The Alcoholic and Their Dilemma

The Alcoholic and Their Dilemma


The alcoholic will at some point face a dilemma that is absolutely mind boggling and is actually pretty terrifying at the same time.  Their problem will be that they wish to continue drinking, and yet they will be so out of control with their alcoholism that they will not be able to stop on their own.  They will be unable to picture their future as either a drunk or a sober person.  They cannot possibly imagine sobriety and what that would entail for them.  They certainly will not be able to see themselves as being happy as a sober person.  But on the other hand, their drinking will have gotten so bad, that they cannot picture themselves continuing on with that either.  They will be experiencing a clear progression that makes them feel as if they are spiraling out of control.

It as at this point that many alcoholics think that they are suicidal.  In all actuality, they really are not–they just cannot see a way out of their dilemma and cannot see any possible path into the future. To continue drinking seems to be absurd.  They have hit bottom and cannot imagine sinking any lower or drinking themselves any further into oblivion.  And yet they cannot imagine getting sober. The idea is foreign and scary.  They cannot picture a life without alcohol.  And if they can picture it, they do not want it, because it is terrifying and scary to think of life without alcohol.

Lunchtime Pint
Creative Commons License photo credit: Smabs Sputzer

So what to do at this point?  Every alcoholic will reach this moment if they are lucky enough to live to see it.  It is a special point because they are faced with an opportunity. The idea of continuing to drink has finally become just as ludicrous as the idea of getting sober.  And so if the alcoholic is willing, at this moment, then they will ask for help and their life will start to change.

At first, it may be a bit of an adventure, and the alcoholic will not necessarily believe that they can have a good life in sobriety.  This is fine.  What is important is that they are willing to give sobriety a chance anyway….even in spite of their doubts.  I know what it is like to take this leap of faith because I have done it.  I did not have much faith or courage that my life would get better or even be enjoyable in the least at some point.  In fact, I thought I would be miserable forever.  Of course, I was wrong, and life got really good in recovery.

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