It's obvious to spot untreated alcoholism -- when the alcoholic is drinking. How do you spot it when the alcoholic is sober?
In our A.A. meetings, we often hear talk about stinking thinking, the insanity of the next drink, character defects, fear, resentments, the physical allergy and phenomenon of craving, and how the body and mind of an alcoholic are different, the fear of relapse, the progressive nature of alcoholism, and how important it is for the alcoholic to stay physically sober.
One thing that I hear little talk about is the behavior and attitudes associated with untreated alcoholism -- how it affects the alcoholic and the other people who must be around them.
How can you spot it when you've got it?
The below two page Big Book page references, I believe, describe in a general way -- what it's like for an alcoholic of my-type, to live physically sober, and even going to A.A. meetings -- with untreated alcoholism.
-- Alcoholics Anonymous, page 52 wrote:We were having trouble with personal relationships,
we couldnâ€™t control our emotional natures, we were
a prey to misery and depression, we couldnâ€™t make a
living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of
fear, we were unhappy, we couldnâ€™t seem to be of real
help to other people â€”
[quote="-- Alcoholics Anonymous, page 82"]
The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through
the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships
are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish
and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil.
We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is
enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his
cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he
remarked, â€œDonâ€™t see anything the matter here, Ma. Ainâ€™t
it grand the wind stopped blowinâ€™?â€