Have you ever had your alcohol disorder questioned by people?
I have. I was asked “Are you sure you have a problem with alcohol?” “Do you drink every morning?” “Have you been in trouble with the law?” “Do you drink alone?” Because I answered no to most of these questions I felt like the other person didn’t believe me that I had an issue with alcohol. When you think about it, it’s kind of humorous. I mean, why would I fake it? I have nothing to gain from pretending I have an issue with abusing alcohol. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind being a ‘normie’. I just can’t, and I accept that. In the past, I have questioned my issue as well which is why I had many attempts at sobriety. During my initial rounds of sobriety, I thought I was cured and that I just needed a break from it. I felt that if my friends and I were so similar that I should be able to drink responsibly just like them. I wasn’t any different, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I went back to the booze, I found myself right back where I started. It was a vicious circle. I found that alcohol frequently affected my physical and mental health, relationships and responsibilities.
I must be honest, in the past, I also had similar assumptions as my inquisitive friend. I also looked at people with an alcohol issue as a negative trait. Clearly, I was wrong but what caused me to have this perspective on alcohol? Where did I learn this false accusation? And more importantly how do we drive a social movement to destigmatizing alcohol disorders? Does this stem from the terms we use for alcohol disorders? Smart Recovery discusses that the addict label suggests the whole person is the problem rather than the problem being the problem. Check out the whole article here.
If we see alcohol as a medical condition that can be treated, it will enable people with this disease to find help. We need the public to view this disorder as a brain disease and that addiction does not mean that anyone is weak or a bad person. We need to disassociate the word addiction with someone that is dangerous. The public needs to provide compassion rather than dismissing someone’s disease. The American Public Health Association argues that adopting a medical approach will reduce the stigma. Read more here.
If you have an issue with alcohol or you’re a supporter of someone that has this disorder, you can help destigmatize this by sharing your story, by being proud rather than ashamed, by sharing your feeling of reward, by vocalizing how you are embracing this life and that you have the courage to overcome it. Taking on a sober life is bad ass and I encourage you to share your journey with the world!
Together, we can make a difference!