You don’t drink all that much. Maybe, if you’re in a moment of real honesty with yourself, you probably drink more than your friends. Regular blackouts and difficulty remembering the night before make it challenging to recall just how much you drank compared to other people. Perhaps you don’t black out at all, but your friends do, and that clearly means they’re more likely to have a problem than you do. You’re either drunk more often, drunk more easily, or have more problems when you drink. The specific dynamics of what happens when you consume alcohol actually don’t determine whether or not you are an alcoholic- if you get sad, mad, sloppy, sleepy, angry, violent, black out, remember everything, make good choices, make bad choices, or anything in between. There is a simple truth which defines alcoholism for most women. Once you put alcohol into your system, you cannot stop putting alcohol into your system. It doesn’t matter how much, how frequently, or to what result. Picking up one drink, for you, means picking up another, and no matter what you do to try and control the amount of drinks you have, the minute you have one drink, you are mercilessly bound to have another one.
“Our liquor was but a symptom” wrote the authors of Alcoholics Anonymous, more affectionately called “The Big Book”. The actual drink we take, the amount of drinks we take, and even what happens when we are drinking is not really the problem. Alcoholism is a multifaceted disease of the mind, the body, and the spirit. We drink to fill a void that cannot be filled by drinking. As soon as we take a drink, we react in a physical allergy of body and mind- our body craves the next attempt at filling a void with alcohol and our minds obsess about it until we take another one. How this manifests is different for each of us, but what we quickly learn about alcoholism is that it’s not about how we drank, but why we drank. More importantly, alcoholism is about why we couldn’t stop.
“To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have,” The Big Book states. “This is particularly true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years. Certain drinkers, who would be greatly insulted if called alcoholics, are astonished at their inability to stop.”
If you are still questioning whether or not you are an alcoholic, but have had the experience of not “staying stopped” from drinking when you’ve made the effort to stop, you might just be “one of us”. In our next blog, we’ll look at some signs of alcoholism in women.
Women’s recovery programs created by women, run by women, made for women, are key to helping women navigate the many layers of their world both internally and externally. Created with the female experience especially in mind, the RedCliff Recovery program has been designed to help women believe in hope, live in joy, and find the freedom they deserve. For more information on women’s wilderness, call us today: 801.370.2274