**Definition from WikiPedia: Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker’s health, personal relationships, and social standing.
I am pretty sure that no one has ever said that they wanted to be an alcoholic! I certainly did not! As a matter of fact, I probably tried everything imaginable to prove that I was not an alcoholic. AND, I was not going to let anyone label me as an alcoholic either! But in reality, no matter what I tried, no amount of will-power could help me control my drinking and my life was just falling apart!
I was also embarrassed, and I carried with me the overwhelming stigma associated with alcoholism and other addictions – the belief that the addiction is caused by low morals, or personal weakness or lack of self-control. Some people believe that only weak and bad people are alcoholics; undesirable persons are alcoholics; alcoholics are unkempt, uneducated, and often add no value to society.
For the same reason, getting sober didn’t seem like an option either because if I was going to get sober that would mean that I was also admitting that I was an alcoholic!
But the truth is that I didn’t choose to be an alcoholic, and all kinds of people, the well-educated, the rich and the poor, and people from any racial and socioeconomic background have the potential to become an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease and it usually starts very innocently. Most people in our society can go out and have an alcoholic beverage or two, and then stop. But for the alcoholic, they cannot stop with one or two alcoholic beverages, and it is that inability to stop that causes so much pain and suffering. Many never talk about it or seek help based on their own, as well as society’s assumptions and shames.
And I still remember being in rehab and feeling totally depressed, and still suffering from the preconceived notions that getting help means being weak! It took me a while to understand that instead, getting sober was going to be an amazing journey, and that admitting that I have a problem and need help gave me the courage and the power to change my life! Believe me, everyone who has attained sobriety, has been able to defeat one of the greatest life’s challenges, despite all the odds! Sobriety should not be kept hidden like a dirty little secret, instead we should CELEBRATE SOBRIETY, each and every day!
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.