Over-drinking is something that I search out with people when I socialize at events like weddings, eating at restaurants, someone sitting at a bar, or at a private party at someone’s house. Am I alone with this trait since I lost my husband and daughter from their addiction? I find being with family members that I am starting to watch and count someone’s drinks like I did with Richie.
Lori asked me once if I thought she drank too much. I answered, “If you are asking the question, you may be. Do you think you are an alcoholic?”
“An Alcoholic? I’m not an alcoholic, Mom! I drink the same as everyone when we have gatherings.”
I can remember that conversation so long ago…coming up to nine years after losing her on November 22, 2006..two days before Thanksgiving.
The more we are invited to gatherings, I see heavy drinking. No one gets drunk, fights, slur their words or falls down making a fool of themselves…but, I see the drinks flowing all day. No one seems to take a break from the drinking. It’s not a favorite drink that they stick to but they have fun mixing different ones.
It brings back the years that I used to count Richie’s drinks when I was rarely out with him having fun with his drinking buddies. He never drank at home or weekends with his family…but he died at forty-five years of age in 1985 from his over-drinking.
I guess drinking becomes a problem when it causes problems in ones’ life. But, again, how many drinkers stop to say, “Wow, I seem to be drinking a lot, I am waking up with a hangover too often, we fight a lot with me staying out drinking, or I pick up drinking the next day even after I get sick from it?” Substance abusers don’t see the future path that they are traveling on at a young age. To them, it’s a fun time. It takes years for drinking to become problems in ones’ lifetime.
My memory goes to Lori saying, “This may sound crazy, Mom, but the best days of my life were when I was drinking.”
To her, it was, but she gave up her family who loved her, friends, fun, and died too soon. All from the fun of drinking!
So, I try not to be judgmental when I sit amongst the drinkers. I pray if another family member notices their own actions with drinking going too far that they have the strength to pull back and look at the situation.
I guess you could say that is an odd question for a parent to ask after losing a husband and daughter to their addiction. Why do our loved ones turn away from us instead of towards us for help.? Every time Al and I tried to help Lori, or even our whole family, she’d remark she was fine and had no problem.
The Patient Privacy Act gave Lori the right to omit family completely in her counseling sessions, even though we believed that she needed to hear what really happened to her while growing up. I believe that this law is also as enabling as the family. It protects the substance abuser to the point of them not getting the past out into the open to see how much we can help them.
No matter how much we yell, scream, threaten, punish or ask them over and over again why they can’t get their life together, they look at us as being smothering. I had to lose two people I loved to realize that they don’t know themselves why they are going down this path and only they can pull themselves out of this dark hole and we can only love and support them. Sometimes, that is not enough.
Lori feared dying like her father when he was forty-five and she went down the same path to only be laid to rest by his side at thirty-nine years of age at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset, Massachusetts. All my prayers and rosaries went unanswered. I live on believing that God is all love and mercy and had a reason that I will never understand to take her home early. He gives life to us and then we belong to Him and he takes us to our home in heaven when he needs us.
Counselors and doctors need to dig deep into the addicts past to find out “why” they are using more than trying to fix the disease. I tell the patients when I talk to them that they have to get the garbage out of them to heal. Holding the pain and resentment will keep them stuck. That is what happened to Lori. Instead of talking about the events and recovering, she held it in and drank to take the pain away to only end her life.
Parents and family members become the enemy in the addicted’s eyes and mind. If others in their life drank and treated them badly, than it’s hard to talk and forgive. To become their friend, we need to “listen” to them when they want to open up to us. We need to “show” them we love them, not tell them. We have to let them know it’s the disease we hate not them.
I wish I had all the answers when I give talks or hold an addict in my arms knowing they are hurting and are frightened to return to a world with no more drinking or taking drugs. They forget how to be happy and live what we call a normal life again.
In my book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict, a high percent of them talk about turning back to God and their faith. We have pushed the most important person out of our lives..our Maker who loves us. He gives us choices and we have to choose to either get better by reaching out for help or staying with the comfort, which is really their killer, in the world of drugs and alcohol.
How many of us have waited too long to learn what our loved ones were all about before their passing? Did opportunities slip by to tell them they were loved? Or were the doors to forgiveness closed because of pride?
A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje is a beautiful story which follows the author’s inner thoughts and intense emotions as she fights the prognosis of her father’s cancer and learns too late about his remarkable military status. This is the story of her journey. Read about Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm formally from East Falmouth and his last stay in So. Dennis, who had been one of the 26th Yankee Division commanding officers during WWII. He fought in some of the famous battles like Metz, Lorraine and The Battle of the Bulge.
This memoir reaches those who have suffered from losing a loved one, a military serviceman or woman, have no direction in life, wondered what Medjugorje is all about with the ten secrets being given to six visonaries in Bosnia, and those of us who have pushed God completely out of our lives. Get the true feeling of the devotion Hospice gives to families. Learn how we take our veteran for granted not realizing those who fought have done for us. This story is also about family, love and miracles. This is a book of many lessons for both men and women.
Believers, who have strayed from their faith, could find A Spiritual Renewal to be the key needed to open a door to a journey back to God. In a world that is learning how not to believe, disillusioned by church scandals, distracted by TV, the Internet, and a busy lifestyle, this memoir could be just what is needed to get those from all spiritual viewpoints back on track. ~ William Potter for Reader's Choice Reviews
After reading this book, maybe we can just slow down for a moment and contemplate what is really important to us in our own world...the people in our lives whom we love and care about and a God who will never abandon us. Thank you, Alberta, for helping me to strengthen my own faith.
~ Gail Brazil, Reader, Topsfield, Massachusetts
Tom Cirignano Phil Paleologos Alberta
February 6, 2014, I hosted a program for families at the Lakeville Library in Massachusetts. Two recovery alcoholics talked about how they got involved with alcohol that turned their lives upside down.
I had an hour to talk about how the family members suffer silently ourselves trying to deal with the confusion, fear, enabling, denial, and some of us, living with physical abuse. This video is worth watching. I hope it helps just one person.
Purchase What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira
Taken from the Overview from www.medjugorje.org
Medjugorje is a tiny, remote village in Bosnia.
Since 1981, in a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina named Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing and giving messages to the world. She tells us that God has sent Her to our world, and these years She is spending with us are a time of Grace granted by God. In Her own words She tells us, "I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God".
Our Lady's mission is one of peace. She has come to earth to reeducate us and to help us convert and recenter our lives back to God. Our Lady's role has always been one of guiding people to Her Son, Jesus. What an amazing opportunity we have before us! Our Lady's call to conversion is urgent, and we should respond with all our hearts.
Our Lady continues to give messages to six people from the village of Medjugorje: Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana, Vicka, and Ivanka. These six people (referred to as "visionaries") have received apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary since June 24, 1981. In addition to Her public messages, Our Lady is to give each of the six visionaries a total of ten "secrets" of happenings that will occur on earth in the near future. Some of the secrets pertain to the whole world while others concern the visionaries themselves or the local village. Only one of the secrets has so far been revealed by the visionaries. In the third secret Our Lady has promised to leave a supernatural, indestructible, and visible sign on the mountain where she first appeared. Our Lady said: "This sign will be given for the atheists. You faithful already have signs and you have become the sign for the atheists. You faithful must not wait for the sign before you convert; convert soon. This time is a time of grace for you. You can never thank God enough for His grace. The time is for deepening your faith, and for your conversion. When the sign comes, it will be too late for many."
When each of the six visionaries has received all ten "secrets", Our Lady will stop appearing to them on a daily basis. Currently, Marija, Vicka, and Ivan have received nine secrets, and Our Lady still appears to them every day, wherever they are, at 6:40pm. Mirjana, Jakov, and Ivanka have received all ten secrets, and Our Lady appears to them once per year for the rest of their lives. For Ivanka who received her 10th secret on May 7, 1985 it is on the anniversary of the apparitions, June 25 each year. For Jakov who received his 10th secret on September 12, 1998, it is on Christmas day each year. And for Mirjana who received her 10th secret on Christmas 1982, it is on her birthday, March 18 each year. Our Lady has also been appearing to Mirjana on the 2nd of each month since August 2, 1987 for the purpose of praying for all unbelievers. Mirjana tells us that it is very important that all of us pray for the unbelievers in the world, who are described as those who have not yet experienced God's love. No one knows when Our Lady will give the tenth secret to Marija, Ivan, and Vicka.
Once Our Lady has stopped appearing there will be three warnings given to the world. These warnings will be in the form of events on earth. They will occur within Mirjana's lifetime, and Mirjana will be a witness to them. Ten days before each of the warnings, she will advise the priest she chose for this task (Father Petar Ljubicic), who will then pray and fast with Mirjana for seven days. Then, three days before each warning is to take place, Fr. Petar will announce to the world what, where, and when the warning will take place. Fr. Petar has no choice, and must reveal each warning. After the first warning, the other two will follow in a rather short period of time. That interval will be a period of great grace and conversion. After the permanent, visible, supernatural, and indestructible sign appears on the mountain where Our Lady first appeared in Medjugorje, there will be little time for conversion. For that reason, the Blessed Virgin invites us to urgent conversion and reconciliation. The permanent sign will lead to many healings and conversions before the secrets become reality. According to Mirjana, the events predicted by the Blessed Virgin are near. By virtue of this experience, Mirjana proclaims to the world: 'Hurry, be converted; open your hearts to God.'
The ninth and tenth secrets are serious. They concern chastisement for the sins of the world. Punishment is inevitable, for we cannot expect the whole world to be converted. The punishment can be diminished by prayer and penance, but it cannot be eliminated. Mirjana says that one of the evils that threatened the world, the one contained in the seventh secret, has been averted, thanks to prayer and fasting. That is why the Blessed Virgin continues to encourage prayer and fasting: "You have forgotten that with prayer and fasting you can ward off wars, suspend natural laws."
In addition to this basic message, Mirjana related an apparition she had in 1982, which sheds some light on certain aspects of Church history. She spoke of an apparition in which satan appeared to her, and asked Mirjana to renounce Our Lady and to follow him. By doing so she could be happy in love and in life. He added that following Our Lady would only lead to suffering. Mrjana rejected him, and immediately Our Lady appeared and Satan disappeared. Then Our Lady gave Mirjana the following message:
"Excuse me for this, but you must realize that Satan exists. One day he appeared before the throne of God and asked permission to submit the Church to a period of trial. God gave him permission to try the Church for one century. This century is under the power of the devil; but when the secrets confided to you come to pass, his power will be destroyed. Even now he is beginning to lose his power and has become aggressive. He is destroying marriages, creating divisions among priests and is responsible for obsessions and murder. You must protect yourselves against these things through fasting and prayer, especially community prayer. Carry blessed objects with you. Put them in your house, and restore the use of holy water."
According to certain Catholic experts who have studied these apparitions, this message of Mirjana may shed light on the vision Pope Leo XIII had. According to them, it was after having had an apocalyptic vision of the future of the Church that Leo XIII introduced the prayer to Saint Michael, which priests used to recite after Mass up to the time of the Second Vatican Council. These experts say that the century of trials foreseen by Leo XIII is about to end.
Since the apparitions began in 1981, approximately 40 million people of all faiths, from all over the world, have visited Medjugorje and have left spiritually strengthened and renewed. Many bring back stories of miracles in the form of healings (of mind, body and spirit), supernatural visual signs, and deep conversions back to God. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones, to investigate with an open mind and heart the messages which are given to us by Our Lady of Medjugorje. I invite you to read these messages and decide for yourself how they will affect your life and that of your family.
Our Lady's messages are meant to be assembled like a mosaic. To understand the full meaning and depth of these messages, we need to study all of the messages She has given us over these last 33+ years. "By means of the messages, I wish to make a very beautiful mosaic in your hearts." (November 25, 1989). Our Lady has asked that we continually read, study, and meditate on the messages which She has given us. She said: "Little children, read every day the messages I gave you and transform them into life. I love you and this is why I call you to the way of salvation with God." (December 25, 1989).
The technique of teaching which Our Lady uses, reeducates us to be Christians. She accomplishes this by walking with us, and guiding us step by step, message by message. Today, many people think it is not important to be a Christian. Others want to live a superficial form of Christianity which is easier or more convenient than living a true Christian life. Our Lady wants to show us through Her messages the real face of Christianity. This is a long process because we as a society have strayed far from the truth and God and are slow to learn. This is true both in the Church and outside the Church. We have to accept being totally reeducated, little by little, by the Mother of God. The problem with mankind is not so much that people have bad intentions; there are plenty of good hearted people. The problem is that we sometimes don't see the truth; we are in darkness, and many of us are just blind. We do not realize that we have put ourselves into the hands of satan because we do not know how to tell the difference between right and wrong. Many of us become an image of satan without even knowing it.
I don't think that anyone could argue, regardless of religious orientation, that today's world is in a state of crisis. All one has to do is read the newspaper or watch television to be see how eroded the morals of our world have become. It is shocking to see and hear the examples of terrorism, inhumanity, cruelty, violence, abuse, drugs, war, crime, etc., etc. Much of the world has strayed far from a life centered around God and family. The answers which we need to redirect our life can be found by reading and living Our Lady's messages and Scripture.
"You are ready to commit sin, and to put yourselves in the hands of satan without reflecting." (May 25, 1987)
"Do not allow satan to gain control of your hearts, so you would be an image of satan and not of me." (January 30, 1986)
"Children, darkness reigns over the whole world. People are attracted by many things and they forget about the more important."
"Light won't reign in the world until people accept Jesus, until they live His words, which is the Word of the Gospel."
"Dear children, this is the reason for my presence among you for such a long time: to lead you on the path of Jesus. I want to save you and, through you, to save the whole world. Many people now live without faith; some don't even want to hear about Jesus, but they still want peace and satisfaction! Children, here is the reason why I need your prayer: prayer is the only way to save the human race." (July 30, 1987)
We must realize that Satan is real. He uses us for his own end and purposes. His main purpose is destruction. Destruction of love, peace, faith, family, and life. Just as God gave David 5 stones with which to defeat Goliath, Our Lady is also giving us 5 Stones or Weapons we can use to defeat satan. They are:
Daily Prayer (Of the Rosary)
Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays
Daily Reading of the Bible
Click Here, for a detailed look at these 5 Stones or Weapons to conquer satan.
WHAT HAS JESUS DONE FOR YOU?
Read more about Alberta's journey to Medjugorje and how it changed her life in her memoir A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje at:
Are you going crazy trying to understand why the alcoholic and drug user can't stop their habit? Are you drained trying to help them? Are you in fear watching them slowly kill themselves? What do they need from us to help them want the desire to get professional help? What do they want from the professionals? This book will also help the substance abuser realize that they are not going crazy and alone with their suffering in silence. This is a family book for every member to come to read the deep emotional feelings that the alcoholic has and what family members are going through trying to help them.
Author, Alberta Sequeira, wondered why some alcoholics and drug addicts recover and put their lives together while others die from this horrible worldwide problem. What gives them the physical and mental strength to fight this battle and come out winning? These questions, and the author’s tragedy to losing her husband and daughter from their alcohol abuse, encouraged this writing. Here is a book, not only for the substance abusers, but for family members, society, doctors, and counselors to learn, not only what the addict is looking for with support to help them through with their recovery, but new ways to help the addicted.
You will learn that childhood emotional wounds mold us into what we become in adulthood. What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is a book of personal stories by thirty-four alcoholics and drug users from all walks of life from the United States and Canada. The first few years of recovery in substance abuse contain numerous pitfalls which addicts in recovery must have the right kind of help with. The best-intention of friends, family, lovers, and co-workers can be healthy supports or obstacles to long-term sobriety. Addicts sharing their experience, strength and hope with others is something that only a recovering addict or alcoholic can do. It is a unique gift. T
This book contains the testimonies of individuals who were or are actively in a recovery program and wanted to share their habit and actions with their struggles trying to overcome their own addiction. Their main goal is to help others who are fighting with their recovery and sobriety. These are their own stories on how their addiction led to the devastation of losing control of their life, family, friends and the death of other family members from this disease we call Alcoholism. Their desire is to lift other substances abusers, especially young people, in learning the reality that it’s not that drinking and taking drugs may, could or would kill.... It will.
Hopefully, the heartfelt honesty from the participants will help doctors and counselors to use their stories for their own study on what may be missing in the treatment methods. The personal testaments within What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is an added tool as to how people are affected, and how they suffer long-term drinking habits from living in an active alcoholic family.
As one contributor wrote, “I was tired of getting sick, my hands shaking, my vision deteriorating, my nose bleeding, my bowels moving sporadically, the violence and running from many situations being paranoid to the point of staying home all day (I had a job, a husband, family), not sleeping and not feeling safe.” What alcoholic or addict is not going to relate to these emotions?
Out of thirty-four short stories, you can't help but find one story and say, "That's me" or "That's our family." What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is in both paperback and Kindle. Click here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira
Great Info for the family of the addict
I have learned a lot from family and friends who are in recovery and this book took it one level deeper. The stories are raw, honest and heartfelt from the people who lived through the pain and came out on the other side. I would recommend this book to family members or friends who want to know how an addict/alcoholic thinks. It’s also could be a good way to open a conversation with a loved one who is struggling to come to grips with whether they have a problem. We all want to know the right way to handle things and I think Alberta’s book gives us insight that there is no “pat” answer that applies to every addict. Bravo to the folks telling their stories!
Many addicts stories
By Amazon Customer
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very informative reading many addicts stories. What made them seek help. What helped them stay sober. What length of time needed in treatment. What treatment programs need.
Personal and revealing
By Heidi Hofschulz
Format: Kindle Edition
It is amazing that there are so many different experiences, all gathered by the author and put in one place. There are no stereotypes that can encapsulate all the individuals who shared their stories. This book is very personal, and the stories are revealing in many frames of reference. I think the book is a gentle tool for addicts/alcoholics and for their families. It is nice to have a book I can recommend to someone I come across who is in either situation, since it’s rare to find a person who is unaffected by these things in their lives at some point.
23 March, 2015 Jasmine O'Donoghue
Powdered alcohol made legal in the US Natural and organic expo heads to Sydney
The Victorian Government said it will move to ban “Palcohol” after the manufacturer has reportedly shown interest in the Australian market.
Palcohol has been approved for sale in the United States, with the manufacturer planning to begin selling the powdered alcohol “this summer”.
One standard drink is made by adding a packet of the powder to three-quarters of a cup of water and the maker has flagged “food applications” such as “adult ice-cream” as a potential use for the product.
Palcohol will be sold in the US in two hard-spirit versions; Vodka and Puerto Rican rum and three cocktail versions; Cosmopolitan, Powderita (like a margarita) and Lemon Drop.
Minister for Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett said she will write to her interstate and federal counterparts on Monday about stopping the powder from flooding the market, ABC News reports.
"This product is dangerous," Garrett said.
"It will be easy to get into venues, easy to carry around in backpacks; it's obviously a bit of a novelty.
"Regulating the amount that's used is really difficult.
"How this thing is measured, if it's poured into a punch bowl, what does it do?
"There's concerns that people might be snorting it."
But the maker of the product, Mark Phillips, has a different idea.
Phillips argues that snorting the product would be painful and that a packet and it will not be easy to conceal as a packet of Palcohol is 4" x 6".
In a statement on the Palcohol website, he went on to say banning Palcohol would be “irresponsible” as “’the government will spend precious financial resources trying to enforce the ban and it probably won’t work.”
Phillips also said a ban would heighten demand and create a black market.
Phillips decided to create the product to suit activities which don’t lend themselves to lugging heavy bottles of alcohol, such as hiking, biking, vamping and kayaking.
“After hours of an activity, sometimes [Phillips] wanted to relax and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage… since powder is light and compact, it wouldn't be a burden to carry,” the Palcohol website states.
The Victorian president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Tony Bartone, said he supported moves to ban the powder.
"It just lends itself to an unwanted possibility of abuse and excess that sends the wrong message of excess in a culture that is seeking to promote alcohol in moderation," Bartone said.
He said any labels or warnings on the product would not stop people abusing the product.
"It's about ensuring we have a reliable, predictable amount of alcohol in what we consume," he said.
"It's the message that we're sending. This would be able to go through to places where you would normally not allow alcohol to be.
"The possibility of taking it to school...and hiding it in containers. It just lends itself to abuse and misuse.
"There is a plethora of alcohol products available on the shelves, we don't need additional products such as this."
Garrett said she had the power to ban the product in Victoria, but wanted a national approach.
"We have a lot of alcohol products available in this country that are regulated and made by local manufacturers," she said.
"This is a really unwanted element ... and we will be doing everything we can to deal with it.
"The ways in which this product can be misused is limited only to the imagination."
She said governments had an obligation to make sure "dangerous products" were not available to young people.
MARCH 4, 2015
This is a wonderful website for addicts and their families to join and share with others suffering with alcohol or drug addiction. I will try to post some writing from the site.
Written by a recovering addict:
I’ve done a lot of awful things in my life.
During my 10+ years of drinking and using, I left a swath of chaos everywhere.
My entire life.
Then I got sober.
But no matter how hard I tried, how many days of sobriety I got, how much my life improved, I still felt like a huge part of my identity was bad at its core. Even when things were going well – when I graduated from college, when I got married, when I fulfilled my dream of publishing a book – it was like I couldn’t bring myself to believe that it was possible for me to be truly happy.
Always underneath the joy was a sub-conscious, persistent, and horrible picture of who I “really” am.
In other words, my perception of who I was kept poisoning my perception of who I can be.
It wasn’t until recently that I even started to question this. And when I did, I saw a bad pattern. It became obvious to me that – even in sobriety – I am really harsh on myself. I spend far too much time searching for old patterns, and not nearly enough reflecting on how much I’ve achieved, how far I’ve come, and all the amazing places I still have left to go.
There is a ton of great work being done to end the stigma of addiction. Important work that is changing lives. But as strong as these efforts are, their power pales in comparison to the power each of us who suffer from addiction has to set ourselves free.
From always feeling different.
“You can do anything you set your mind to…”
Remember when your mom (or some other adult) told you this as a kid?
For years I took this phrase to mean that I could accomplish anything with enough hard work. And that’s certainly true for recovery, which, like anything else worth doing, takes sustained and honest effort.
But I think the deeper meaning of Mom’s sage advice is that if a person wants to do something – especially something life changing – that person has to first and foremost believe it to be possible.
Not anyone else.
Not friends. Not a spouse. Not a sponsor. Not a teacher. Not a boss. Not investors.
If we as recovering addicts can’t see ourselves as what we want to be, then who defines us?
Telling Our Own Stories
One of the reasons I think twelve step programs work so well is because they help transfer the knowledge and wisdom of more experienced people to those in need of the information. And they do it in a way – stories – that make people remember the lessons.
As a writer, I’m obviously a huge fan of stories. Their ability to build empathy is almost magical.
But one huge challenge to the recovery community is that we, as products of a lifetime of turmoil, tend to focus a lot on defeat, failure, and all the ways we are different from “everyone else.”
These are important stories to tell, no doubt. But they are also only part of the picture, and need to be taken as such.
To me, there’s an even more important part of the tale that goes woefully untold. The one that highlights not just the disease, but the recovery.
We have to stop thinking of ourselves only as diseased outcasts, because we are also – just like everyone else – individuals putting one foot in front of the other in search of a better life.
Every person alive – addict and non-addict alike – will make many mistakes in life.
Those missteps don’t have to define us.
We are all beautiful people capable of amazing things, if we allow ourselves.
Jake D. Parent is a writer with 8+ years of sobriety. His latest work is a new novel, Only the Devil Tells the Truth, a powerful coming of age story about a working-class teenager from California who battles addiction.
Alberta's books at:
Alcoholism is a disease that affects millions of people along with heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and drug addiction. We hear and read about different diseases that kill people every day and how they leave broken-hearted families behind.
Who is considered an alcoholic and what are they like in behavior? We all have our own personal conception about what a person has to do in order to be considered an alcoholic. Usually, they’re labeled as habitual drunks.
Most of us picture an alcoholic as a person, curled-up and passed out among the over-turned garbage cans and found on a hidden side-street between buildings or someone under a torn, grimy blanket sleeping on a park bench with a newspaper over their face and wearing ragged, filthy clothes looking as though they needed a hot, sudsy shower. In fact, a large percentage of the public automatically assumes it’s a man in this condition having the problem. Today, we realize that a woman could be the alcoholic in these situations. As the years pass, there is no special gender.
Our intellects come to the understanding and conclusion that the drinker has absolutely no desire to find a job or no wish to mingle with and contribute to society. We insist that many of them are living off the welfare system with no intention of bettering themselves. When we come in contact with the drinker, many of us lose patience with them or omit them completely in our conversations and social circles.
It’s more comfortable for us to pretend that they don’t exist. In other words, they’re not getting their act together to think and do things the way we believe they should. Because our own lives are structured and orderly, we believe that we’re better than the alcoholic. We forget how blessed our families are to have jobs that pay well, three good meals a day on the table, independent lives, and the freedom to come and go as we like. This concept is what most people consider to be a healthy American life under normal living conditions.
The reality of an alcoholic’s life won’t hit us until we come in direct contact with a family member, friend, or a close acquaintance who’s struggling to combat this disease. Then we develop the need to understand fully and to gain the knowledge of what alcohol is doing to the alcoholic and the people around them.
Once the abuser’s actions start to affect our lives, we suddenly sit-up and open our eyes to what’s happening to the individual. The desire to help them is there because we love the person and can see that the disease has changed his or her personality, morals, and ambitions. The devastating fact hits us that alcohol is slowly killing our loved one.
The alcoholics themselves can become acutely aware that they are drowning in drink and still don’t feel the need or have the willpower to get help. For them, the battle to give up liquor has too many side effects, and it’s too hard to combat the habit, especially if this life-style has been going on for years.
It’s a struggle every day for an alcoholic to just get out of bed. Many spend their days sleeping. They skip meals because their appetite has disappeared, thereby causing more damage to their health because their bodies breakdown from lack of proper nutrition to keep them stable.
Many alcoholics who have tried to fight the disease don’t relish the unpleasant physical effects of going without a drink; instead, they give in and turn back to drinking. In their mind, taking a drink is the only way to stop the effects of withdrawal. They fear going to any public place, and the drinking imprisons them in their own home behind closed doors.
Their lives and minds are constantly in a confused state. Alcoholics live in uncertainty that immobilizes them. They find it hard to do anything for themselves or their families. All confidence disappears. They make up all kinds of stories in order to avoid doing anything that makes them uncomfortable.
Doctors’ appointments are canceled because they fear what they may be told. Family events are ignored so they don’t have to hear about their behavior or their broken promises. They live in denial that they have any problem at all and believe they can stop drinking at any time.
Part 2 with next posting. Can’t wait? Order the book below.
Review from a reader:
Truth in every page
I couldn’t put this book down. I have been unable to read a complete book for the last 8 years and this one I couldn’t put down. Not only is it an easy read but anyone who has been in an alcoholic marriage will find comfort in this. This is not a self help book but it gives you the realization that someone else has felt exactly what you felt and you were not crazy.