What is Alcoholism
Apr 28, 2012 Alcoholic Partners
Alcoholism is a disease. It is a chronic disease that creates a physiological state where a person's body is actually dependent upon alcohol. Without this alcohol this person's body will have difficulty functioning and will experience any number of withdrawal symptoms. The problem, however, extends far beyond the physical. Trying to get into the alcoholic's head and to see through his or her eyes is a good first step.
When you are an alcoholic, your desire for alcohol may very well come to overtake your life. You may find yourself constantly thinking about your last drink, your current drink, and where your next drink will come from. You may come to plan your life around the availability of alcohol. You may progress to a point where you hide or lie about your drinking just so that you can continue these addictive patterns without anyone knowing. In short, you may become obsessed.
Whether you realize it or not, you may lose control. You may find it impossible to go any length of time without having a drink. You might begin to start making deals with yourself and your loved ones to go without drinking for a period of time only to find that you go back on your word.
You may rationalize it away by thinking that you do not have a problem, that you should be allowed to have a drink and that your problems make the alcohol necessary. You will tell yourself anything as long as it leads to you getting another drink.
Your life may begin to deteriorate. You may begin missing work or performing below the standards that you once lived up to. You may begin to distance yourself from friends and loved ones so that they will not realize the extent of your drinking.
Worst of all, you may develop a severe drinking problem but still be able to maintain your life. Sometimes your problem with alcohol can co-exist with your normal life. You may be an alcoholic who makes it to work every day, spends time with your family, and fulfills all your obligations. You can do all this and still be living with a chronic disease that no one knows about but you.
Alcoholism is a disease that is about more than just drinking. It is about more than missing out on plans and special events in the lives of your loved ones. It is about missing out on life for as long as you continue to drink. You are not there for those you love, and you are not there for yourself. You are trapped in a world of pain. You may try to get out time and time again, but your every effort may fail. In short, you feel like there is be nothing you can do.
Your loved one with alcoholism becomes trapped in the push and pull between wanting a normal, healthy life and feeling the physiological need for alcohol. Fighting this addiction can seem to be an insurmountable obstacle. It might seem easier to give in, and this is what many do.
Beyond fearing for the alcoholic's relationships is the fear for his or her health and life. Alcohol damages the body as much as it wounds the soul. Knowing the possible physical consequences of prolonged heavy drinking can further drive home the seriousness of alcoholism.