The alcoholic represents many things to many people, but, they are the world’s supreme paradox with their contradictions in thought and behaviour.
Alcoholism is a disease that tells its sufferer that they are not an alcoholic. The evidence may be in the following behaviours;
- They go to a bar knowing that they won’t find what they are looking for.
- They are looking for happiness and freedom from fear, but find only despair.
- They will trade freedom of choice for a drink.
- They search frantically for courage in a bottle, but find only hopelessness and yet still drink.
- They know from experience that alcohol makes the poor person rich in fantasy for a short time and that it makes a wealthy drunkard poor in reality.
- They drink to ease the tensions of the day.
- They drink to escape the pressures of tomorrow.
- They are in love with themselves, yet they try to kill themselves.
- They want to be free but rush headlong into a self-made prison.
- When sober, they want to get drunk.
- When drunk they pray for sobriety.
- They get ‘high’ in the evening so that they can be low in the morning.
- They want the beauty of life, yet seek the sordid and the ugly.
- The strange contradiction of the alcoholic is that they think that the only way they can feel better is by drinking the liquid that will make them feel worse.
- They seek to inflate their ego with alcohol but succeed only in shrivelling their soul in the bitter gall of remorse.
- They will start all their bouts with the dignity of a monarch and wind up fawning like a clown.
And so they go on their contradictory, paradoxical way leaving behind in human wreckage all those they had loved.
Down the road they stumble in a stupor to oblivion staggering until they drown themselves in a two-ounce whisky glass.
Or, by the Grace of God they find for themselves sobriety, serenity, a new life and become a new person in Alcoholics Anonymous .