Here's a chunk of a recent conversation from Facebook
(The picture is...) Jeremiah Charles I like it better when I read you referring to yourself as "sober" vs. that labeling of yourself as an "alcoholic". It sounds like a more positive and constructive way to view yourself.
Psychologically, is that not more and better geared toward the result that you intend?
It's always struck me as very dis-empowering the way some will constantly place that negative image in their subconscious mind daily and then struggle to break free from it.
Sorry if I sound in a way I do not intend to sound. I hope you don't take this the wrong way. I appreciate you and all that you do and am only coming from a place of wanting the best for you and yours :-)
and Jeremiah continued...
This Jeremiah is clearly NOT a bull frog <smile>. Rather a sensitive sort I would have agreed with completely some five months ago. But not now. Here's why. (Learned with grateful acknowledgment to the authors of the "Big Book" for their pioneering effort & insghts.)
And please NOTE: I am neither a medical doctor nor an experienced counselor and I am not an expert on alcoholic-anything except my own experience. That said...
Alcoholism is a disease of body & mind, which combines a physical allergy with a mental obsession. There are many in the world who believe being an alcoholic is a choice people have and that it's a matter of will-power to quit drinking or not. They are wrong.
Ask members of the medical profession and a few million recovering alcoholics and you will learn how very mistaken that point of view is.
Mini "Are You an Alcoholic?" Quiz:
1. If when you start your day committed to not taking a drink, do you end your day have kept that commitment— or did you drink? (The alcoholic will almost always drink. I did.)
2. When you begin drinking can you set a limit or intention on how many drinks you will have and have just that many— or do you have more. (The alcoholic will almost always have more— frequently LOTS more. I did.)
3. Once you start drinking can you stop at anytime— or will you have to be forced to stop, i.e.: you pass out, get sick, land in jail, etceteras. (The alcoholic will almost always stop ONLY when forced to. I did.)
Heavy drinkers who are NOT alcoholic (but may become one) can drink and drink and drink, BUT they CAN not drink when they choose. They CAN set a limit before hand and stick to it and they CAN stop at anytime, everytime. An alcoholic canNOT do those things.
An alcoholic has a craving for alcohol that is never satisfied. Tolerance usually increases over time, as does the amount the alcoholic can drink. Normal people do not do this. When they've had enough, they quit drinking or they get sick and stop. When an alcoholic has too much to drink, and gets sick, after the sickness of the moment passes, they'll pick up another drink.
You can commit an alcoholic to a hospital or institution, force him or her to go throught treatment & painful withdrawel, and threaten them with jail, a life of disability and/or death... and in a number of days they will be drunk again.
The dream of almost EVERY alcoholic is that eventually they will be able to have a drink, or two, and control their drinking and their lives.
The fact for almost EVERY alcoholic is that there is no cure. Once an alcoholic— a REAL one— always. The "first drink" is suicide. The number of cases that prove this are as abundant as they are heart-breaking and life-taking.
Again: Alcoholism is a disease of body & mind, which combines a physical allergy with a mental obsession.
"My name is John and I am an alcoholic," is a statement of fact. It is a declaration that OPENS the possibilities of living one-day-at-a-time, sober, free, whole & complete, with my wife & kids and my life back & work, celebrating the miracle GOD gave me when He stopped my drinking again. (And believe me, GOD did it. NOT me. I had tried for years. And, it IS a miracle.)
And it CLOSES the possibilities that I will ever drink again.
Step 1. We admitted we were powrless over alcohol— and that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of GOD as we understood Him.
The Gift of Despairation and A Miracle.
"My name is John and I am an alcoholic," and although not "proud of it" in the conventional sense, I am increasingly grateful that's who & what I AM.
Please, let me know what you think & feel in the Comments box...
I appreciate you!