Sunday, February 4, 2007

The alcoholic empire - Forum

The alcoholic empire - Forum

Wow. I didn't see that coming Dave. I'm sorry you haven't seen any benefits from the program for the people you have watched attempt it.

You do make a valid point that it is possible to cast all blame, as it were, into the "alcoholic" basket. It is pretty sad to be introduced at a social gig and the person says "Hi, I'm Joe and I'm an alcoholic;"(or codependent, or whatever). Whoa...that is just way too much information for a handshake at a wedding reception.

The point of people saying at the meetings that they are an alcoholic is that it is a symbol of being humbled. The average, if not all, alcoholics stalled getting help to overcome it because they refused to acknowledge that they didn't have control of their drinking. It was not meant to be a label for labels sake like the dunce cap of the one-room schoolhouse.

Debbie Ford in her book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers talks about her own struggle to overcome her addictions while remembering that addiction was just one part of her life; true it was a part that threatened to destroy all of the creative and positive parts but she needed to balance her recovery in a way that celebrated all of her parts. Her over-riding question that she wasn't finding a satisfactory answer to was "what is 'recovered' and when does 'normal' living recommence?" And her book is about finding her own answer and helping people responsibly find an answer for themselves.

Everyone has gremlins. Some are less palatible than others, some people's warts show and some don't, but no one is without quirks in their personality. How we get them and how we manage them varies with the type of quirk, the cause of it and the damage it can cause if it runs its course unabated. For some a support or "12-Step" program works, some need to confront a past incident or nemesis, others have neuro-chemical imbalances that require medication, ongoing therapy and a support group.

Some of this may be hard for an upper level college student to see. Grinding through 4 or more years of an intense program creates a sense of invincibility. I think, and hope, that with a few years of seasoning in the post-college workaday world that you might be able to step back and look at this topic through a different lens which might bring a different perspective on the matter.

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