July 2, 2023


This blog post may be stating the obvious, however, I have learned not to assume when it comes to my client’s care and the tools available when struggling and craving substances.   

Bill W. has been a friend to many people struggling with addiction. Whether NA, CA, or any other spin off, they all owe a tribute to him. The concept of “you are not alone” is powerful juju.  

One of the ways to head off a relapse is to reach out to a sponsor or loved one for help. Well, I have stated many times in previous posts and in my groups the danger of relying on one method to help you when in need. Too many of my clients have depended on a person answering the phone when they are in danger of relapsing, and no one answers. The next move for them was to hit a bar or drug saying, “hell with it”, just one drink or hit.   

For those of you who are in recovery and have been to train stations, public venues, and airports know how hard it is at times to not park yourselves at the bar or liquor area. This is especially true at airports where there are often hours of delays and nothing to do except think about that one drink at the bar.  

The next time you are at a public venue or even at a cocktail party know this, “paging Bill W.”.  Let’s use the airport as an example. When craving or in trouble of relapsing, go to the public announcement desk and ask the person there “could you please page Bill W. and have him meet me at Starbucks, or any other non-bar area. The only people who will recognize this page are fellow members of the unique club of recovery people.  

I know embarrassment may stop you from reaching out, but please push past that feeling. You need to understand that the masses haven’t a clue about who Bill W. is. It will just be another page that only those in the club know someone is in distress. This is your life, and if a simple page can save you from falling, use it. I have never heard of anyone doing this and no one showing up. I have heard that multiple people have shown up when used.  

Just another note, it is not uncommon for those in recovery at cocktail parties to notice others drinking nonalcoholic beverages. This is pretty common in the Washington political circles, and it is not unusual for someone to approach that person and say hi, I’m a friend of Bill W. The response will either be “yes, I know him” or “sorry I don’t know him”, either way it is a fun way for those in this unique club to meet other members.  

Mind, Body, Spirit…Balance! 

Vinnie Strumolo, CEO, CCO, LMFT