- Mental Health»
Finding A Solution For Alcoholism
There comes a time in the life of every alcoholic or addict when the realization that they are powerless hits them like a ton of bricks. They have spent many years trying to drink like normal people but all of their efforts have been in vain. Alcohol has taken complete control of their life and the road ahead appears hopeless.
They have tried drinking only on weekends or every other day; they have tried drinking only beer or only wine; perhaps they have tried relocation to another part of the country, a fresh start that will surely render different results. All attempts to modify their drinking habits have been for naught and now the knowledge that they cannot stop on their own has them terrified and completely out of answers and excuses.
By now they have lost jobs or family. They have promised themselves while praying to the porcelain gods that they will never touch a drop and yet no power on Earth can prevent them from hopping in the car, often drunk, and heading to the tavern or liquor store for one last drink. Maybe they haven’t been arrested yet for a DUI but that time is coming. What lies ahead for them is jail, an institution or death. They have reached the inevitable point where one-hundred drinks is not enough and one is too many.
I know these things to be true because I was once in that situation. Five-and-a-half years ago I knew without a doubt that I was drinking myself to death and yet I could not stop. My body was craving alcohol to such an extent that I needed it twenty-four hours a day in order to keep from going into convulsions and my blood pressure was so low that my life span could be calculated in terms of hours rather than years. There seemingly was no hope for me!
And yet there was!
The Road Back
Somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind a light was shining. At that point in time I was not afraid of death but rather I was unwilling to continue living that type of life. I was, in short, a survivor and I refused to give up. It was that light that led me to the telephone to call a friend and beg for help and it was that light that led me years later to the point where I stand before you today in love with life.
How could that be you ask? If you are currently struggling with alcohol I am quite certain that my words appear to be a foreign language. How is it possible to go from the depths of despair to a love of life?
Well, my friends, it all began with willingness!
- Which Road Leads To Happiness?
Like life, the road to happiness is a mysterious path. The road to happiness can be a path filled with intrigue, adventure and sometimes even disappointment, when that disappointment turns out to have been in our best interest. Come join me for a mom
Willingness Is a Key Ingredient to Sobriety
Please make sure you are clear on this one point. Practically anyone can quit cold-turkey for a time. What I am describing is a complete catharsis, going from useless, hopeless drunk to a contributing member of society who has changed his complete psyche. For that you need willingness!
An alcoholic needs to be broken down completely, what is called in Alcoholics Anonymous “hitting bottom,” before there is any chance of meaningful sobriety. All excuses have been exhausted; all hope of ever being a normal drinker is gone. What hopefully remains is a willingness to do anything possible to change their life.
So What Is the Solution?
I am not one of those who preaches that Alcoholics Anonymous is the only way to meaningful sobriety even though it was my salvation. There are other avenues that can be followed, many of which have had success with seemingly hopeless alcoholics. First and foremost, however, an alcoholic needs to go through detoxification, or cleansing the body of alcohol. It has been said that alcohol withdrawal is as dangerous if not more dangerous than for any other drug. The body craves alcohol and when denied convulsions and possible death can occur. It takes a full three days to rid the body of alcohol and stabilize all systems so it is highly recommended that this be done under medical supervision.
Ridding the body of alcohol is only the first step towards meaningful sobriety. What comes next is ridding the mind of the compulsion to drink. To put it another way something needs to be substituted for alcohol as a means of coping with life.
There is a wide range of in-patient and out-patient treatment centers, all aimed at teaching the recovering alcoholic to deal with life on life’s terms, to handle life without the need for alcohol. Some lean heavily on a Twelve-Step program like AA; others take a more holistic approach to recovery. Some have a fairly good success rate; others see less than satisfactory results.
The Mayo Clinic uses acupuncture and therapy in their session. Homeopathy, a remedy consisting of animal, plant and synthetic solutions, has met with success as has Moderation Management and Aversion/Counter-Conditioning. Hypnosis has been used in alcohol treatment for several decades now, and the list goes on and on, all with varying success rates but success rates nonetheless.
Whatever treatment method is used its success depends on finding a workable substitute for alcohol so that the patient can cope with life without immediately turning to alcohol when life once again seems unmanageable. In fact, a successful treatment will leave the patient confident that life is indeed manageable and alcohol is no longer needed.
Is there an alcoholic in your family?
Take the Solution, Whatever It Is, and Live Happily
As I said earlier, I make no claims that AA is the only solution to alcoholism, but I stand firm in my belief that an alcoholic can only lead a happy and contented life without their drug of choice if they are willing to do so. I have seen far too many recovering alcoholics, fresh out of in-patient treatment and ready to do battle with this disease, balk at the first suggestion made to them because it requires complete honesty and a total make-over of their life. In other words, they were willing as long as they weren’t required to do the hard work of changing their psyche. They fail time and time again and often return with tails between their legs, wondering where they went wrong.
I have seen far too many friends die of this disease. I have seen far too many families torn apart because of this disease. I am tired of it! I have invested more hours than I care to count reaching out to help those who do not choose to help themselves and it is emotionally draining and disheartening. Today I help those willing to do the work and I make that very clear from the outset when I am asked for help.
As I found out the hard way, because that seems to be the only way I learn a lesson, sobriety must be the number one priority in the life of a recovering alcoholic. All else must be secondary to finding a way to live a meaningful and productive life of sobriety.
If you are suffering from alcoholism or you have a family member or close friend who has this disease, my words to you are this: THERE IS HOPE AND THERE IS A SOLUTION! What remains to be seen is whether you or your loved one is willing to do the work. The answer to that question lies within the alcoholic. No one else can answer it!
Be at peace and may you find the happiness you deserve!
2012 Bill Holland (aka billybuc)