Stop, but don’t give up

This blog is the second in a series of three. The first appeared on 3rd November under the title ‘Change or Die?’

The second stage in overcoming alcohol addiction in my view is to understand why it is that alcohol is being used. But does everybody really know the real reason that they drink alcohol?

Most likely the thinking will be that it is a love of the taste, or that drinking alcohol is an essential part of appearing to be a ‘normal’ fully functional member of society. Many will never fully understand why they drink alcohol because it may never make a significant and obvious impact on their lives.

It may however become necessary to find the reason if they start to go beyond what the human body can  cope with and may be experiencing that it is progressively taking more and more alcohol to get the ‘effect’ that they are looking for.

The effect that they seek is usually to feel different quickly without having to put much in the way of mental or physical effort into it. Loving the taste of alcohol (ethanol) is acquired because in its pure unaltered state it tastes revolting, it is worth remembering that ethanol is in fact one of nature’s warnings of something that is potentially toxic.

This experience is not dissimilar to smoking whereby the smokers first experience is that the body rejects the cigarette but the smoker persists, ignoring the attempts of the body to send a clear signal that what they are doing is neither healthy nor desirable.

If a decision has been taken to stop drinking, then in my view it needs to be clear that this is a decision to stop, rather than ‘give up’.

‘Giving up’ appears to imply that something is being lost or given away when in fact the reverse is actually true. To a person with an addiction to alcohol stopping actually means that they are starting. They will be entering into the process of understanding the real reasons why they are drinking alcohol. That might well require some courage as there may be situations to face and resolve as well as a lifetime of difficult memories.

The underlying causes of alcohol addiction can be massively varied and are likely to be a combination of factors that are unique to the individual. As a result the only person that is really going to know what is happening is the person experiencing the addiction.

Are you considering ‘giving up’ something or is it that you want to stop?

Do you understand why?

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