The alcoholic Fellowship I'm apart of learned early (as in from THE very beginning of the meeting of members #1 and #2) that the rubber-met-the-road when one alcoholic "ministered" to another. It's in that same spirit that I've taken to respond to selected comments as posts. Hence this conversation from Jeremiah Charles | with my comments in between.
Jeremiah C... I appreciate what you are saying and, again, am glad you are licking this affliction...or at least the symptoms. Upon reading it, again doing so again, one thing struck me. It sounded very familiar. And it sounded familiar because I have had this discussion with another member(?) not too long ago and his response bore striking similarities. When I hear something like this, I take a step back.
John F... Because (the step back)?
I'll guess your anteanna went up, a red flag appeared, something like that. (I'll continiue as if you agree with that assessment.) Next time that happens, take a look at you & yours FIRST, before you conclude there's something fishy and you should be on-guard. That "step back" is a perfect & proper set-up for inviting a seek-and-find of "What's wrong." I'm also guessing that your agenda is you looking for faults, not for finding value. Just look and see Jeremiah C... <smile>
Jeremiah C... I did a little digging (not an exhaustive search) and found some information about alcohol allergies. They do not seem to have anything to do with addiction and the symptoms are different than what one would identify with what is commonly known as an "alcoholic". And, while I do understand that you and those in similar circumstances would do well to steer clear of alcohol to avoid spiraling out of control like you have said you do, it seems to me through observation and a little research, that the alcohol is only the means to the end and that it is merely a symptom of an underlying issue in the body.
John F... So now it's time for a more exhaustive search. You'll learn just how much agreement within the medical field there is for the allergy and the "disease" of alcoholism. Searching our literature you'll find that it is a two-fold proposition:
A physical disease and a mental obsession.
Jeremiah, we (most of us) drink to self-medicate a variety of mental challenges— character defects and the difficulties they cause. Drinking relieves the stress. Drowns the FADWAS (Fear. Anger. Dispair. Worry. Anxiety. Sadness.) so we have a momentary respite from their negative effects on our lives & work. And alcohol does a great job— until it doesn't anymore.
Alcoholics— as differentiated from other drinkers, even of the heavy variety— have a craving. You don't have it. My wife doesn't. I do.
You guys can STOP drinking. I & we can't. It takes over. Can you have a couple of glasses of wine (or whatever) have enough and say "That's it. That's all"...? Alcoholics don't/can't do that. We marvel at a partner who can get up from the table with a third of a glass of wine left in their glass and leave. How is THAT possible? Alcoholics would NEVER do that. Ever.
No rocks thrown, but this is one you WILL NOT GET from the website of any other than an alcoholic or the medical people who deal with us.
Jeremiah C... It seems that, without actually addressing this causal factor...
John F... And there you have it. How do you KNOW we don't address the causal factor/ You just made an assumption and it incorrect. I'll let you continue, but with that understanding that you're on the wrong track.
Jeremiah C... (continuing) ...that removing one substance is not fully addressing it and you may seek another addicting behavior to replace the old one, albeit perhaps less damaging. For instance, I knew a man once who had this issue and told me that it ran in his family. Most of the ones afflicted sought alcohol, some drugs. One particular uncle of his was a teetotaler on religious grounds, being a Southern Baptist preacher, or some such. It so happens that, while he did not indulge in drunkenness or drug use, he had an overwhelming urge to overindulge in chocolate! He couldn't get enough of the stuff!
So, this is kind-of what I am getting at with this whole subject. I truly believe that [your program], while good intentioned, unnecessarily demonizes alcohol itself and does not address what causes such ones to have such a reaction to it and other substances...
John F... Not sure if "ignorance is bliss" in your case Jeremiah, but the above is "lack of knowledge or information" which is what ignorance is.
I get you're "pissed off" (whatever, it's got a "charge" for you) at our "demonization' of alcohol, and want to rush to our defense— at least mine. PLEASE, DO NOT HELP ME accross the street. Ask me if I want your help first. I may be going in the opposite direction <smile>.
A demon is as a demon does, and alcohol for me and— and literally, proven, recorded, including unaccountable death certificates— 10's of millions (read that again and get a sense of the roundness of that number) of men & women around the world— is a death sentence. We drink, we die.
Please, don't read what I just wrote lightly. Darkly... yes. It is.
Jeremiah, you're just going to have to read the Big Book to get this. I go to meetings almost daily (at least 4 times a week), speak with my sponsor for hours each week (two, three, more times), study for a couple of hours every day, and do 12 Step work every day, and pray every day to ADDRESS THE CAUSES and I don't drink <smile>. I'm sober. Four months plus. And I know folks who do what I do even after decades of sobriety.
There is no CURE for alcoholism.
There IS a cure for past character defects and the life & work difficulties they cause AND there is a Spiritual Awakening (fast or slow, usually accumulative over time, especially for the guy who authored the idea of GET RICH SLOW) where one "gets right" with his or her "Higher Power" (I call mine GOD) and embraces "Not my WILL but THY WILLl" with GOD as the director of the movie of our life.
Jeremiah C... And, by doing so, they keep the person trapped in a cycle of self-flagellation like an Opus Dei priest who wakes up every morning and flogs himself with the label "alcoholic" and psychologically keeps people dependent on their group and it's fraternal support system.
John F... Ah, another diservice Dan Brown performed for the readers & movie goers of the world. Check out http://www.opusdei.org/ to learn what those psychotic whackos are really up to <smile>.
Jeremiah C... Forgive me if I am crossing any lines between us. It is not my intent to undermine any recovery you are going through. And, while I have experienced things related to this vicariously through others close to me, it is not something I personally deal with, so I am approaching this strictly in an objective, academic sense. At the same time, I just have concern that ones like yourself are not getting the best treatment possible to help in a more lasting way. Does what I am saying make sense? I hope you don't take this as me trying to debate you on the issue or be argumentative. If it is better to do so, this can end here. And, my apologies for my lack of writing skills, as I know I am addressing a master :-)
John F... JC, you ain't crossin no lines Mutha'. You're a freakin' Gift from GOD Dude! You have NO idea how wonderfully you are serving me. You MAKE me look deeper, higher, learn more, get off some shit, and eat some shit, and talk some shit, and... Oh dear. I wrote "shit." Now that in itself is liberating. So, thanks for that, too!
You are serving me HUGE Jeremiah C... Huge!
PS. Your "I am approaching this strictly in an objective... ense." I suggest you approach it withOUT objecting first. Look for what's right about it. Find value rather than fault. Once that's done, look for what's missing that will bring about the ideal YOU're after. Might just be a better way.
Please, let me know what you think & feel in the Comments box...
I appreciate you!