Alcoholism is a disease
Alcoholism is the disease of alcohol addiction. Alcoholics come from all walks of life. Only a small percentage of alcoholics are ‘bums’ or skid-row types. The rest have families, friends, and jobs, and are functioning fairly well except when it comes to their drinking and the effect it has on other parts of their lives. An alcoholic is someone whose drinking causes a continuing and growing problem in any department of their life.
Alcoholics drink because they love the effect that alcohol produces. As one put it alcohol makes me wittier, prettier, and titter. Alcohol is used as an escape from emotional pain.
This is OBSESSION
Many an alcoholic has tried to try to do without alcohol; the withdrawal symptoms are so overwhelming they go back to drinking because drinking seems to be the only way to get rid of the agony.
THIS IS ADDICTION
“Most alcoholics would love to be able to drink socially. A lot of time and effort is spent trying to control their drinking so they will be able to drink like other people. They may try drinking on weekends or drinking only a certain drink. But they can never be sure of being able to stop drinking when they want to. They end up getting drunk even when they had promised themselves they wouldn’t.
THIS IS COMPULSION
It is the nature of this disease that the alcoholic does not believe they are ill. Nor that they have a problem with drinking. This is DENIAL. Hope for recovery lies in their ability to recognize a need for help.
Alcoholism is a family disease. It affects the alcoholic and their relationships, employment, childhood, parenthood, love affairs, marriages, etc. Those really close to an alcoholic are affected most as they are caught up in the behavior of another person. They react to an alcoholic’s behavior. They see that the drinking is out of hand and they try to control it. Shame is felt in the public scenes but in private they try to handle it. It isn’t long before they feel they are to blame and take on the hurts, fears, and guilt of an alcoholic.
Loved ones begin to count the number of drinks the alcoholic is having. They pour liquor down drains, search the house for hidden bottles, and listen for the sound of opening cans. All their thinking is directed at what the alcoholic is doing or not doing and how to get them to stop.
THIS IS THEIR OBSESSION
Watching someone you love slowly kill themselves with alcohol is painful. While alcoholics don’t seem to worry about the bills, their job, their children, or the condition of their health, the people around them begin to worry. They make the mistake of covering up. They fix everything, make excuses, tell little lies to mend damaged relationships, and they worry some more.
THIS IS THEIR ANXIETY
‘Sooner or later the alcoholic’s behavior makes those who love them angry. They realize that the alcoholic is not taking responsibility for anything, is telling lies, and using them. They have begun to feel that the alcoholic doesn’t love them and they want to strike back, punish, and make the alcoholic pay for the hurt and frustration caused.
THIS IS THEIR ANGER
Those who are close to the alcoholic begin to pretend. They accept promises, they want to believe the problem has gone away each time there is a sober period. When every good sense tells them there is something wrong with the alcoholic’s drinking and thinking, they still hide how they feel and what they know.
THIS IS THEIR DENIAL
‘Perhaps the most severe damage to those who have shared some part of life with an alcoholic comes in the form of the nagging belief that they are somehow at fault; they were not up to it all, not attractive enough, not clever enough to have solved this problem for the one they love. They think it was something they did or did not do.
If you are addicted to alcohol then you are suffering from alcoholism call ARCA JHB to schedule an assessment.
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