Understanding Alcoholism

It is so hard for people who do not have an addiction to understand those who do. Until her dying day, my Mother refused to believe I was an Alcoholic. She saw alcoholics as homeless people in back lanes drinking out of paper bags.

When I told my Mother there was something wrong with me she said, “You just drink a little too much dear, it is just a case of will power.” Alcoholics used to hear this all the time; however it is wonderful we have come so far in understanding that Alcoholism is a serious addiction, or as some would like to call it, a disease.

As a recovering alcoholic who has not had a drink for fourteen years, I can tell you first hand what this hateful addiction does to people, and what it is like to live your life with your mind and body screaming for alcohol.

I asked myself: Am I an alcoholic?

I found out when I went to Alcoholics Anonymous that there are different types of Alcoholics, and after hearing other people’s stories I even managed to convince myself that maybe I was not an alcoholic after all. I did not drink every day. I did not drink at work. I had never ended up in the drunk tank; in fact I didn’t even know there was such a thing until I went to A.A. I had not lost my job, I had not lost my family. But I had to face reality, and the reality was I was a binge drinker.

Binge drinking

Once I had that first drink I could not stop and would drink until I passed out. For me this was a blessing as I suffered from Insomnia. However, I would wake up the next day with a terrible hangover, feeling like death warmed over and swear I would never drink again. But after only three days my mind and body had completely forgotten the hellish hangover and was once again screaming for Alcohol.

This is what people need to understand: When you are in the midst of a serious addiction you will do whatever you have to do to get that drug, in order to end the craving that has taken over your mind and body.


Photo credit: MarcoMontero93 – Own work https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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