I was listening to NPR recently and there was an interview that made my heart sink, or my academic mind flare, maybe both. There was an interview of a man, a famous chef of some sort, and also a recovered/ing Alcoholic. He was asked by the interviewer if when he was drinking and almost losing his wife, kids etc., was his restaurant [which he kept successfully running] just too important to him, “Was that the one line you wouldn’t let yourself cross?” the interviewer asked.
So essentially, the interviewer is asking, or rather implying that Alcoholics can actually in fact control their drinking….IF the reason is important enough for them to control it . . .
Anyone one else see a problem here? There is NO CONTROLLING DRINKING for Alcoholics, and when we drink, there is ABSOLUTELY NO LINE WE WILL NOT CROSS; if we drink long enough, we will cross them all.
The interviewer’s question is a clear example of his ignorance on the subject of Alcoholism. With his question he tells us that he believes Alcoholics have some amount of control over their drinking, IF only the matter is important enough to them. So i.e. his wife and children weren’t important enough to him, but the restaurant, now that was a line he wouldn’t cross. “Hmmmm” said all who were really listening.
NO MATTER HOW IMPORTANT something is, our drinking will take it down if we don’t stop it. Like a raging forest fire, it will not stop on its own.
Much to my relief the chef answered just as I hear in the rooms of recovery, he said something along the lines of: “If I had continued drinking, I would’ve stopped at nothing . . . I would have stolen if I had to.” And he went on to say that during his first year of sobriety he didn’t drive and was never left alone; because this is the reality of the disease. There are no lines we won’t cross, for it is progressive, and eventually this thing takes over all aspects of our life—no matter how important to us.
People that believe we can control our drinking convince us that we just need to try harder to do so. But in reality, Alcoholics are allergic to alcohol—when we drink, it controls us, it is never the other way around.
Society’s lack of understanding on the subject of Alcoholism not only keeps people out of the rooms of recovery, but it also decreases their chance of staying there.