If you had a drinking problem and have been separated for over a month how long should you stay separated if you've started counseling and AA meetings and meeting your wife and kids on the weekend?

CONGRATULATIONS on seeking out AA! I for one am proud of you and it took guts, but will take more guts for you to face YOU and admit you are an alcoholic. You don't have a drinking problem, YOU ARE AN ALCOHOLIC! When you can stand up and admit that to your peers at AA that is the biggest step you will ever take in your life.The person who gets hurt the worst with alcohol is YOU! It took you a while to get to be an alcoholic and it's going to take you awhile to stay away from alcohol. Sometimes it's genetic (but can be beaten) and sometimes it's issues in your past that could have brought you to the state you are in. You are going to have close calls (wanting to have that one drink) and you'll need all the energy and soul searching and support from your AA friends to get through this. YOU WILL GET BETTER, but you have to do it! If you want to help yourself rid yourself of the toxins of alcohol make a serious pact with yourself. Start eating well! Get your doctor to send you to a good nutritionist and also get on some Vitamin B supplements (it's a scientific fact that Vitamin Bs help with alcoholism). Talk to your doctor about the Vitamins. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day because it helps flush out those toxins. If and when you feel like a drink try tricking you mind, by drinking a juice such as orange juice (minus the Vodka) or, Coke (minus the rum.) Often drinking a cold glass of water with ice cubes or (believe it or not) brushing your teeth with a SOFT TOOTH BRUSH and lightly brushing your tongue (where your taste buds are) will help curb most of the cravings. When you feel down or perhaps depressed try to remember that you got through that 5 minutes, then the 1/2 hour to an hour, a full day, then a full week and on and on. That takes guts! You should be very proud of yourself. GET RID OF YOUR OLD DRINKING BUDDIES! You are going to be a new person, and old drinking buddies will miss the old you and you could quite easily be sucked back into the abyss of never-never-land. If you can afford it join a gym and work out like crazy. Using up that adrenalin really helps you to sleep at night when you are alone with your thoughts. Nights are always the hardest for all of us whether it's problem-solving, alcoholism, drugs. If you can't afford to go to a gym, then buy a secondhand bike and start biking like crazy (a fast growing sport in British Columbia, Canada) or jogging. Get that adrenalin down! You should keep in contact with your family, but, give it a good 6 - 8 months or ask the advice of one of the counselors at the AA meetings. You have left fear and mistrust in your family and you have to gain it back, so when you do go back you want to feel healthy and ready to beat the world without alcohol. Go for dinner or a coffee with your wife and let her know about your progress. Keep her part of it, and don't lie to her. If you are having a bad day tell her. She sounds like a wonderful woman and if you want to make it you will.Good Bless!