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Alcoholism Is A Cowardly Way Of Living Life

December 1, 2007

I am a recovering alcoholic. I know why I drank, and it was because I couldn't deal with life on life's terms. I went into a twelve step program, and I have not had a drink since. That was fourteen years ago. It is much harder living sober. You actually have to live life, and take care of problems, instead of drinking them away.

There are still people I have known for a long time that I still get drunk calls from on occassion. If I hear the answering machine, with a long, drawn out, slurring speech, I don't pick up. There is nothing I can do for them, and I don't need their problems, you see, I have my own to work on, and I'm doing it sober. I do not take alcoholism lightly, I know the heartache and pain it is trying to cover up, however, there are ways to stop, if I could do it after twenty years, anyone can.

They just have to make that commitment. I went to meetings every night for four and a half years, to learn the skills I needed to stay away from a drink. I paid a babysitter four dollars a night to go to these meetings, and I didn't lie on my couch, watching TV, saying I didn't feel like going out. I stuck to my commitment. As a result, no more drinking.

There are those who will do anything to help you while in the program. They will stay with you, they will let you stay with them, they will take you to meetings, whatever it takes. A coward will give up. Life is too hard, they have too many problems, they lost their license to a DWI, or two or three. Their families and kids have long left them in the dust, after years of putting up with their drunk and disorderly conduct. Children's lives are affected. Spouses lives are affected. Families are affected.

The drunk themselves' lives are affected, both emotionally and physically. And it's always somebody or something else's fault. Blame never comes near them. I was one of them, and I know firsthand. My father was mean to me, my boss was mean to me, my siblings were mean to me, life was mean to me, whoa is me, let me go drink myself into a stupor, and ruin some lives. Maybe kill people while I've been in the bar drinking for hours, and leave, driving. As long as we don't take responsibility for our own actions, we will never be able to stop drinking.

To be cowardly, which is to be spineless and nerveless, is to be someone who will not take the proper measures to get themselves well. Yes, it's a disease, but there is more help for an alcoholic than all the different diseases combined. There are hundreds of meetings a week one can attend. There are sponsors, there are "old timers" with the sobriety it takes to help someone who wants help. To me, not to want help is cowardly. It allows one to be able to repeat their behavior over and over because they can't find a job, or they don't have enough money to put down on a house, or their wives are always on their case. Well, that's enough to go out and get plastered and endanger your life and others.

We recovering alcoholics are supposed to put our hands out to the still suffering, but after many tries, and many years, one has to draw a line. Alcoholics can become abusive, and have numerous domestic violence calls to their home, their kids are fed up, they get divorced over this behavior, fired over this behavior, put in jail because of this behavior, and still, they continue this behavior. Why? Because they are too cowardly, too afraid, too lazy! to get the help they need. If one really wants to stop drinking, they can literally and easily, find three, four, and five meetings a day in their town and surrounding towns. They don't want to attend these meetings, however, because that would mean they couldn't drink.

Instead, they will create problems that cause anyone who cares about them to worry, and bring their problems into their lives, hence affecting many more people than themselves by their refusal to stop drinking. If I didn't go through it myself, and start out with the same feelings of the world beating me up, and my husband, and my kids, and it was everyone and everything else's fault that I drank, I wouldn't come down so hard, but I did, and what I heard at the meetings I attended, corrected those outdated ways of thinking.

I became strong enough to realize my part in every situation, and only then could I begin to get better. I have been through the death of my father, and I've been going through a divorce for the past nine months, and I have had many other very serious and depressing things happen, but I have not touched a drop of alcohol.

I don't want any credit for that, it was my choice, and I accomplished it, but I am tired of the whining of the still suffering alcoholic's pleas for help when they won't help themselves. And make no mistake, this is only for the alcoholic who won't help themselves, or allow others to help them. If someone needed help to stop drinking, and wanted to go to meetings, and go over the steps, I would help them, even take them around to the different meetings.

The first step in a twelve step program is, "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable." If your life is unmanageable, get to a meeting. Get to many meetings. And stop hurting everyone who loves you. Stop hurting yourself. Life is about more than drunken stupor's and blackouts and violent and abusive outbursts and DWI's and jail time and losing those you love and who love you. And get it through your head that not one person on this Earth is responsible for you living your life in a respectful, dependable, and honest way, but you yourself.

Take control over your own destiny and accept that no one else's way of life should affect you. You made your own choices, and other's made theirs. If you are about to lose your house, and your neighbor has a beautiful home, paid for, and a Mercedes in the driveway, remember, that man went to four years of College, while you drank, and they got a good paying job, and therefore, can afford what you can't. You alone made the choice not to do that.

An alcoholic will put that person down because they "don't know what it feels like." Yeah-they made a conscious decision not to, and with all that money now tacked onto the bills, and renting a nice home that is way over their head in rent, an alcoholic will always put the person who "has it all" down. To the still suffering alcoholic I say, get your butt in gear and get help, and don't bother anyone else with your self inflicted problems in the middle of the night. Stop being a coward, as I once was, and face up to your affliction and get help. You will be much happier, and safer, on the roads, as well as with all who know and love you.

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Susan Thom is the mother of three children, two sons, and a daughter. They are adults now, and out of the house on their own.

Writing calms her, and gives her a place to go by herself! Clears the head and gets it out. She lives in a rural area, with a lake and mountains, and her partner, and has loved writing since she was a child.

She has been on a journey of self discovery for over thirty years, and has learned many things about the human mind, and how to maintain some resemblance of calm and peace within.

If someone reads one of her stories, and relates to her feelings, and gets a suggestion on how she dealt with them in a positive way, that would be the ultimate gift of her writing.

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