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Thread: Should we banish the words alcoholic and alcoholism?

  1. #11
    I flunked typing coachgrrl's Avatar
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    Yes that is very unclear.

    The hallmark sign for me is when you can't stop. My dad would come home every night and get tanked on usually cheap wine in a large water glass. My sister and I both know we inherited some of those genes, it's a situation we always have to be mindful of.

  2. #12
    Vicious Trollop Kimm's Avatar
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    This is one of those subjects that people will never agree on. I know people who seem to drink way too much and I know people who are so anti-drinking that they seem kind of hysterical about it.

    I come from a family where almost every man in the family is an alcoholic (if you knew the women in the family, this would come as no surprise ).

    I can take alcohol or leave it. I sometimes go months without a drink. I am not TRYING to not drink. I just don't think about it. Then, I will buy some vodka or really good beer and have a drink once a night for a week. Then, I get tired of it and think it's too many calories or I run out and can't be bothered to buy anymore.

    With that said, if I am out somewhere and don't want a drink, I just say no. I have never felt pressured to drink. And if someone did try to pressure me to drink, I would think they were crazy and probably avoid them in the future.
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  3. #13
    Moderator Shaena's Avatar
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    My circle seemed to outgrow that kind of pressure years ago. I like to have a drink or two, but there have also been times like after my mother died, that I could seriously see emptying a wine bottle a day as an awesome plan.

    I don't NEED to drink therefore I don't consider myself an alcoholic. If I can't get through A day without a drink or twenty, and either do that, or become a friend of Bill W. Then I would say I am an alcoholic.

  4. #14
    Vicious Trollop Kimm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapToTalk View Post
    Where I think she has it wrong is that not all alcoholics stop on their own. Some need interventions as much as any other addiction.

    Where she has it right is that people who beat the addiction are considered ex-addicts. Whereas, if they decide to stay clean in our culture because they have an addiction, they will say they won't drink because they are an alcoholic, not an ex-drinker.

    So, I get the point. But, it's another example of getting too hung up on commonly accepted terminology because it hurts a particular person's feelings. She can come up with an alternate term.

    But, a lot of her article makes it sound like society has an alcohol problem and we should should all stop and make it socially unacceptable (again). If we would all stop, then she'd never be in that uncomfortable situation again. Umm, no....
    Right, cause Prohibition worked so well the first time around.

  5. #15
    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    BIL, who may or may not currently be sober, seems to think that because alcoholism is a disease, he bears little to no responsibility for his drinking or any problems stemming from his drinking. (He hasn't come right out and said this, but it's my impression that he feels like that.)

    The push to really shift everyone's thinking about alcoholism being a disease has done a lot of good, but I think it's also potentially a stumbling block on the path to recovery for some. Because clearly it takes a ton of commitment to get sober, and it takes a lot of ownership over the wrongs and the bad choices made during the addiction to repair a life (and to create a solid foundation for a stable life, in order to increase the chances of long term sobriety). But it seems like some people would find it hard to do those things if they feel like their choices didn't lead to their condition because it's simply a disease. It's genetic, and it's not their fault.

  6. #16
    I would love to be wrong. Yogagirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    BIL, who may or may not currently be sober, seems to think that because alcoholism is a disease, he bears little to no responsibility for his drinking or any problems stemming from his drinking. (He hasn't come right out and said this, but it's my impression that he feels like that.)

    The push to really shift everyone's thinking about alcoholism being a disease has done a lot of good, but I think it's also potentially a stumbling block on the path to recovery for some. Because clearly it takes a ton of commitment to get sober, and it takes a lot of ownership over the wrongs and the bad choices made during the addiction to repair a life (and to create a solid foundation for a stable life, in order to increase the chances of long term sobriety). But it seems like some people would find it hard to do those things if they feel like their choices didn't lead to their condition because it's simply a disease. It's genetic, and it's not their fault.
    I have seen this in my family too. Because relapse is part of the disease I have family members who see that as permission to relapse.

    I think the author is a little full of herself and like a lot of recovering alcoholics I know blames society and considers any drinking a problem. My sister once told me that anyone who keeps alcohol in their house is an alcoholic. I also took exception to the author's belief that she is cured because she no longer has to drink. She sounds like a very cocky newly sober person.

    I did relate to the fact that it is a very different addiction when compared to things like coke, heroin and other opiates. It is the one socially acceptable drug and it is ubiquitous. While I have never, at least as an adult, felt pressured to drink if I am not drinking when everyone else is I do get asked why and I sometimes feel pressured to explain myself. In a scenario where I will be offered a drink several times by several different people (like a large party) I find it easier to fake drink. I hold up my untouched glass of wine and say no thanks.

  7. #17
    Full Sponsor maurinsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpatt100 View Post
    I couldn't be an alcoholic, whenever I get the spins then a hangover I don't drink for years after that
    I am too cheap to be an alcoholic! I drink more now than I ever did when I was younger, and it's still not even one alcoholic drink a month. I probably have a drink 4-5 times a year.

  8. #18
    Full Sponsor maurinsky's Avatar
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    I have a lot of alcoholics on my family tree, including my father, my maternal grandmother, and both of my grandfathers. I was never in a social group that pressured me about drinking, and after growing up around a bunch of drunk Irish men, drinking never seemed like the fun, sexy time it appears to be on TV or in the movies. You see a couple of 60something Dubliners not quite making it to the toilet, you start to think "not for me".

    I think I drink more now than I ever have before (which, as stated above, is still not much) because I can - I don't have to be the responsible party 100% of the time now. Although I am responsible. I had to know that I was responsible about it before I could take a drink, because of my experiences growing up.

  9. #19
    Heartless Wench Alice Chalmers's Avatar
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    I agree with PK. Frankly, the author was an alcoholic before she quit drinking - she was simply undiagnosed.

    There's been a handful of internet articles lately trying to insist that pretty much everyone has a problem with alcohol. As has been said above, it smacks of someone who can't control his/her drinking not being able to comprehend that not everyone has the same issue.

    It asserts that the majority of drinkers drink "normally" and are able to control alcohol.Alcohol is an addictive substance. End of story. And everyone who consumes it to some degree has to exert control over it. I'm not asserting that everyone is hooked on it…because there are people -like my mother and her one or two glasses of wine a week - who have no degree of difficulty managing or controlling it. But that doesn’t mean she doesn't exert control over limiting it to that one or two. There are no "normies" that don't have to control it and "alcoholics" who cannot - it's just not that simple. There are degrees of control unique to each one of us, unique to our genetic make-up, our exposure, our trauma, our other coping mechanisms, the age we started drinking, our environment, our anxiety, our depression, our peers, and on. There is NO normal, and the only way to have 100% control over it is to eliminate it entirely.


    Yeah, no. For plenty of people, drinking lightly to moderately is not a matter of control or limiting. She's imposing her issue on others.

  10. #20
    Heartless Wench Alice Chalmers's Avatar
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    One thing I do agree with is this:

    The label Alcoholic and the "disease" alcoholism confuses and muddies. It keeps us focused on a label and a construct and distracts us from the REAL problem at hand, which is our individual relationship with alcohol. We should just be able to ask ourselves this simple question and honestly so: Does alcohol negatively impact our lives? And if so should we take steps to address it? Without the fear of having to accept a new identity. Without the fear of having to accept that we might be different. Without the fear that we might have an incurable disease.


    There certainly is a spectrum. While I think her assertion that anyone who ever drinks is on that spectrum is just utterly absurd, I do think there's a place where someone is not necessarily an alcoholic, but headed in that direction and needs to tighten up the reins.

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