AA) into a hybrid group?? I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Keep up this great blog.

    • That seems like a formidable task. I’d love a “Catholic” Celebrate Recovery. Not sure Calix would be into that because they are members of AA rather than Celebrate Recovery. Something to explore! Actually, I might be interested in helping if you do it, so keep me posted!

  9. I am an alcoholic. I grew up in the Catholic faith. All it took was a little willingness to believe in a Power Greater than myself to begin my journey in sobriety. I used my Catholic upbringing as fuel to keep me separated from God. It was easy to remember the damning condemning God of the old testament. After I did my 5th step with my sponsor I remembered what Jesus taught in the new testament. We are all God’s children. As a loving Father, He wants us to live happy, joyous and free. To all those families still afflicted know that there is a solution. Pray for His guidance.

    • awwww it always makes me sad when i hear someone who grew up catholic has come to believe through their experience growing up (ignorant parents? poor catechesis? imperfect (stupid! ha!!) priests or nuns?) that the Catholic Faith had a “damning” God. I am SO FRICKIN LUCKY/BLESSED that wasn’t my experience growing up Catholic at all. The more people I hear from who feel as you do about this tend to be Baby Boomers. Those generations before and after the Baby Boomers don’t usually have this “going to hell” Catholic experience. I’m really sorry you did. You may not be a boomer generation person so please know my thoughts about this are purely anecdotal based on my own very limited experience. thanks so much for commenting!! sorry it took so long to respond. i’ve been slack with my blog.

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