ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Alcoholism: My Experience

Updated on February 26, 2015
cam8510 profile image

Chris has spent 26 years in laboratory work and has had personal experience with cancer, alcoholism and Willis-Eckbom Disease (RLS).

Two Powerful Demons in Tandum

Source

Battling My Own Demons

There is a story in the Bible that describes a time when many angels in heaven rebelled against God, attempting to unseat Him and set one of their own up in HIs place. God defeated the rebel angels and cast them out of heaven. This is the biblical story describing the origin of demons.

In a similar way, in my own day to day experience, there are things that would take me out of the driver's seat of my own life and rule over me if I allow it. These are the demons of my life that I must battle daily. Though I am using the term "Demon" figuratively, the battles are very real and the consequences of losing those battles can be devastating.

Angels They Were, Demons They Have Become

All of the demons I have faced began as elements of a healthy, balanced life which I corrupted and misused. This admission has been my greatest weapon in the struggle for control of my life. Two of my demons were grief and alcohol abuse. Both alcohol and grief can be parts of a normal, healthy life or they can be mishandled to become demons attempting to dominate me.

Grief Poll

We all experience grief at points in our lives. Have you ever gotten bogged down in grief and couldn't escape?

See results

Demon #1-Grief

On April 1, 2008, my wife passed away after battling cancer for ten years. The process of grieving is a necessary part of regaining a healthy life. I took the grief, sadness, despair and loneliness, which were healthy and good parts of the process, and twisted them into an ugly place where I remained for an entire year.

The grieving process is comprised of seven stages: 1. Shock and Denial 2. Pain and Guilt 3. Anger and Bargaining 4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness 5. The Upward Turn 6. Reconstruction and Working Through 7. Acceptance and Hope.

I got bogged down on stage four. I began to drink heavily which only helped me to avoid moving on into the positive stages of the process. During that year, I isolated myself from all significant relationships and focused on my loss and feelings of guilt.

Alcoholism Poll

Are you enslaved to alcohol? Are you an alcoholic? Admitting this is the first step to freedom

See results

My Road to Admitting That I am an Alcoholic

Source

Demon #2- Alcohol Abuse

My second demon was alcohol abuse. The demon was not alcohol. Alcohol is a normal part of the lives of many people who use it responsibly. The way I used alcohol was abnormal and irresponsible. Couple this with alcoholism as a disease, and what is left is a life spiraling downward toward disaster. And I had no idea how to stop drinking, even though I really wanted to stop many times.

Defeating the Demon of Alcoholism

I admitted that I was living enslaved to alcohol by my own choice. I have to be careful in this description. Alcoholism is a disease. Can it be that I had this disease by my own choice? No, the disease is not my fault. How I dealt with that disease is my choice and responsibility. In that sense, I was being destroyed by alcohol, by my own choice because I refused the help that was offered. I had to experience many negative consequences before I was able to make this admission.

This step of admitting I could not control my drinking was such an important step for me to take. I was very good at blaming other things for my excessive drinking. I pointed at my wife's death as an excuse. Things as normal as working hard everyday were excuses to drink. Any problem that came up, no matter how small, led to the bottle. Any type of stress with people or money turned me toward alcohol. Admitting I was unable to control my drinking was the single most significant thing that I did to gain my freedom. If I had continued to blame other people, circumstances and things for my excessive drinking, I would still be out there.

Finally, I accepted the help that was offered. Alcoholics Anonymous is where I found the help and support to arrive today at three years, six weeks and two days sober. The God of my own understanding, along with other men and women who are living sober lives, give me the strength to live a better, happier life each day. I also took advantage of the substance abuse center at our hospital. The counselors were able to help me with medical and psychological aspects of addiction that Alcoholics Anonymous is not equipped to handle.

Defeating the Demon of Incomplete Grieving

I admitted that I was bogged down in the middle of the grieving process by my own choice. At the time of my wife's death, I could have immediately proceeded with grief counseling and group support, and been guided through all seven of the necessary steps of grieving. But I chose to wallow in my despair, depression and self pity for a whole year. Finally, in despair, I accepted the help that was offered to me. I opened my hard heart up to God and to other people. I went back and received the counseling that was so critical to my recovery from grief. I dealt with my shortcomings as a husband and at her graveside, asked my wife to forgive me. There was an intense sense of freedom that rushed in when I let all of the negative thoughts go.

I Admitted that my life was being ruled by these two demons, alcohol abuse and unfinished grief, by my own choice to not accept help. I accepted help, achieved victory over these two adversaries and have truly found a new way of living.

Keurig 40 Count Coffee Sampler for 65 Cents Per Cup

Hope

My demons have been defeated, at least for today. Just as Michael the Arch Angel cast Lucifer from heaven and has fought the demon back ever since, I also must be vigilant to guard against the return of my own demons. I fight them daily just as I gained the initial victory, by admitting my own inability to remain free and by accepting the help of God and other people.

Today I am living sober, happy and free. The bondage to alcohol has been broken and emotionally I have dealt positively with the loss of my wife. Life is manageable again. Good things are happening and even if they don't I have found a way to cope without seeking escape.

There is such a thing as victory over our demons.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Both tobacco and alcohol can be brutal addictions. Tobacco eventually ruins our health and kills us. Alcohol ruins everything and everybody around the alcoholic.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Congratulations on your victory and moving on to better things. I had a strong tobacco addiction that I was finally freed from and it's great to be a nonsmoker and helps a lot when I go hiking so I can somewhat relate to this.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      mizjo, I am so sorry I missed your comment so many weeks ago. I appreciate your visit to my hub and your comment.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      madcat9, First of all, thank you for speaking up about this. I don't know what your addiction is, but allow me to pass on a thought that was passed on to me. " Don't try to do this alone. Don't let your ego cost you your ass. If you don't take the next drink (or whatever your drug of choice may be) you can't get drunk/high." Treatment centers are great, but they can't replace a group of people, who are fighting like you, who are there for you day in and day out. The groups are out there, and when you have finally decided that where you are at is as low as you are willing to go, they will be there still. AA, NA, and others are a phone call away. The ball is in your court my friend.

    • madcat9 profile image

      madcat9 4 years ago from Earth

      I really do want to escape from the rut of addiction. But it feels so hopeless sometimes when i always return to square one.

    • mizjo profile image

      mizjo 4 years ago from New York City, NY

      Life is beautiful.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Thank you mizjo for the kind words. I'll add to the gossip. I am unfortunately no longer in that relationship. But I am still turned around with life before me. Thanks for stopping by.

    • mizjo profile image

      mizjo 4 years ago from New York City, NY

      Beautiful and honest. It takes strength of character to turn oneself around, and you have that. Now you are in a new relationship - a bit of gossip from fpherj above - how wonderful that is. Enjoy the rest of your life.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Thank you carol, for stopping in and reading my hub. And thank you for your kind words. It is very nice to meet you.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      It always takes courage to share our challenges in life, but very cathartic. Great job here and glad you have moved on.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Michael-Milec We will simply leave the forum situation in the past and move on. I apologize if I was too harsh. Thank you so much for coming to my hub and commenting. Your words are very special and I appreciate them very much. My best wishes to you.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hallo Chris,

      Reading this your wanderfully composed article, you have introduced yourself the least to say , approachable . Also, as you said recently, you are the writer , who know what is saying and says what is certain about.

      Your testimony is a lesson to learn for any walk of life, in dealing with " my demon" not only the two you listed.

      Congratulations on great victory of yours , as well on your determination which you are going to reach your goal.

      Voted up, and very educational.

      PS. Please accept my apology for giving you " credit" for leaving me desolate, when it was my choice to feel that way. Your recent approach was well intended, due to my inexperience misunderstood. ( referring to " at forum meeting".

      Thanks for great lesson, hope for more just reading your creations.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      At the very least, Kerry, when we reach out to others, we are helping ourselves by being reminded of what is waiting for us if we stop doing what has worked. But, I still hope that you and I can have a positive effect on someone else.

    • profile image

      Kerry43 4 years ago

      I do the same thing with my writing about panic attacks, Chris. Some things will work for some people, but not others of course. I always wonder if I was able to help someone, lord knows it is a problem. I look forward to reading your new articles on this topic.

      Kerry:)

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Kerry, Yes, it was. Every time I have an occasion to relive the past few years, it is therapeutic. I am actually posting another article on alcoholism, but this time it is written to the person who may be questioning whether or not he or she has a drinking problem. It is direct but I hope not preachy as it is written using me as the example all the way through. Thank you for your wishes.

    • profile image

      Kerry43 4 years ago

      and look at you now my friend, awesome. Congratulations - I wish you every happiness. I know how therapeutic it must have been to write this article.

      Kerry:)

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      divacratus, Thank you for visiting my hub and leaving such kind words. I too hope that many people can read about my experiences and find hope.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      vocalcoach, Thank you so much for those kind words. I appreciate you reading and commenting. I would be so happy if my experiences could help someone else to maneuver the maze of grief.

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 4 years ago from India

      Defeating our own demons can be hard but you have managed to do so beautifully. This was an inspirational read indeed and I hope many people read this who are down in the dumps at the moment -- to know that dealing with their demons is possible with a little effort. Voted up!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      A courageous and awesome story. You've done a good thing here by sharing your experiences. Others will benefit and hope will become real.

      I wish you continued progress and peace in your future. I know about grief. Voted up and sharing.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      great hub! Thank you for sharing a very personal and difficult story. So happy for you that you have been able to fight these demons. Good luck! I look forward to reading more of your hubs!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      howtotextagirl, Thank you for reading and commenting. Life certainly can have new beginnings.

    • howtotextagirl profile image

      howtotextagirl 4 years ago from Canada

      I really appreciate you sharing this story. On top of that the outcome was positive showing us that we can deal with our demons.

    • profile image

      cam8510 4 years ago

      fpherj48, Thank you for the congratulations. I am very blessed to have my new lady. She is special.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      cam8510.....You are to be commended for your journey, battle and ultimate victory. And "congratulations," also appear to be in order.....much luck and happiness to you and your new lady!! UP ++

    Click to Rate This Article