The need to “fit in” is an universal human trait – most youth do several things-dress alike keep up with the trends etc.; some of them begin drinking and smoking cigarettes- like a “rite of passage” and lo! It is an entry into the world of parties –being part of a particular peer group. The shy gangly adolescent turns into a suave happening kid popular amongst the guys and girls alike. The intake begins in a small manner as that is enough to give a high, loosen the tongue and the inhibitions. In the flush of youth, studies are managed and the drinks increase to a larger amount, from weekends to two or three times a week.
Slowly the hangovers take over. Waking up with heavy heads become a norm, the drinks are tried to be controlled now, the hangover hidden with coffee and soon enough through a drink to get over the hangover as the body and mind is in shambles, focus is lost, meetings are missed, absenteeism sets in. Sometimes, one tries to cut down on the consumptions of substance or alcohol, succeeds for a few days then one fight at the office or home, the 3 drinks become 10 in no time and without any inkling as to how it reached there.
In the starting, the intention behind drinking had been just have the three drinks and pacify the girlfriend/wife. But, after three drinks, all intentions get drowned in the bottle. The next morning one wakes up with absolutely no memory of what transpired the night before- just a blackout and nothing else can be remembered. The blackout starts becoming frequent. The mind remains more befuddled .The thinking changes. It becomes more grandiose, emotions are exaggerated, mountains are made out of molehills- though in absence of alcohol, the situation remains same, as the problem is untreated, the mental habits do not change. Everything triggers an emotional reaction either expressed or in expressed. Life revolves around planning to get the next drink or start drinking.
Friends start to avoid as the individual transforms into a completely different person post few drinks. Friendships are lost; guilt and remorse sets in and to forget it, guess what- more drinks are drowned. But does one forget? No- cause the drink only magnifies the hurt existent real or imagined.
Again the individual takes decision to stop drinking. But, the very next day (or even less than that) the man finds a glass in his hand and a half a bottle down. It is baffling! How did that happen? it is important to know that addiction is a cunning baffling disease- and the time from a thought of a drink to an intense thought to craving to obsession and compulsive drinking can take a few seconds to minutes to hours or days.
Denial of Dependent – The family intervenes. The hands are unsteady the body trembles, cannot hold a glass; yet the thought “I can handle it” The liver is fired – on the verge of cirrhosis on the hospital bed- and yet the thought “I can handle the bottle” the struggle goes on; the life revolves around controlling the drink and going back to “social drinking” of 2-3pegs, a futile illusionary dream. This is what is called the denial of dependency.
Denial of Co-Dependent – The family tries to control the drink- “drink wine”, “drink at home”, “I will drink with you”, “you are taking advantage of us!” Another futile illusionary dream is perceived by the family. This is called the denial of the co-dependent.
The drinking that was fun at a point and solution at times now has become a problem. But one is unable to stop for long on one’s own. People around “society” at large think that the man is a drunk. He can stop on his own but he is selfish and wants to enjoy life at the cost of his family. However, the addicted individual drinks now to keep away pain- both physical and psychological.
The family approaches psychiatrists or an experiential addiction counselor for help. The person who is chemically dependent now meets the counselor. An experiential counselor is one who has lived a life of addiction to drugs or alcohol and has accepted treatment and gone beyond the need to use alcohol or drugs for a substantial length of time. The light is seen at the end of the tunnel. Identification is established, the counselors understand the individual’s story, and all the pains and agony.
The counselor invokes the thought of inspiration, and the individual starts to believe in him or herself. The hope of achieving recovery is awakened.
Help is finally looked for in the right place and accepted. Thus it is seen that one cannot predict when a person can ask for and accept help. The moment one accepts help, half the battle is won.
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