The Many Faces of Alcohol.
Alcohol has a revered and prominent place in society. People enjoy it as part of celebrations, comings of age, to relax with friends or alone and its presence has become part of happy memories for many folk.
But Alcohol also plays a role in the tragic aspects of
our society: drink driving, domestic violence, child abuse, poverty and homelessness,
cultural disintegration, serious chronic illness and accidents to name a few.
Alcohol means different things to different people. It has many faces!
So given the power that Alcohol has to contribute to the destruction of lives and factor into social problems, how is it also possible for some people to enjoy Alcohol and not succumb to its power?
Everyone has A Relationship with Alcohol.
Everyone has a different relationship with Alcohol. A lot of people consider their problems with Alcohol to be about personal failure.
A man who came to counselling recently described himself as "an alcoholic". He spoke of having a "disease" and he said that he would always have this "sickness". He said he was an "Addict" and "...once an Addict, always an Addict".
Other people could drink, he said, but not him, because of his "Alcoholism". He said this sickness might have been genetic; his father had also been a drinker and the man's entire family had suffered because of alcohol related violence in their home. This man spoke of having an "Addictive Personality".
One striking thing about this story is another aspect of Alcohol's power. Alcohol has convinced this man he is sick. It has left him believing that there is something "wrong" with him.