Part 1. Part 2.
As a counsellor, with 23 plus years of experience, I often see clients who have an alcohol problem. I help them deal also with the effect of their addiction on their relationship/marriage, regardless of the stage.
An alcohol addiction causes mistrust, suspicion and a great deal of unhappiness in any relationship. Often people seek relationship advice for other reasons than the alcohol problem, because of the sense of shame attached to it. However, it soon becomes apparent at what stage the relationship began to buckle under the strain of an alcohol problem in one or both of the partners.
The article below was written by my friend Chris who also wrote an article about how alcoholism and depression for him went hand in hand (see links further down).
Think you can give up any time you want? Chris starts with describing how his drinking started when he was at university. Don't let that put you off! Read carefully and you may recognise yourself - or someone you care about - regardless what age you are! Not sure if it is really you? See pages on alcoholism symptoms, self-test and link to chilling pictures of a damaged brain.
Guest article by Chris A.
These are some of the alcoholism stages as I experienced them during my time as an active alcoholic.
These alcoholism stages may not necessarily correspond to what is recognised by the many leading alcoholic recovery organisations. They are simply a description of what I thought, felt and experienced during my time as a problem drinker.
When I started drinking I just looked like another teenager, new to drinking, enjoying it. At this stage I was still able to refuse drink. (Although if the truth be known I’d have preferred not to refuse it.)
The second of the alcoholism stages mostly describes university drinking. Uni – a license to drink as much as I liked.
Of course this is well camouflaged, as everyone does it – at least that’s what you tell yourself. (Actually ... they don’t, but mostly I was able to satisfy myself that my drinking wasn’t abnormal). Besides, it was still fun – mostly.
Still at university, only now I often don’t go to lectures or hand in assignments. If it’s a choice between the library and the pub the pub wins every time.
I could pass this off as just being ‘just a bit if a lad’ but really I found much greater comfort in drinking during the day. The problem with this stage of alcoholism is that some part of you knows that what you’re doing is wrong (even if you can justify it – I’ll do it later or I’m in a bad mood), but it started to erode my self esteem.
The next stage of alcoholism was when I was drinking because I was bored. Drinking in itself seemed to constitute an activity.
Worthwhile and esteem-able activities such as study or what had been enjoyable sporting pursuits took less than a back seat as I moved from one stage to the next.
I quit uni and decided that I’d cut down on my drinking and get a
job. Instead, I continued to drink on a daily basis.
I often found myself drinking lager at the edge of a soccer pitch, watching my friends play. I would be thinking: ‘I used to be like that. I used to be good at this game. Has it come to this? A deepening of my low self esteem.
(Elly comments: So often when a couple come for relationship advice, it becomes apparent that low self-esteem has a huge impact on the couple dynamics. One partner/spouse has often tries to support/'prop up' the other. However, unless that person is willing to take action, it is only going to lead to them becoming further and further polarised - their differences becoming more acute. See: How to build self-esteem)
Excessive absenteeism - sometime in my mid-twenties - was one of the major alcoholism stages for me. Not only was I drinking every night, but also during the day if I could think of a good enough lie to get out of work.
Besides, I’d found the concept of ‘hair of the dog’ at university. Apart from sometimes feeling too sick to work, I was finding that I couldn’t face going into work and being around people.
The problem was that feeling guilty didn’t stop me, even though I
did. I told myself that I was just being a bit cheeky.
Having just told work another lie I would then find that I had the
rest of the day on my hands – time to drink. I'm sure they
already suspected that step-by-step I was going through the
Questions about hypnosis? See: Hypnosis online FAQ.
Great justification for drinking. If I didn’t have a good enough reason to drink I’d tell myself that I was just like a certain character that happened to be drinking a lot in the book I was reading or film I was watching.
(Actually it was probably more that I was reading about/watching a character that was drinking. It would bring the idea of getting drunk to mind. Unfortunately the obsessional nature of the alcoholic mind - regardless of any alcoholism stages - is such that that thought can’t be removed until you have some drink in you).
Brick from ‘A cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ is my favourite example of this. He was still young and athletic, but spent all day lost in an alcoholic haze. This appealed to me.
A really helpful way of tackling an alcohol problem/addiction is to use hypnosis - a 'painless', comfortable treatment. No visits to professionals required with an hypnosis download and no need to 'expose' yourself in groups. So here is my suggestion for starters: Moderate your drinking (on my page: Hypnosis online FAQ). What have you got to lose, when you are already searching for information on alcoholism stages?
If you are drinking to 'calm your nerves', because you are suffering from high levels of anxiety, then I really hope you'll have a look at my review of THE best system I have been able to find to help you overcome your anxiety.
Fine-tune your relationship and lift your spirits!
and alcoholism (Article by Chris)
Alcoholism and depression
Anger managements tips
How to increase libido
Physical effects of sleep deprivation
Partner in prison
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