|Hope - photo by RebelBlueAngel|
At a recent meeting I said that alcoholism destroys hope. It is the very antithesis of hope. Alcoholism is nihilistic. The alcoholic is gradually destroying her/himself. Alcoholism breaks down the body, it damages objects around the person (by the person falling over or dropping things etc.) and it damages people involved with the alcoholic. It also tends to erode even destroy hope in the people involved with the alcoholic. These are partners, friends or relations.
But I wasn't quite right. The loss of hope happened tens of years ago in the alcoholic. It happened perhaps as a child, when the alcoholic-to-be was damaged or the genetic seeds were beginning to grow. It was then that hope in that person was lost. Although the alcoholic-to-be didn't know it.
Being alcoholic is a manifestation, in part, of the alcoholics loss of hope many years earlier. The alcoholic then spreads that loss of hope to those around him/her, like a virus.
Only an alcoholic can stop being alcoholic. As Al Anon says we are powerless against it and we need to recognise that.
In the same way, we as victims are the only ones who can stop being victims of alcoholics. We have the choice to leave to break the tie that binds us to the alcoholic. Yes, it's a tough choice sometimes because of the many external factors that also keep us together. Sometimes it can be better living with an alcholic than living alone. And there are many co-dependents in which both people are alcoholic.
Alcoholism destroys hope, we as victims have it in our power to regain hope.