The definition doesn’t matter- what matters is it’ll kill you
“…It was then I felt The Stranger kick me right between the eyes.”
Billy Joel, lyrics from The Stranger
Exactly WTH is Alcoholism? Damn Good Question!
Amidst our advanced understanding and knowledge of human physiology, there is little agreement on the answer to that question even among treatment centers, specialists, the “Experts,” and laymen as well. How has this vicious, fatal and prevalent affliction escaped our definition for so long?
The American Medical Association (AMA) declared Alcoholism to be an illness in 1956. In 1991, the AMA further endorsed Alcoholism as a medical and psychiatric disease, under the International Classification of Diseases. Though over forty years have elapsed, there is significant disagreement amongst the medical profession on that classification today, and more importantly precisely what it means.
If you are truly searching for the answer, feel free to Google your ass off. WARNING: Your head will explode from Blunt Information Trauma (BIT) within an hour.
But, seriously, who gives a shit? I mean really, in the scheme of things going on in the world right now?
The 7,000 people that died from it today probably did.
Before they died anyway.
That’s about 200,000 years of life lost from the earth. Yesterday. (1)
Maybe their (conservatively estimated) 100,000 close friends and family did. Before they died today. Probably more so after they died.
Here’s another small group that might desire an understanding of this fatal “disease.” With 10% of the population estimated as alcoholic, there are roughly 760 Million alcoholic people alive today that could possibly want to know. Maybe their (conservatively estimated) 1 Billion close friends and family, while they have friends at least.
Having personally passed through every single phase associated with the disease, including the Terminal Phase in my Forty Two years of alcoholic drinking, I offer my perspective. It’s an intimate, first-hand understanding of this horrible affliction.
Here’s what alcoholism did and what is was, for me as well as the 7,000 people that died from it yesterday:
THE STRANGER MURDERED US. ALL OF US.
It’s September of 1974 in Western NY. I had finished half of my first alcoholic drink, a delicious Vodka, and grapefruit. (Squirt soda, no less!)
I became aware of a Presence, someone who had never captured my attention before. Initially, I was only aware of His overwhelming approval, acceptance, and validation of me.
These emotions were so welcome in my life. At almost Fifteen years of age my search for connection and acceptance with other people, for my meaning and purpose, like all humans was a central struggle for me.
I was highly favored at this moment. Powerful. Capable. I felt gifted by His presence.
Alcoholism and My Relationship with The Stranger.
For many years The Stranger applauded me, creating an oblique mask of a relationship with Him. He was a real friend, a lover. This engendered Him to me, aroused me and incited a deep desire to maintain our relationship.
Our relationship seemed such a mutually affectionate one. For many years throughout my Adaptive (re: highly functional) Phase, it seemed to be a relationship born of free-will. I liked Him. He liked me.
Eventually, He beget a compulsion, an obsession for me to be with Him.
In truth, the “Relationship,” consisted only of His lethal commands and my vapid subservience. Willpower was useless. I wasn’t there. Any mental defense was non-existent. I agreed with Him.
I was Him.
Wise words were written almost eighty years ago:
“The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.”
Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous, 1939.
THE STRANGER INTENDS TO MURDER YOU.
BUT FIRST, HE WANTS TO GET YOU ALONE.
Sometimes, you wake up alone in a pool of your own piss and blood, and it’s not even clear where the blood is coming from. If you wake up. I didn’t.
It doesn’t matter. Eventually, nobody wakes up.
HOW THE ALCOHOLIC’S STORY ENDS
You’re going to die. You’re fucked.
If you would like to know more about my personal journey and recovery from the pits of hell, please visit my page here. I also have blogs, reference material, recommended books and help available for those seeking hope all over my site.
I intend to run a continuing series of Blogs periodically shoving The Stranger out of the closet, so others can finally glimpse Him. You can find the first one here, about the best and worst date you’ll ever experience. My upcoming book, I Almost Murdered a Complete Stranger is rife with information on The Stranger. It’s due out in early May 2018.
“As long as there is life, there is hope.”
(1). Numbers extracted from current Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) estimates.