- Why Did I Become an Alcoholic?

Why Did I Become an Alcoholic?




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Why Did I Become an Alcoholic?

Postby sunlight » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:37 pm

A woman I am sponsoring asked, "Why did I become an alcoholic?"
She said her former sponsor told her, "You drank alcoholically for so long that you finally became an alcoholic."

I am interested in how you would have answered her question.

Have a safe and sober 4th of July! :D
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Postby Ranman99 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:37 am

I would have said how does one become a diabetic (gentic? too many snickers?). I don't know. I don't know if I could have changed my drinking pattern and become a heavy drinker that kept it under control without having to go all the way to becoming a REAL Alcoholic.

All I know is my first 10 drunks were not social drinking starting from the age of 15 and my last 10 drunks were definitely not social drinking ending at the age of 44.

Hows that.
;-)
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Postby Dallas » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:26 pm

She said her former sponsor told her, "You drank alcoholically for so long that you finally became an alcoholic."


If you asked me, how I became alcoholic -- my answer would have been the same: I drank so much alcohol, that I became alcoholic.

That's the only way I know of -- how a person can become alcoholic.... other than the possibility, that the mother was drinking alcohol in pregnancy. Hospitals do have cases where the baby is born withdrawing from alcohol -- if it lives through it. Just like babies that are born addicted to heroin or crack -- the mother was using during pregnancy.

The genetic theory is only that a person has a predisposition -- to becoming alcoholic. But... even w/ the genetics, they can't become alcoholic -- without putting alcohol in their body. So, they've got to drink it first. They only have "the potential" to be alcoholic prior to drinking. Each of us, alcoholic and non-alcoholic have "the potential" to become alcoholic -- if -- we drink enough alcohol.

The physical component of alcoholism: the physical body of the alcoholic reacts differently in regards to alcohol -- than a non-alcoholics body.

Physical + Mental. Not, just Mental. This is also the difference in drug addiction -- and alcoholism.

In terms of differences:

1. Alcohol abuse. (Drinks too much).

2. Alcohol dependence. (Becomes dependent on the effects of alcohol).

3. Alcohol addictions. (Addicted to the drug alcohol -- but it's a psychological addiction, just like the dependence. However, it can include both: psychological addiction and a physical dependence. The physical dependence is the same reason that anyone, alcoholic or not -- will experience a "hang-over" effect -- when the body is withdrawing from too much alcohol.) This type of alcohol addiction can be overcome by simply stopping the addiction by stopping drinking. This is similar to the type that the Big Book refers to in Chapter 3, as "a hard drinker." Given sufficient enough reason -- they can stop.

4. Alcohol-ism: a physical, abnormal, biological reaction -- that is different, in the body of the alcoholic, when compared to the body of a non-alcoholic. The alcoholic -- regardless of how long they stay "stopped drinking" will always still have "the abnormal physical reaction" -- which is progressive with time -- even while sober. (Thus, that's what it means, when we read "it gets worse -- not better" even while not drinking).

Best understood using the illustration phenomenon of "allergic" reaction.

People with an abnormal reaction to strawberries, peanut butter and bee stings -- are said to have "an allergy" (abnormal physical reaction) to those substances -- compared to a majority of bodies that do not have the same reaction. (Normal vs abnormal).

I hope that helps.

Dallas
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Postby sunlight » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:35 pm

Thank you for your responses.

More questions! :lol:

Where does the spiritual malady come into this, and the statement that alcohol is only a symptom?

Thank you for your consideration.
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Postby Dallas » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:23 am

What is "Spiritual"?

For me, I first have to ask: "What is Spirit?"
My answer = "Spirit and Life are the same."

So, if I have a "Spiritual Malady" = a "Life Malady" = a "Living Malady."

I can't Live without drinking -- and I'll die if I drink. = A Living Malady. A "Spirit-ual Malady". A "Life Malady."

However, I can experience a "Change in my Psyche" (a person-ality change, sufficient to allow me to recover from my "Living Malady" -- by producing "Spirit-ual Experiences" using "12 Simple Spiritual Principles" ... (the 12 Steps) ... the result, of which is what I call a "Spiritual Awakening" as THE result of THESE Steps.

That lays the foundation for me to live "comfortably" and "with peace of mind" while sober....

And, if I continue to "practice these principles" (the 12 Steps) as a "Design for Living" (Design for Spirit-uality?) ... I can continue to live comfortably, with peace of mind and serenity -- without drinking alcohol.

What does it mean "alcohol is only a symptom"? To me, it means "I have a LIVING problem" -- I can't LIVE without drinking. I need to drink (experience the effects that alcohol does for me) to be comfortable. And, drinking screws up my life and living! But, I can't live without it ... because I'm alcoholic.

So, I have to have a "transformation of thought (mind) and attitude" so that I can -- not start drinking again. Without drinking -- I go nuts. Drinking produces the only thing that I perceive as "personal sanity" -- after a "few drinks."

The problem is: I can't stop after a few drinks. Once I have one drink, my body demands more alcohol. Once my body starts demanding alcohol -- alcohol and drinking are foremost in my mind.

And, without the "effects" of "Spiritual Treatment" on my mind -- my personal insanity -- that says "I can handle just two drinks this time" returns. "This time it will be different!" Or... in a worse case scenario -- I won't be consciously thinking about alcohol and drinking at all! I'll just suddenly discover that I'm sitting in my car, outside a liquor store ... or inside a bar... with a drink in my hand.

That's a "Living Malady" (A Spiritual Malady).

Once this "Living Malady" has been arrested -- I can live comfortably without alcohol.

The philosophy of the "Spiritual Malady" is found in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Postby Ranman99 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:35 am

Yup. Why else would we do what we do:) Except to see the looks on the faces of the normies.
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Postby Then, and only then » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:50 pm

For me, the question only bubbles up when I am in my Pity Party, and I luuuuve those! But come to think of it, it has been a while.

This is my understanding;
1. Genetic predisposition
2. Exposure
3. Mental twist

An Alk is like a virtuoso. He need that particular gene to play piano a little better than others, but he must develop his skills by repetition. I believe there are many Alks, who did not develop such art, like the guy stop drinking and dead in 4 in BB, and they do not go through whatvwe all went through.

To develop such a skill and keep on drinking his life away, he needs the last touch to complete his mastery. The Mental Twist. It is not easy to take a drink night after night. The need does not come naturally when he has responsibilities, hope, desire to succeed, be all he can be... It takes utter selfishness to block his duties over his feelings. It takes completely skewed view on reality to drink his hope away. It takes tremendous perseverance to practice his skills night after night, sometimes during days and in the mornings. With all my effort to master the skill, I believe if I honestly and humble seek God, I would fail to perfect the art. My mother did. I did not.

The satistic shows it takes 15 years to be a 'Perfect Alcoholic'. It took me exactly that. I am proud to say I stand shoulder to shoulder with 'the endless procession of sots who gone before me'. I am an Perfect Alcoholic. The sick as we come.

Why me is never an issue, I guess. Knowing and believing all this, if my son head to the path, I know I can not save him. No human power!

I would like to share this with you and your sponsee, Sunlight. This is one of my tools. "Life is not about waiting the storm to pass, it is about learn to dance in the rain." I know we were all wet. "Shall we dance?"
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Postby sunlight » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:16 pm

Hmmmm... Maybe. :wink:

I have a friend who liked to dance in the rain, till he got hit by lightning. He lived, but he taught me that sometimes I need to know when to come in out of the rain! :lol:
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Postby cue » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:17 pm

Why am I an alcoholic?
When I take one drink, physically I will want another one even though mentally I might have other plans that do not involve drinking. As we say in Ireland, it tastes like "more" . That is how alcoholics react to alcohol in their body.
Where does the spiritual malady come into this? Even with the above knowledge, I don't have the power to stay away from that first drink. That has been my bitter experience. I am powerless and without defense against it. That powerlessness is my spiritual malady. It hurts like hell but it does focus the attention :D .
The statement that alcohol is just a symptom comes at the end of the chapter "Working with others" and it refers to the fact that our problems were of our own making. I take it to mean that we come into AA with ONLY an alcohol problem and we deal with that by taking the actions outlined in the program. Many of us realise as we go through that process that there was a lot more going on beneath the surface than we originally suspected and that alcohol is the primary problem which masks a lot of other challenges :roll:
That is just my take on it.
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Postby Ranman99 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:43 am

I like that Cue. Also you highlighted the centre of the whole thing. There is a little bit of Irish and everyone that's why :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)
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