Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Alcoholics Invisible Battle

Photo by James Donavon

Jane is OK right now, as right as she and I can be. But the alcoholic's invisible battle with the urge to drink is constant. What I mean is that I do not see her struggles. I don't know how she feels when she comes back from work or when she is driving back from work. At what point during the day or the week or month is it that she feels like a drink and struggles with that (if she is trying to remain sober, which is the case at present)?

Jane is a binge alcoholic so she is not on "trickle booze" but "binge booze". She stores up the desire to drink until it explodes inside her and then all that denial is unleashed in an almighty death defying binge in which she can literally kill herself. Sure she will drink occasionally in between binges (sort of mini-binges) but it is the 5-12 day big ones that is her hallmark behavior. When does this feeling to binge come on? Does she ever deny it, battle with it and win? Or does she always give in to it? Jane never tells me. Jane is very secretive about her drinking. The whole thing is soaked in guilt. She almost denies it to herself, which is why she doesn't stop.

A permanent alcoholic (one soaked in alcohol) never denies the booze and there is no inner struggle as the booze always wins before the struggle starts. But a binge alcoholic must face a moment in between binges when the urge to drink comes on. At that point, it could in theory at least, be denied. The alcoholics invisible battle begins. When I have discussed this with Jane she never, gives a clear answer. I ask, "do you get to a moment when you feel like a drink and at which time you can decide or at least think to yourself whether you can stop or not, you know, do something that diverts attention from the urge". And she'll come back with something like, "I don't know, how do I know, it just happens". A totally hopeless but expected response really. A response that is totally in harmony with the alcoholism, in fact.

The Alcoholics Invisible Battle to Alcoholism the Struggle

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I'd like to hear the experiences of both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics, please.