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Alcoholism the myth of the brown paperbag

Updated on March 17, 2015

Who is the alcoholic?

Peoples perception of an alcoholic have changed very little over the years. Look at the the pictures and pick out the alcoholic? Nearly everyone will pick the man down on his luck, but the correct answer is all of them.

Alcoholics come from all walks of live, from the doctor to the down and out, the lawyer to the layabout, or the have lots to have nots .Alcoholism can be found in any class, gender, or age group. Most people still see the alcoholic as the old man with the coat tied with rope drinking from the brown paper bag.

People also use different tags for alcoholics, functioning alcoholic, former alcoholic, performing alcoholic, and recovering alcoholic. I believe at different stages in my alcoholism I have been a mixed bag of three of the four. I personally believe that alcoholism can be arrested but cannot be cured therefore is no such person as a former alcoholic.

Functioning alcoholic

I fell into this category when some aspects of my life where not been affected by my drinking. I was still holding down a job,

Performing alcoholic

I fell into this category when I was off on another bender not known when it would end.

Recovering alcoholic

I have been in this category during my many attempts to stop drinking.

Most of my drinking life I have been a mixed up confused bag of all the above.

Another perception that people have is that an alcoholic is almost always drunk. When I first told workmates and friends I was an alcoholic they were shocked, and said they would never have guessed, that was because I had become mainly a house drinker and could hide the amount I drank.

I did not take a lot to get me drunk and a lot of my friends could drink more, the difference was when we left the pub they went home to bed, I went home for more drink..

Alcoholism is a progressive disease very few people begin drinking alcoholically, some get there in a relatively short time others take years.

Early stage of alcoholism

You are no longer just social drinking but to escape from normal life stresses and problems.

Second stage of alcoholism

The need to drink becomes more intense. You have probably started morning drinking to kick start your day As tolerance increases, the problem drinker drinks because of dependence on alcohol, rather than stress relief.

Third stage of alcoholism

You have started to lose control of your drinking. Unable to drink according to your intentions. Once you take that first drink you can no longer control what will happen.Relationship problems and family problems are now growing and you are starting to hide your drinking. By now you know you have a drink problem, the feelings of guilt and remorse are creeping in ,but hey if I take a drink they go away.

Final stage of alcoholism

Benders are now the norm, you get helplessly drunk for days at a time, you have lost your job, your family have thrown you out, and you are now drinking to forget the problems caused by drinking. You are on the road to oblivion.

You can stop this journey at any stage. The majority of alcoholics try to stop there journey somewhere between step 3 and 4.

We all have different reason for facing up to our problem. I am one of the lucky ones ,I still have my job and the support and love of my family. The next time you see the man with the brown paper bag, pray that he may one day find peace from this horrendous addiction.

This is a poem I like to read to me remind me that one of the most important tools in my recovery toolbox,is being honest with myself.

The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggles for self

And the world makes you king for a day,

Just go to a mirror and look at yourself

And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife

Whose judgment upon you must pass,

The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people might think you're a straight-shooting chum

And call you a wonderful guy.

But the man in the glass says you're only a bum

If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest

For he's with you clear to the end

And you've passed your most dangerous test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you've cheated the man in the glass.


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    • lyndre profile image

      lyndre 7 years ago from Scotland

      C.heers CC.If I ever go back guard your bottle I,ll be coming :lol:

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      Well, best of luck with you on your road to recovery. CC