How to Prove You are not an Alcoholic
By Santi Meunier

Perhaps you have wondered from time to time if your drinking is out of hand.  Maybe a loved one or friend has expressed concern about your drinking.  Have you compared your drinking with someone else’s that you perceive is much worse than you, and made a pact with yourself to quit if you ever got that bad?
Are you experiencing problems at work, school, or at home because of your drinking. Do you feel everything would be fine if people would just leave you alone?
There is a lot of misinformation out there about alcoholism. Let’s go through a list of things we’ve heard that prove we are not alcoholics.

  • I don’t drink in the morning.
  • I hold a good job and go to work everyday.
  • I am too young to be an alcoholic. 
  • I only drink at home after the kids are fed and in bed.
  • I don’t drink everyday.
  • I only drink on the week-end. 
  • Alcoholics are bowery bums who drink out of paper bags, not heads of corporations. 
  • Alcoholics can’t stop drinking. I can stop anytime I just don’t want to.
  • Alcoholism runs in families and I come from a family of tea-totalers.
  • I am healthy. I am training for a marathon and go to the gym everyday.
  • I don’t hide my bottles.
  • I have a large capacity and can handle my booze.

The list goes on, and yet none of those things really proves that you are not an alcoholic. So let’s settle the debate once and for all.

 What is alcoholism and how is an alcoholic different from a heavy drinker?

Alcoholism is said to be a progressive three-fold disease.  It is characterized by a physical addiction to alcohol, coupled by a mental obsession and a “soul sickness”. Genetic, brain and biological research is proving in a more concrete way the physical components of the disease. It is the physical allergy to alcohol that separates the problem drinker from the alcoholic. Physiology, not psychology, determines whether one becomes addicted to alcohol.

Why are some alcoholics so much worse than others?

There are three stages to alcoholism; early, middle and late. There is a Japanese proverb that speaks to the progression of the illness.
                        First the man takes a drink
                        Then the drink takes a drink
                        Then the drink takes the man.
The addicted individual has an incessant craving for the substance alcohol, an increased tolerance for its effects, and a progressive loss of control over it. Often the early damage to the body is not obvious to the alcoholic or others, but as the alcoholism continues through excessive drinking, the damage becomes apparent to everyone.

Early symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue and flu-like feelings when withdrawing from a binge or a hang-over.
  • Sweating
  • Shaking hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Depression

Middle & Late stage symptoms can include:

  • Memory  black-outs or brown-outs
  • Weakened immune system
  • Alcohol poisoning due to high consumption levels
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Malnutrition
  • Organ damage
  • Organ failure
  • Increased fear and paranoia
  • Chronic depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Susceptibility to certain cancers
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease

It is said that if an alcoholic continues to drink that there are only three possible outcomes; incarceration, hospitalization or premature death. Not a pretty picture, but there is another way.  The allergy to alcohol and the need to abstain from ingesting alcohol in any form must be recognized if the alcoholic is to be treated effectively. Arresting the physical trigger is usually only possible if the alcoholic has reached “a bottom”.  Sobriety is not for those who need it, it is for those who want it, and are willing to work hard to maintain it.

Perhaps this information has helped you to prove that you are not an alcoholic, but if you or a loved one think you may have a problem there are many resources available to you.  Alcoholics Anonymous can be found in the local phonebook or online and there are many treatment centers that offer in and out-patient programs for the alcoholic and their family.
There are millions of recovering alcoholics all over the world that have found another way to live and thrive without alcohol. It is my hope that you will be able to count yourself among them.

 

Dr. Santi Meunier is an author and inspirational speaker, recognized for her unique style of practical spirituality and her ground-breaking strategies for personal and professional growth. Her program, Practical Spirituality for Fearless Living has helped thousands to realize their dreams. As a highly regarded psychotherapist and expert in the field of addiction her latest book, DYING FOR A DRINK, The Hidden Epidemic of Alcoholism reveals her Holographic Treatment Plan, developed over twenty years in private practice.

To Purchase a copy of, DYING FOR A DRINK, The Hidden Epidemic of Alcoholism, click here

More details on the disease of alcoholism can be found at:
SantiMeunier.com
Alcoholics Anonymous.com
Hazelden.com
For more signs and symptoms check out-www.thewatershed.com/signs.htm 



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