Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I've been thinking alot about alcohol lately. It's an interesting substance, to say the least. It transforms. It changes. I find it to be worse than many drugs. (not to say that drugs are good obviously.) But for some reason to some alcohol seems so innocent, so safe. I've never been one for alcohol really. I think most of it tastes horrible. I like the girly fruity drinks, and even them I'm lucky to finish one in an evening. Sure we have alcohol in the house sometimes. A few beers etc. It sits here for months on end.
I was reading online on one of my boards that I'm on a discussion on alcohol. The effects on the drinker, the family, the community as a whole. Some of the thoughts and opinions were really interesting. I found this and thought it was interesting so just had to share.

"Alcoholism is a family disease. The disease affects all those who have a relationship with a problem drinker. Those of us closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to the alcoholic's behavior. We focus on them, what they do, where they are, how much they drink. We try to control their drinking for them. We take on the blame, guilt, and shame that really belong to the drinker. We can become as addicted to the alcoholic, as the alcoholic is to alcohol. We, too, can become ill."

The part I find most interesting is that the disease itself can become as addictive to the people around it as the alcohol for the alcoholic. Wow that's powerful. I would have never thought about it that way. That's scary, if you ask me. I'm not sure exactly where I'm trying to go with this, I just found this all interesting so thought I'd throw it out there and see what others think. Powerful stuff really!


Anonymous said...

Signs you're an alcoholic:

Frequently being the only one in the room with a drink in your hand.

Drinking before dinner without occasion.

Always "BYOB"-ing rather than go without for a couple hours whether or not it's appropriate for the event.

Continuously drinking to the point that you engage in obnoxious and embarassing behavior in public, around family members, and around children.

Buying your alcohol in bulk (e.g. buying a case for a weekend when a 12 pack will suffice, buying wine in a box instead of a bottle).

An unawareness of your own tolerance for alcohol.

Em said...

Absolutely alcoholism is a family disease. It affects everyone in the family, whether you're enabling the alcoholic by trying to hide their disease from others; trying to "out" them and make them aware of their issues; or just simply in denial about the entire issue. No matter how you respond to the alcoholic in the family, you're affected in some way.

One of the things that Al-Anon teaches is that while we can't change other people or their behaviors, we can change ourselves and how we respond to others. The most important thing that we can do for an alcoholic is acknowledge the problem exists and refuse to enable them or support them in their drinking. We can be there for emotional support when THEY choose to change their own behavior, but we should never enable or excuse their drinking. For an alcoholic, ANY reason will do to justify their drinking, and we, as family to the alcoholic, need to recognize that and refuse to allow ourselves to be sucked into the alcoholic's justifications.

Just realize, if you ever deal with alcoholism in your own family, that no matter how hard you beat your head against their brick wall of denial, THEY have to want to change themselves, and all you can do is refuse to buy into their excuses and be there for them when they are finally ready to make changes in their life.

You have some great information, and I love the quote you shared. Sorry for the long rant/ lecture!