Top 6 alcoholism myths
Problems drive an alcoholic to drink
Well… kind of true. Problems, achievements, company, lack of company, boredom…. all drive an alcoholic to drink. Problems drive an alcoholic to drink, yes, but so does everything else.
Alcoholics are only showing their true nature
This is not true. Alcoholism changes the perception of needs so that the need for alcohol is always urgent and more critical than the need for relationships, dignity or other objectives that drive social interactions. It is not “inner nature” to court damage to reputation for example – even for exploitative or self-destructive people, but it is a frequent sacrifice in the pursuit of alcohol. The laziest alcoholic will court a mile long walk to buy alcohol, for another example.
I write/paint/sing/whatever better after a peg or two // Alcohol makes me creative
What alcoholism does is lower inhibitions. It removes internal censors by the simple means of reducing the brain’s capacity for complex thinking. It may seem like increased productivity if you have self image issues or other inhibitions preventing you from working freely, but it most certainly does not improve quality unless your standards are really low. The lowered inhibitions are as likely to let your creativity through as your lack of it.
I don’t drink in the morning, so I am not an alcoholic // You turned me into an alcoholic
Alcoholism evolves. If people have raised concerns about your drinking, if you drink compulsively, if social occasions seem boring without drinks, if you avoid non-drinking company in your drinking timings, if being denied drinks makes you angry… then it is a matter of time.
A person’s presence in another’s life may coincide with an escalation in drinking, but one person cannot turn another into an alcoholic. Period. Such accusations by alcoholics are a way of shifting the burden of guilt. They should be ignored.
I drink from my own money // I know my limits
On running out of alcohol, the ownership or source of the money (or directly alcohol) are no longer issues. Limits get reviewed and approved extensions automatically. It does not matter where the money for the drink comes from, when it runs out, the price of alcoholism is paid by the home with emotional damage, physical damage, financial damage that goes well beyond the cost of the alcohol consumed. This could be anyone coming into intimate contact with the person if the alcoholic no longer lives with family.
I am really respected and loved by the people who work at XYZ Bar/Club/Liquor shop // They let me pay later if I don’t have money
If you are known and regular enough for an establishment serving alcohol to be paying special attention to you, it is worth considering that you have become business they count on. This is not to say that there is no genuine affection and friendly relationship that grows, but it is extremely concerning when a person flaunts these relationships in front of other relationships. Many alcoholics also start nurturing their self-images that are damaged badly by alcoholism by seeing this as servitude and superiority, much like a ruler of the bar. This fantasy is profitable to waiters, because it invariably leads to magnanimous gestures and generous tips. A very definite warning sign for the person reduced to asserting self worth in this manner.
If you have used these explanations for yourself or someone else, know that the need for those explanations to be required in itself is a sign of alcoholism. No one asks a person who doesn’t drink too much why they drink so much. At least not often. Requiring explanations for drinking, particularly when speaking with people who drink themselves, means those explanations are myths, unless they are “I drink, because I feel I cannot do without”