Al-Anon Family Group

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: 5/7 C2C Do I See Alcohol as a Disease?


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 626
Date:
5/7 C2C Do I See Alcohol as a Disease?


 

Thoughts and prayers with IAH as she is still away tending to family; here are a few thoughts about today's Courage to Change...

Today's page challenges my acceptance of alcoholism as a disease over which the alcoholic, nor I, have control. Would I blame a cancer or tuberculosis patient for their symptoms or plead, chastise, or attempt to argue with them as I have done with alcoholism?

The page encourages me to put effort into what I can control: my own recovery. This will bring better results for me, the alcoholic, and everyone else involved in my life.

Reminder: Accepting alcoholism as a disease helps me recognize that I, too am in need of recovery.

"Whether or not the alcoholic achieves sobriety, the time for the family members to begin working on their own recovery is now." ~ Guide for the Family of the Alcoholic

-------------------------------

Even when I had found AlAnon, it was still some time before I truly let go of the feeling that the alcoholic was the problem. That was an easier position to hold as I felt justified in my resentment and own insanity. I didn't want to consider that I was the source of my own suffering.

A glimpse of serenity for me and healing in my household had to wait until I began to grasp this concept and begin to truly accept it. Focusing on my own recovery refocused my attention while allowing the alcoholic in my life to find their path without my constant interference (today's ODAT has been an outstanding and powerful reminder).

When I let it begin with me, I allow my higher power to guide me and my alcoholic's higher power to do the same for them. Seeing alcoholism as a disease is a gift and pillar of the program that was the doorway to my recovery and serenity ...so grateful for the wisdom of the program



__________________

Paul

"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1761
Date:

I always found the argument as to whether or not alcoholism is a disease as a fallacious argument. Is or isn't -- how does that change the outcome, the result, where I am at right now? So if it isn't -- does that make me right? Does that help me force my will? Does it give me the ability to turn to the alcoholic and say "See, it is not a disease, so just stop drinking! Stop all the excuses!" and so on? For me it's simply -- the argument is -- to what end?

The intellectual acceptance that alcoholism is a disease has always been simple. That's just me though. However, the absolute acceptance is where I see most people never attaining. For me, the absolute acceptance was not just simply "admitting" I was powerless, that my life had become unmanageable...it was absolute acceptance so that I ceased, gave up, had no further desire, to -- try and fix it, be right, prove, force, convince, control, and so on. That is absolute acceptance. It is part of surrender for me.

I never, ever, ever, felt that my wife's drinking was a "moral" issue. I never thought my wife was a bad person. As a matter of fact, she was the finest and best person I ever met. She wasn't a bad person doing bad things. She was a sick person who was doing bad things and not being able to know they were bad, or have the desire or ability to stop. When I "stopped" trying to fix, control, be right, prove, etc. -- my life got better and so did my wife's. While it sounds ludicrous, she was left to do what she wanted to do, without me trying to stop her, and at that time what she wanted to do was drink.

I did not need recovery from alcoholism...I needed recovery from the impact alcoholism had on me, and the sickness that I developed.

I still hear the argument, discussion, etc., on disease vs. not. People feel the way they feel. They figure it out when and if they figure it out...and when they do, alanon is there.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1641
Date:

Thank you Paul for your service and for both above shares. I came to accept that alcohol was a disease. The problem I have with it, and just had this talk with my A a half hour ago, is that there is a ton of help available for this particular disease. And why my A cannot enter recovery with serious intent is still a thorn in my side.

Putting things in order however, require me to focus back on myself, and enjoy my life no matter what my A is doing. And thanks to program, most of the time I am able to do this. Progress not perfection, Lyne

__________________

Lyne

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1761
Date:

Excellent insight Lyne! Thank you for sharing!

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 84
Date:

Thank you Paul for today's topic. I took a long time to accept that alcoholism is a disease and really struggled with the comparison to cancer / TB etc. What made it difficult for me was the thinking that some alcoholics can get to a point where they seek recovery, which in my view is different from cancer.

However, I got to a point, where I decided it really didn't matter whether it was a disease or not - the problem and my reaction was still there no matter how I classed it.

Also I went through a period when I did accept it as a disease and then went too far down the line of accepting unacceptable behaviour because my distorted thinking was none of us could do anything about it apart from 'blame' the disease!

I am now at the point where I still accept it as a disease, but it doesn't matter whether it is a disease or not really - the main focus now is my own 'disease' (and recovery) which is still there whether there is an alcoholic in my life or not.

A revisit to step 4 is being invaluable in removing another layer of my own blinkers!  



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2662
Date:

Thanks ((Paul)) for your service and share. Learning more about alcoholism was helpful as a newcomer to Alanon. Acknowledging it as an illness helped me make sense of the 3Cs. I didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it. Now I was free to work on my own dis-ease the effects of living with alcoholism. I think the Alanon home page here at MIP gives a concise and accurate explanation of alcoholism as an incurable illness. Sadly, there can additional fallout from alcoholism. Other illnesses such as osteoporosis and dementia although not exclusive to alcoholics, can be linked to alcoholism. Additionally, without getting super clinical, alcoholics brains respond differently to alcohol than non alcoholics. It's like the shut off valve is broken. Also, withdrawal from alcohol is further evidence of it's seriousness. Having witnessed it, it was painful to me as a family member to witness the suffering and to my alcoholic who was closely monitored by medical professionals. This is my experience with this so please take what you like and leave the rest. As far as behaviors, enough years of drinking result in trouble with concentration and thought processing, agitation and memory loss. There a distinct difference in my humble opinion between behaviors just mentioned and premeditated misery making. If someone's a jerk, they're a jerk under the disease of alcoholism too. Anyway, for me it's just about recognizing alcoholism as an illness but not excuse away lack of willingness to try to get sober. But ultimately, my job is to work on me. I am by far not cured; a work in progress. My best days are the ones that includes prayers for acceptance of myself and the alcoholics in my life where we are today and hope that we'll each be in a little better place emotionally, physically and spiritually with each passing day. TT

__________________

Faith unsticks fear.



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 10642
Date:

Thanks Paul for your service and the daily! Thanks to all for your shares/ESH! I had no concept with the disease concept - coming from the other side of the program, it made it much 'easier' for me to accept all the things I said, did, etc. when I was active in the disease. However, I also had absolutely no issue slipping into deep denial and insanity that my kids could have this disease. I lost my mind trying to fix, control, change them, their use, etc. It was such a waste of time and energy and yet, I felt so compelled to continue because these were my children and I felt that's what a mom should do.

What I realized is that a part of me truly struggled with the disease concept even though I was willing to accept it in 'me'. I had to go back in my own experience and do a full recall on what it was like for me, and consider/accept it could be the same for my children. For me, the disease progressed to a point where drinking/using wasn't a choice...it was a necessity to get through the day. It wasn't always about the physical withdrawal - it could also be psychological withdrawal. I had been a consistent daily user for so, so long, I had absolutely no idea how to do 'life' without being in an altered state.

I have friends who have diabetes. In spite of the dangers, they still indulge in carbs/sugar. They feel they have it under control. Maybe they do, maybe they do not. Not for me to say.

My husband, father and mother all have heart disease. In spite of the dangers, they still indulge in food choices that are less than stellar. They feel they have it under control. Maybe they do, maybe they do not. Not for me to say.

For an alcoholic, it's no different. We believe we have it under control and 'this time' will be different. We can/will stop @ one/two. Maybe this works, maybe it doesn't. The pull of the disease is just as strong to an alcoholic as a piece of chocolate cake is to a diabetic or a huge steak to one with heart disease. We may know it's not good for us, but we feel it's OK/under control. How an alcoholic sees things vs. how those around them see things is vastly different! I really did not believe I had the choice to not be altered, as it's the only way I knew how to do life, until I got into recovery.

So, accepting the disease for me has been a process. It was much easier to accept in myself than others. I'm with my parents during a pandemic in another state, and my mother is an active alcoholic. I've been here 12 days and have purchased 4 bottles of wine for my mother. Am I enabling? Or, am I in survival mode, trying to keep peace in a house with 2 quarantined people who can't leave? For today, it doesn't really matter. I came to be of unconditional service to my parents, who are battling a deadly virus and it's not the time for me to decide what's best for another. So, in spite of a boundary I set 32.5 years ago to never, ever purchase alcohol again, I've done so. Believe it or not, with all that's going on, this has been one of the easier decisions I've had to make.

I really, really appreciate your willingness to step up Paul and fill in! I also really appreciate all the prayers/thoughts! Love and light to all - (((hugs))) too!

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1194
Date:

Although this is two days old.... IAH, the words " much easier to accept in self than others " rings true. For me it's easier to forgive a sick person than a bad person. Also easier to detach emotionally without getting sucked in. Still easy to forget in the throes of insanity which is why I must keep coming back. It creeps up, insanity of alcoholism.

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.