Is that a mouthful for a topic or what! I am not an expert in this field per say however, I feel like having a husband who is a recovering alcoholic that I have been with for over 16 years gives me the experience to speak my mind on this topic. It can be a confusing question though. According to the Medical News Today online it states that “while there is no unique definition for alcoholism, it can be described as a physical compulsion, together with a mental obsession. An alcoholic is a man or woman who suffers from alcoholism, they have the distinct desire to consume alcohol beyond their capacity to control it, regardless of all common sense”. An alcoholic is the person and alcoholism is the illness”. I know people believe it is an excuse and not really a disease but it is! Read the photo above about the difference between SOBER and DRUNK this is exactly the way that it works and denial is a Big part of it all!
There is also alcohol abuse, which generally refers to “people who do not display the characteristics of alcoholism, but still have a problem with it-they are not as dependent on alcohol as an alcoholic is: they have not lost complete control over its consumption “yet”! In our life my husband admits and knows he is an alcoholic, yet there are people that try to say that he is NOT an alcoholic and has no problem. This we do not understand at all. People like this clearly have no understanding about alcoholism and are in serious denial. My husband has almost 4 years of recovering sobriety which isn’t the same as being dry and sober. When you use any addiction as a crutch most of your life it is difficult to know how to live without it. It becomes foreign to you on how to handle stresses and problems that come up in your life when before you masked it all with alcohol, now you no longer have that crutch to numb you thru it.
My husband and I attend AA meetings together on the weekends which has been so amazing for us because we get to be around people that understand what we have gone thru and continue to go thru because they have lived it too. My husband was once the biggest master manipulator, liar, cheat, thief. He would do anything he had too so he could go out and drink. He would hide booze out in the shed. He was very verbally abusive which trickled down to the children. In his words “his next drink was what was most important”. His reality of life was no where near the truth. He told himself lies to make himself feel better for what he was doing. The way the family suffers at the hands of the alcoholic is just something awful, terribly devastating the way addiction tears people apart and destroys so many lives.
I myself abused alcohol and drugs when I was younger so I was confused whether or not I was an alcoholic. I am not. I never had the mental obsession, only during the time of drinking and using did I NEED that stuff. When I chose to quit and move forward with my life that was it for me I left those friends and that life behind me and I never struggled with it, so I know I abused alcohol and drugs but that was the extent of my addictions.
The most important thing to know is that if you are questioning whether or not you have a problem. If you feel you are spinning out of control. If you feel you NEED that substance to function. If it has caused any problems with your job, family, or personal life in any way, then chances are you do have a problem. Whether or not you are just abusing or addicted I can’t answer that, only you can seek out the help you need and choose for yourself. To be a witness to the amazing transformation in my husband tells me that recovery programs do work IF you work them, because they don’t just work themselves. If you are willing to SURRENDER (that is the key word here) then your life will change. You can’t go to a meeting or program and expect that alone will change things for you because it will not, you have to do the hard work ,and what’s the reward?……..A brand new wonderful CLEAN life for you and your loved ones!
We have lost people to addiction. We have watched marriages and families fall apart. We have watched people struggle. There is so much destruction within the walls of alcoholism it is truly amazing when you start to recover and heal to look back and see just how sick and how evil addictions really are! My husband and I talk about it all the time. Addictions take over your mind and hold you prisoner and tell you everything you want to hear. You see addiction will convince you that it is everyone else with the problem and not you! The truth is it takes over your life until it controls your life and sometimes it will take your life.
The reason I wrote my book “MARRIED UNDER THE INFLUENCE” BY Harmony Rose is to share it with others who I know felt ashamed and isolated like I did. I couldn’t tell people for many years what I was going thru because I was told that I was the crazy one and it wasn’t his drinking that was the problem it was me! That is what alcoholism does, it drives that person to believe a false sense of reality and convinces them that the alcoholism isn’t the problem it’s everyone else. Truth is addictions can take the most amazing person you know and turn them into someone you do not know. It is such a debilitating disease that without help I believe you will suffer. It is just as debilitating to be dry and sober than it is to be drunk and clueless!
Whatever recovery program works for you reach out and get help today. The most important thing to know is that alcoholism/addiction of any kind is about so much more than just putting down the bottle, the needle, the pills, the pot, Etc. it is about working from the inside out. People use addictions to escape things but the problem is it will follow you until you face your demons whatever they may be. Once you begin to face your challenges being sober in recovery you will see them start to resolve one by one. Each day you will feel better than the day before. But life happens, there will be big challenges that happen in sobriety as well but the best day for you will be when something big happens and before when you use to grab for the bottle to make it go away you will find yourself not even wanting to grab that bottle because the tools you have now are much more powerful than any bottle could ever be and one day at a time piece by piece your life will get better and you will wonder how you ever lived that way feeling as good as you do now ,nothing could ever replace that peaceful feeling knowing “YOU GOT THIS”!!
Wishing you Peace & Serenity……….Harmony