Alcoholism Part Two

It’s a progressive and ruthless disease

My recent words about “Are You An Alcoholic?”  brought lots of responses, some anonymous, some not, and so I decided to tell a few more things I know about that disease. 

And remember, it IS a disease.  Oh, certainly not in the genre of Measles, Chicken Pox, Whooping Cough or even the Flu, for you ‘catch’ those diseases from someone else, while now it’s known that the trait of Alcoholism is within one’s Genes, and, God willing, that just maybe some smart person will find a ‘shot’ for it as they now have for prevention or cure of Pneumonia, Polio, Diabetes, even inching in on AIDS, and such. 

So, call it whatever you wish, like the color of your eyes, you’re either born with it or not as a potential Alcoholic.  It’s just there, not ‘caught’.

Another odd trait of Alcoholism is that it is progressive, developing into more and more drastic results, and the results of how just one serving of  alcohol affects you as a teenager is far different than how that same serving would affect you ten, fifteen, twenty or more years later on.

A person can go to Alcoholics Anonymous or other groups now available, and learn how to keep the disease under control, and be able to live a very normal life, with out alcohol.  

And when, at some dinner or dance, they are offered a choice of alcoholic drinks, they NEVER say,   “No, thank you, I’m careful because I used to be an alcoholic “. 

Instead, very openly and truthfully you learn to smile and say, “No thank you.  No drinks for me, because  I’m an alcoholic.”

You see, one NEVER recovers from being an Alcoholic, and anyone with such an allergy must remember that they will always be an alcoholic . . .  there is no recovery.  Only abstinence.

It’s a hard one, and I go on, for in my years as a non-alcoholic counselor, with AA, I’ve seen them all.  

There are those who grow into adulthood without any alcohol in their life, but perhaps when in their 40’s or so they see others enjoying a simple glass of wine, and desiring  to be ‘one with the crowd’ they choose,  just to be friendly,  to take a glass and sip it.  Not bad, perfectly normal and often done, but for the one with the alcoholic trait, it’s murder.  Well, not that, but it’s a life changer, for that one simple glass of wine triggers the trait within the genes and they are ‘hooked’. 

There are those who begin drinking in their youth, become alcoholic but finally in desperation “fight the fight” and learn to live sober.  Wonderful.  But after 8, 10, 15 years they think that so much time has passed that surely now they can take just ONE drink with no harmful results.  They know how to handle it now and so just one drink and  no more.

They’re wrong.  Not only wrong but also caught in a web that stuns them.  For they no longer re-act to the alcohol as they did when they ‘quit’, no matter how many years before,  but find the disease has progressed even when they were not drinking and the results are unexpected and terrible.

The disease progresses whether you ‘feed’ it or not.  A person who has never drunk In their entire life can . . . even innocently . . . take alcohol in some form and suddenly are lost and bewildered in a sudden addiction to it.  And the response will not be the same as a teenager taking his first drink.  The disease has progressed even though the person never drank and no one knew the trait was present.

It’s mean.  It’s cruel.  It destroys lives, families and careers.  If there’s even a hint of that trait within the genes of your family, leave the stuff alone. Because, for you it might be the end of the life you have been living. 

However,  with marriages bringing new and clear genes into a family, it may become so ‘watered down’ that  generations can go by without it showing up, and is why it can be such a surprise to both the victim and the family if and when it does.  It’s a hard trait, buried deep within one’s genes, and it’s mean, progressive and ruthless.

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