There comes a time in almost everyone’s life where we are faced with a problem or situation that we just cannot control, and that we have no idea how to handle. This may be made worse by financial or marital strain, health issues, etc. For many people already living a stressful life, this new issue could be the one that puts them over the hump, the one that makes them turn their back on those they love, and stop living life as they know it. They may wake up one day, and find themselves and alcoholic.
Few people become an alcoholic overnight of course, it usually starts with an occasional drink, that turns into many every day as life with all of its problems and stresses continues. Eventually, alcohol will become your best friend, because it takes you away from all of the problems and stresses of everyday life. At some point, you will probably alienate your family and friends, and your work performance may suffer to the point of getting you terminated. Hopefully, you will be able to recognize the signs before the diseases progresses to that level.
Many people not only suffer the problems previously discussed, but thousands will die each year to alcoholism and abuse. The effects of alcohol on the system are often debilitating to the liver, especially long term use. Alcohol also limits your body’s ability to absorb the vitamins it needs, making you more prone to illness and infection, memory loss, anemia, and fatigue, just to name a few. It can affect the heart and circulatory system as well. Not to mention the number of accidents caused by alcohol, injuring both the person that has been drinking, but in many cases, innocent bystanders as well. Car accidents, work related injuries, falls, burns, all can be caused by alcohol abuse.
Many people are helped each year to overcome their alcohol dependence through Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA. AA is a support based system, in which you are grouped with your peers, also afflicted with the same problem, and you learn to overcome your disease by helping each other. You cannot make someone join a group like this and expect them to have the best results, they have to realize and admit they have a problem on their own. You then have to try to determine why you drink, and find alternate ways to deal with those reasons, whether it just be addiction, or one of life’s many problems we all face.
AA teaches you a twelve step method to help you deal with and overcome your alcohol addiction. The first step is learning to be honest in admitting that you have a problem that needs to be dealt with. It is hard to fix something, if you are oblivious to it being broken. The second step teaches you to have faith in yourself, that you can control your life again and overcome this addiction. Step three is surrender: mainly defined as deciding to turn your life around. They call step four soul searching, which basically is just what it implies. You look into yourself to find out what troubles you, so that you can deal with it in a more appropriate manner. Step five: integrity, self explanatory. The sixth step is acceptance, learning to accept your flaws for what they are and move on. Next step is humility, asking for help fro something that you cannot do alone. Step eight is hard for some, that is willingness to make amends. Stepping up to all of the people who have been harmed by your drinking problem. Along with step eight, step nine is forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness for all of the harm caused by your problem. Step ten is what is known as the maintenance step, maintaining that what you have done is wrong, and continuing to follow the steps to recovery. Step eleven could be considered by some to be controversial, it is called making contact, simply put, learning to accept God into your life. The twelfth step, is basically just continuing to follow the other eleven steps to the end.
There are many alcohol treatment programs out there, and AA is definitely not the only option. Maybe a rehabilitation center would better suit your needs. The main thing is to realize that you have a problem that you cannot handle alone, and seek out help to solve it.