crosshatch (sheeppainter) wrote in twelvers,

Are you an alcoholic/addict?

I posted this as a comment to another post, but since I often see and hear confusion here, in other journals, and EVERYwhere, I thought it was worth repeating to all. I talk primarily about alcohol but this applies to all mind/mood altering substances with some variation depending on the substance (i.e., with opiates the craving begins before use and is satisfied by using; with stimulants, the craving begins AFTER putting the substance in your body)

Alcoholism (addiction) has absolutely nothing to do with how much or how often one drinks/uses.
Just thought you should know that.

It has to do with three things.
You can determine for yourself if that may be you, or if you may be a "potential" alcoholic/addict.

Physical: When you put alcohol in your body, you react differently than other people...a craving for more. I didn't ALWAYS end up drunk. But it got progressively worse. Sober, I would decide to have a drink or two. And that would be all I intended. Yet once I started, I almost always had to drink more, and eventually nearly every time drank until I passed out. This is a progressive disease. Some people fall within that spectrum of "not every time" to "almost every time" at different places or times, but again, it makes no difference how OFTEN or how MUCH. What is important is how your body reacts to alcohol. Alcohol is a poison to the human body. If you "crave" more, there is a good chance that you are alcoholic as "normal" people do not have that craving.

Mental: I lack the reasonable, logical ability to rationalize my way out of an obsession about alcohol. Sometimes I don't even give it a thought...I just drink. But if I get the "idea" of having a drink in my head, I cannot fight it. Or better yet, I can fight it, but I always lose. I always end up forgetting what happened before, rationalize it, justify it, ignore it, minimize it until eventually I drink again. Once I have one drink, the physical reaction takes place and the craving starts. Sometimes the time between drinks is a day. Sometimes a week. Sometimes years. One man stayed bone dry for 25 years and as soon as he had the one drink it set him off into an unstoppable spree that killed him. I lack the inability to react or think rationally with respect to alcohol regardless of how successful or rational I am in other areas.

Spiritual: this has nothing to do with God or religion. One's "spirit" is the driving force(s), ideas, ways of thinking and reacting to the world. My spirit was sick. I was driven, and still am at times, by fear, anger, dishonesty and selfishness. BETWEEN drinks, I grew more and more restless, irritable and unhappy with my life. Sometimes other things would temporarily appease those feelings but the ALWAYS grew until I rank again. Sometimes the period between them would be hours, Sometimes days or weeks. Other people would be spree drinkers that could go for months or years. But they, as I am, are still alcoholic because of their reaction to alcohol once they put it in their body.

You decide. Look at your OWN experiences and determine whether or not you have this thing. If you have had good reason to stop, FOR GOOD, an find that you cannot, perhaps you should consider this.
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