Why The Alcohol Lacks The Power Of Choice and Control Over Alcohol
Ever wondered why once you have one drink, ten or twenty are not enough? Why is it that normal drinkers can have one or two drinks, walk away satisfied and yet the alcoholic is just getting warmed up after two and cannot stop once he starts?
Let me describe what would happen to me, the alcoholic, once I took a drink;
I have already described the reason why I was so desperately attracted to alcohol in the first place, I became obsessed with the effect of ease and comfort alcohol gave me. After all who in their right mind would not want such a powerful force inside of them, a force that could take on anything that life had to throw your way?
This is the mental short circuit that takes place in the mind of an alcoholic. On top of this mental condition, there is also a physical reaction that takes place.
When I take a drink, I break out in an irresistible yearning for another drink. The only thing that will satisfy this yearning is another drink. This physical reaction occurs with every drink I take and can only be satisfied with another. When I drink the drink takes me. This is where I lose the power of choice and control over alcohol and I could never accurately predict how many drinks I would have in one sitting. This physical action of alcohol on the alcoholic was described by Dr Silkworth as a phenomenon of craving. It is a physical allergy in the alcoholic, which means an abnormal reaction. This allergic reaction to alcohol only occurs in the alcoholic and never in the average temperate drinker. It has been proved beyond doubt that these allergic types of drinkers can NEVER use alcohol safely. The insanity of it all is that the alcoholic has no idea that this abnormal reaction is happening to him every time he drinks. No idea what so ever.
Now you know why once you start you cannot stop! Surely then all you have to do is stay away from the first drink? But you can’t stay away can you? Like me you have gone through dry periods where you have promised yourself and maybe others that you are done! Cutting down! Laying off the booze! But you can never stay stopped can you? As an alcoholic I could never ever achieve permanent abstinence from booze. I would at some stage find myself picking up the first drink, the one and only drink I should never take! Once that happened the rest was history. I would emerge remorseful full of promises of “never again!” and yet at some stage after the next spree would occur and the hideous cycle would happen again and again. Why? Why can I never put it down and leave it down? Well remember alcoholics have this mental obsession for the effect. An obsession so powerful that even wild horses cannot keep him from drinking. Driven by the overwhelming desire for the effect produced by alcohol, the alcoholic takes his first drink, the physical allergy kicks in and all bets are off!
This insidious cycle of self-destruction becomes the only normal way of life for the alcoholic and although he tries desperately to control and overcome his drinking under his own power, the fact is he lacks power over alcohol and does not even know it. It is not hard to observe by now that the alcoholics dilemma is pretty hopeless. Alcoholism is in actual fact a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. It is a level of insanity that is beyond human understanding and yet as real as night and day.
Paul Nobes – Author and addictions specialist.