Alcohol Dependence

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Substance Use Disorders #SubstanceUseDisorders #Addiction #Depression #Anxiety #AlcoholDependence

I started drinking when I was a kid. My parents would give me sips of their beer when I would tell them I was thirsty and then laugh at how cute I was when I drank it. I loved the attention. I got drunk the first time at 11, after my sister died. I started drinking full time at age 14. I drank almost every day from the age of 19 until I was 40, except when I was pregnant: twice (and boy, did I not like that).

I “tried” to quit drinking a few times it never lasted. Finally, I joined AA. There, I was love bombed and abused much like the dysfunctional family I grew up in. They taught me I had a disease that was incurable and I was morally bankrupt. Any normal human emotion was a selfish symptom of my alcoholic/addict brain. Since, I was morally bankrupt I couldn’t be trusted to manage my own health. I must rely on a “higher power”.

I was encouraged to stop taking my prescribed medication and to stop seeing therapists and was being steered towards a certain religion. Further disempowering me, and making me dependent on the program, was the belief that I would have to remain dependent on this
“higher power” and be a life time member or I would die.

So to put it simply I had a scientific “disease” that science could not cure, I was too morally deficient to think for myself and AA knew what was best for me. I stayed for 6 months, before I had a falling out with a member when my dad died. The lack of empathy for my situation was appalling.

We had one member who was the leader rather than someone who shared that role with everyone the way the meetings are traditionally conducted. She verbally attacked me, stalked me, harassed me, started a smear campaign and threatened physical harm. Even my sponsor was harmful, she joined right in and so did her husband. I almost got a restraining order, instead I didn’t leave my house for almost a year. Even after, I rarely go out alone.

That experience caused me to finally quit, not because the “program” worked, but in spite of it. I never wanted to be involved with people like that again, nor did I ever want that life again.

So, those outside of the 12 step programs don’t know, and believe they’re great programs. Let’s be honest, that’s what you’ve been taught to believe, and until recently there has been no other choice. For those in the programs, you are desperately seeking love, acceptance, approval, and relief of your addictions (self medicating, that’s what it truly is). You have been taken advantage of, I hope you realize that, and get some real help someday. And for those who left, I’m proud of you, for finding that inner strength that was repressed in you; thinking for yourself, so you will never fall victim again to exploitation and empowering yourself to truly heal.

I’m 6 years alcohol free, and nearly 2 years tobacco free. No higher power did that. Thoughts and prayers didn’t do that. I did that. I can have all the alcohol and tobacco I want, I simply don’t want it. I have healthier choices and better ways to love my self.

I know a lot of people reading this, will experience cognitive dissonance.

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Endless trying

I saw this shirt and I thought it was funny because many people with mental health issues go through this… and so do I. Its endless trying things, new pills, changing therapist, groups…. I continue to struggle with depression, anxiety, and alcoholism…. Its been over 10 years…. #AlcoholDependence #Depression #Anxiety #MentalHealth

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How to help an alcoholic without hurting yourself

Part 1 of 2 In this article, you’ll find practical ideas to help you:

Understand the biggest needs of someone suffering from alcoholism

Distinguish between helping vs enabling

Encourage a loved one to seek treatment

Before discussing this topic in detail, it’s important for you to understand a hard truth about having a loved one suffering from alcoholism: It is not within your power to fix or cure this person. Recovery requires cooperation on the part of the person dependent on alcohol, a decision that things need to change radically. Once someone has become addicted, the goal of “cutting down” on alcohol is a lie that often enables the person to continue alcohol abuse and all its painful consequences. Accordingly, breaking addiction begins when a person recognizes his or her alcohol dependence and agrees that it needs to end.

The Biggest Needs of a Person with Alcohol Addiction

It goes without saying that the biggest need of an alcoholic is recovery. Alcoholism not only damages the health of the addicted but risks financial problems stemming from the behavioral problems (e.g. inconsistency at work, excessive absenteeism, etc.) associated with the disease. The problems of alcoholism also extend beyond the person suffering from the addiction. Common alcoholic behaviors such as drunk driving put the welfare of others in harm’s way.

Substance abuse in any form is a health risk. With respect to alcohol, addiction can produce a variety of medical problems from high blood pressure and heart disease to problems with liver function. An alcoholic may begin to skip meals or otherwise eat poorly. If an alcoholic has not yet agreed to treatment, you should still encourage a health diet, proper nutrition, and regular medical check-ups.

An understanding of alcoholism is another extremely important need for an alcoholic. Family and friends who have self-educated on alcoholism will avoid:

Blaming themselves for an alcoholic’s drinking

Making excuses for a loved one’s drinking or covering it up

Believing common lies alcoholics tell themselves (and others) to justify their drinking

Behaving in a way that is problematic around an alcoholic (such as drinking in their presence or leaving alcohol in a place where it is easily accessible)

Financially supporting an alcoholic so he or she may continue drinking despite losing employment due to compulsive drinking

The Importance of Self-Care for the Family & Friends of an Alcoholic

Alcoholism, like many other illnesses, affects not only a person who suffers from the condition but also the loved ones within his or her life. Addiction can manifest itself in innumerable ways that hurt those around the person dependent on alcohol. Most notably, typically loved ones spend an extreme amount of effort and energy on the alcoholic to address consequences of drinking and perform obligations that the alcoholic failed to perform. In this scenario, self-care can fall by the wayside.

If you have someone in your life struggling with alcoholism, remember to maintain a self-care routine to preserve your physical and emotional health. Consider the following self-care practices:

Attending a support group for people with alcoholic loved ones (e.g. Al-Anon)

Getting regular sleep


Regularly pursuing activities you enjoy (e.g. movies, concerts, museums, sports events)

Obtaining therapy if you struggle with feelings of depression or regret or fear

Writing your feelings in a journal

Maintaining a healthy diet

Understand Alcoholism Goes Beyond Drinking

Alcohol addiction has a host of negative behaviors associated with it because alcohol affects the way the brain functions. Some of the activities that may occur during alcoholism include:

Spending money on alcohol that was meant for the family (e.g. food, gas, insurance, savings, etc.)

Lying about quitting alcohol or lying about the extent of drinking

Failing to control anger or impulsive behavior

Engaging in reckless behavior such as drunk driving

Losing inhibitions while drunk and engaging in promiscuity

Acting in a manipulative or secretive manner

During therapy, alcoholics are encouraged to recognize these behaviors and work on replacing them with healthier ways of behaving that preserve important relationships and build trust.

Helping an Alcoholic vs. Enabling an Alcoholic

Loved ones wish to protect an alcoholic from the dangerous consequences of this addiction. This is especially true when the alcoholic is a son or daughter, though it can equally apply to a spouse. Unfortunately, this protective instinct can transform into enablement of addiction because it creates an environment where the personal costs of addiction are reduced for the person

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I’m Fighting off a Relapse

The prescription bottles in my medicine cabinet are talking to me, my esophagus is craving the burn of alcohol, and every sharp edge gets a little too close to my skin.

The sun is a little too bright, and happiness is a little too sweet. Life is so boring without drugs.

My sobriety clock is haunting me. The numbers are holding me hostage and taunting me. I’m watching the seconds tick time away, counting down to when I lose this battle.

The chips in my drawer are a useless reminder of bad coffee and uncomfortable chairs. The months they represent have lost their meaning. I’d rather use them for poker.

I’m starting to forget why I’m sober. This isn’t what I thought it would be like. Were the nights I can’t remember really so bad? Do I really care about my damaged body? Do I really need any friends and family around to judge me? Was any of this worth it?

I don’t want to relapse… but it feels like everything that’s supposed to help is turning against me.

#AddictionRecovery #Addiction #Depression #Anxiety #Selfharm #OpioidAddiction #AlcoholDependence


Day 1 w/o alcohol

Decided it was time to start regaining my health, drinking was making me super anxious and was declining at work because of it. Just taking it one day at a time. #dualdiagnosis #Bipolar2Disorder #AlcoholDependence #AlcoholAbuse