Are you an alcoholic yet?
When the inclination to drink becomes irresistible… When the purposes made and the warnings received no longer take effect and continue to fall into drunkenness… When drinking feels like an urgent necessity and you use any means to get a bottle… When you drink not only in company but also alone, with nothing to celebrate or evoke… All these symptoms tell us about ALCOHOLISM, which is no longer simply a vice but a relentless disease.
We are talking about disease, because the alcoholic’s body and nervous system are so upset that alcohol consumption is indispensable to them. The more alcohol is ingested, the more cell poisoning intensifies, to such an extent that, when you stop drinking, your body reacts to shudder or tremor.
Other signs of alcoholism include:
tenaciously deny it, despite the evidence;
strive to appear normal;
invent justifications and minimize the effects of drinking;
resort to lying and exacerbate fantasy;
fall into depression or become too outgoing;
euphorically evoking past successes or becoming the victim;
have mental gaps.
There are institutions that help overcome alcoholism
Alcoholism is a terrible disease and requires long and delicate treatment. Above all, proper treatment. The collaboration of others, especially the family, is entirely necessary.
Combating alcoholism is the purpose of many institutions. Since the twentieth century, brotherhoods have emerged to that end; Since 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been noteing that, in addition to its programs for the recovery of alcoholics, it strives to introduce into the public the conviction that alcoholism is a disease. It is not easy to assume this conviction fully; indeed, even among those who admit that alcoholism is a disease, it is not uncommon for some to continue to treat the case as a moral weakness.
However, it is absolutely necessary for the person concerned to take the initiative to fight their disease, because they will not do so until they experience and recognize the terrible effects of alcohol and want to combat it. The best resolutions usually arise after a major drinking crisis. Trying to induce the alcoholic to treatment he doesn’t want to follow is counterproductive. Only when he himself expresses the desire to overcome the disease is it effective to encourage him, show him confidence, and assure him of the help he agrees to receive.
Understanding is critical to helping an alcoholic. You have to understand its situation, but not celebrate it; support him, but not become his facilitator; make him see the harm he does to himself and others, but without employing humiliating or accusatory phrases or attitudes.
It must also help him regain self-confidence and restore self-esteem. The most dangerous level of self-degrading is no longer to see the distinction between a condition of vilification in which he has fallen and the intrinsic dignity of the person himself. When this happens, the individual also loses his capacity for transcendence. That’s why in AA programs it’s of great value to help the alcoholic put his trust in the Almighty and feel that he has the collaboration of others.
An AA principle says, “If you want to drink, the problem is yours, but if you want to stop drinking the problem is ours.” This principle, of course, should not be assumed without the strategies of AA, which does not dictate rules, but accompanies, suggests, motivates… Those who wish to collaborate for the recovery of an alcoholic must adopt as basic requirements: empathy, knowledge and experience; they should also train patiently and follow the guidance of the experts.
Both AA and other institutions to help alcoholics, aim to help stakeholders regain internal values and propose a change of habits, that is, freely adopt a new programme of life.
The famous “Twelve Steps”
Treating alcoholism isn’t easy and can’t be quick. This disease is reached after a long period of “weaknesses”, and does not leave it without a long process of “strengths”. AA strategies are identified quite a bit (without limiting themselves) with the way the alcoholic is helping to take successive steps of improvement. These steps are twelve and we will summarize them, with the prior warning that they do not constitute a regulation or prontuary, nor do they enclose a magic formula. They are objectives that, according to the pedagogy of AA, the patient is proposing and reaching. It is easy to note the fundamental role that in this process of recovery of the alcoholic has its interiority and its relationship with the Almighty.
The twelve steps are:
1. I recognize that I was powerless in the presence of alcohol;
2. I must admit that a power greater than me can restore my health;
3. I wish to give my will and my life to god’s care, as I conceive it;
4. I make a thorough moral inventory of my situation;
5. Before God, before others and before myself, I admit the nature of my faults;
6. I give myself completely and let God remove my character flaws;
7. I humbly ask God to free me from my imperfections;
8. I make a list of the people I have harmed and intend to repair the evil caused;
9. I do my best to repair the harm I did to such people;
10. I continue to do a personal inventory and, if I find that I have acted wrongly, I admit it immediately;
11. With prayer and meditation I seek to improve my relationship with God and ask Him to show me his will about my life and give me strength to fulfill it;
12. Having experienced with these steps a spiritual awakening, I try to convey the message to other alcoholics and to practice these principles in all my activities. Ω