The American Medical Association recognized alcohol dependence as a disease over 55 years ago. Alcohol dependence fits the disease model because it is a dysfunctional state with characteristic form.
Use of some drugs, including alcohol, may cause dependency. The medical term for this dependency, or addiction, is Chemical Dependency. In order for a chemical to be addictive it must possess three properties. It must be: 1) mind altering or mood changing, 2) euphorigenic, and 3) reinforcing, that is taking the chemical stimulates taking more of the chemical.
Kim, with 3 days since her last drink, shares her story
[14:29] Paul Introduces Kim. I am 43 years old, I have 2 kids, I am from Atlanta, I am a self-employed attorney. I like to walk my dog, be out in nature, and exercise. I come from a family of alcoholics.
[19:34] Paul- Did you ever put any rules into place? Like not drinking before 5:00? Tell us more about that.
Kim- I did actually. I switched to wine, I don’t know if that counts as moderating. I did cut back on the heavy stuff. I tried not drinking when I noticed the emotions were flooding. For me it’s been the amount I have been drinking when I did drink.
[32:18] Paul- We are both one of the “lucky ones” How do you feel about that?
Kim- The one thing I have that my family members don’t have is self-awareness. They are in denial. I feel very very lucky that I have been able to recognize what I am doing, and that it is a problem. At the same time it is everywhere. I see it everywhere.
[43:08] Rapid Fire Round
- What was your worst memory from drinking? Without a doubt it was that night. It was the lowest I felt in my life. I never want to be there again.
- Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? It was 3 days ago. We were having fun, watching football. The next thing I knew I had a beer in my hand.
- What’s your plan moving forward? Accountability is big. Actually calling somebody, I can see where reaching out can help break the cycle.
- What’s your favorite resource in recovery? Without a doubt it is the Café RE recovery group.
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? When you are going through hell, don’t stop.
- What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Don’t beat yourself up. It perpetuates in a negative way.
- You might be an alcoholic if… you actually enjoy being sick with a cold or the flu because it actually suppresses your desire to get a drink for a while.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”