So You Think You’ve Escaped Alcoholism

2592So you think you’ve escaped alcoholism, not a chance. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to be effected by alcoholism.

Alcoholism affects everyone who comes in contact with an alcoholic. It could be a parent, a sibling, a relative, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, husband, wife, friend, child, or a co-worker. That is why Ala-non, is a support group for families and friends of alcoholics not just families of alcoholics. You may not have the disease but I can say that you have the ism’s  without ever having met you.

It is said that alcoholism is a family disease and I believe it with all my heart. I grew up in an alcoholic home. Why do I call it an alcoholic home? Does that mean that all my family members were alcoholics? No, our home revolved around my alcoholic mother because her actions or in-actions affected every one of us. Our emotional make-up developed around coping with her drinking and the effect it had on us. I like to see my mother as having alcoholism rather than as an alcoholic but it is my habit to use the term alcoholic which is unfortunately a label. She grew up in an alcoholic home just like I did.  I have the utmost love and strive to understand because but for the grace of God, go I. As alcoholism is said to be genetic, I could have followed in her footsteps. I am lucky, I don’t like the taste of alcohol and yet I am unlucky in that I don’t like not having control. Why is that unlucky? Because I have to fight the tendency to control everything around me to ensure that it doesn’t give me that feeling of not having control over my life and to avoid the helpless feelings I had growing up. I also believe it is a learned behavior, we do what we know and alcoholism is what we know.

That is why even though you think you have escaped the parent or ex, you are wrong. You were affected and I can prove it.

Do you have problems with authority figures?e75f70e61261afa370d84fcbf1da6be7

Do you have problems getting along with others?

Do you have control issues?

Is your relationship picker broken?

Are you hyper-vigilant?

Do you fight depression?

Do you lack confidence?

Are you an under or over achiever?

Are you a people-pleaser?

Are you a care taker?

Are you a fixer?

There are many other symptoms but I’m sure you get it and you know which one of these have developed in you.

In my work as a Crisis Call Counselor, I could pretty much bet that regardless of the crisis, the conversation would eventually reveal that the caller had been affected by alcoholism, either theirs or someone in their past or present life. I consider alcoholism an “emotional” disease because it can bring about anger, sadness, depression, resentment, etc. in the alcoholic or those affected by a person’s drinking. The reason persons affected by another person’s drinking are considered to be co-dependent is that while the alcoholic is addicted to alcohol, the affected person is addicted to the alcoholic. I have had so many friends, boyfriends and a husband who were addicted to alcohol and in the beginning of the relationship, I didn’t know there was a problem. It’s like a magnet! I have friends in Ala-non who say it is because alcoholics are charismatic and exciting. Perhaps we see something in their personalities that we wish we had.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I’m not with him/her any more, so I don’t need Ala-non.” I have thought that myself but I always end up going back because my ism’s become overwhelming. This post is not meant to advertise or push Ala-non or Adult Children of Alcoholics, yet it is what I know so I do highly recommend them. Just like the person with alcoholism, only you can decide that you need help and what support is best for you. I have been told, “When it hurts bad enough, you will get help.”

“Co-dependent No More” by Melody Beattie is a really good book for understanding the effects of alcoholism. I read this book like a person dying of thirst drinks water. It told me that I was not crazy and there was hope.

People addicted to alcohol and/or drugs will to try to convince others that it is your fault, don’t take it on. Think 3 C’s – You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. Seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of, alcoholism in you or someone else is not your fault but it is your responsibility. If you are afraid of the alcoholic becoming angry because you are seeking help, 12 step support groups are anonymous as is therapy. If you go to a meeting or see a therapist and you are not comfortable with the environment or personalities, try another meeting or therapist. There are many meetings and therapists available. If you are in a remote area, I understand that there are meetings online. Just do an Internet search of Ala-non or Adult Children of Alcoholics. There are two daily readers, One Day at a Time in Ala-non and Courage to Change that are utilized by Ala-Non. I find ODAT (nickname) useful when you are in a relationship with an alcoholic and Courage to Change is a good all-around book. I mostly use Courage to Change and it seems to be a favorite among recovering Ala-Non’s. Before using these books, it would be helpful to do some research on alcoholism. People active in Ala-Non attend open AA meetings to learn what the person with alcoholism experiences.

I have tortured my mother all my life by trying to get answers or justifications.

Whatever you decide to do, know that you are not alone. Everything you have experienced, someone else has experienced. It helps to talk with other people who are experiencing the same thing or who have been there and survived.

There is always hope.



Book Recommendations

     These are among my all-time favorite reads! If you try them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

I recommended this book to a friend and after reading it, he went out and bought all Stephen Frey’s books in hardback.

The Chairman by Stephen Frey

Publisher’s Summary

No one knows the dark side of “The Street” better than master storyteller Stephen Frey, author of such riveting novels as Shadow Account and The Day Trader. Now, in his most ambitious work to date, Frey proves that no writer can put a high-powered hero at greater risk, nor offer readers more thrilling rewards.A towering legend among New York private equity partnerships, Everest Capital is aptly named. When its founder meets an untimely death, 36-year-old superstar Christian Gillette gets the top job. But with the power and prestige come risks. The day he narrowly escapes a fiery explosion that consumes his limo and takes two innocent lives, Gillette instantly understands how intense those risks are.

It comes as no surprise to him that he has enemies in the world of multibillion-dollar deals. But now that he controls Everest, he’s not going to let those enemies keep him from taking the firm, and himself, to even greater heights. Gillette has never hesitated to be aggressive, even ruthless, in his pursuit of success. This time will be no exception.

But in order to forge the alliances necessary to achieve his goals, Gillette forsakes a cardinal rule: Never trust anyone. The only certainties are the insidious campaign of corporate sabotage that could cost Gillette his job and the relentless assassination attempts that could cost him his life. To break a deadly conspiracy of greed, he’ll be forced to walk, then run, an ever-blurring line between loyalty and betrayal, attack and retreat, survival and destruction…in the ultimate game of profit and loss.

With The Chairman, Stephen Frey presides with intensified skill over the market he has so dramatically cornered, sharpening his patented brand of hard-boiled high-finance intrigue to its keenest cutting edge yet.

©2005 Stephen Frey; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

As a believer in the necessity of the CIA, I found this book to be fascinating. Lengthy but never boring.

The Company: A Novel of the CIA

Publisher’s Summary

Crisis constantly lurks around the corner, monitored by spies who are always with us. In his career-capping thirteenth novel, master of the espionage thriller Robert Littell has crafted a breathtaking story of the legendary CIA – “The Company” to insiders.

At its heart lies a spectacular mole hunt involving the CIA, MI6, KGB and Mossad – a stunningly conceived trip down the rabbit hole to the labyrinthine Alice-in-Wonderland world of espionage, “a wood where things have no names.”

Racing across a landscape spanning the legendary Berlin Base of the 1950s – the front line of the simmering Cold War – the Soviet invasion of Hungary, the Bay of Pigs, Afghanistan, and the Gorbachev putsch, The Company tells the thrilling story of agents imprisoned in double lives, fighting an enemy that is amoral, elusive, and formidable. It also lays bare the internecine warfare within the company itself, adding another dimension to the spy vs. spy game.

©2013 Robert Littell (P)2013 Phoenix Audio

This is light reading chic lit but so entertaining; laugh out loud funny!

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Publisher’s Summary

Emma Corrigan is young, sweet, and has a long list of secrets; the kind of innocent secrets everyone has, one of which is that she is afraid of flying. Coming back from a thoroughly ruinous sales trip to Glasgow, she is seized by mortal terror when the plane she is on encounters some air turbulence, and ends up spilling her guts to the handsome American sitting next to her. He gets to hear that she sleeps beneath a Barbie bedspread, that she fibbed to get her current job, and that she has never been able to satisfactorily find her G-spot. Then, the plane lands…and rather than disappearing into anonymity, the American turns up in her life again. He’s the CEO of her company, and remembers her quite well….©2004 Sophie Kinsella; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.

Atlas Shrugged [Audiobook] by Ayn Rand

This book was the selection for reading by my book club and is required reading in some college classes. The woman who chose this book for the book club to read, talked about it at every meeting prior to her turn to host thus choose the book.  She reads it once a year and when we saw the thickness of the book with its teeny tiny print, there were a lot of groans. I listened to it in audio and I believe that is the way to go because a lot of women who read it in print, never finished. I was intrigued as I read but was even more so when the news media began to compare it to what is going on in the United States today.

Publisher’s Summary

In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts?In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? And why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies but against the woman he loves?

Tremendous in scope and breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, an electrifying moral defense of capitalism and free enterprise which launched an ideological movement and gained millions of loyal fans around the world.

©1985 Eugene Winick, Paul Gitlin and Leonard Peikoff; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

 All book information courtesy of


Please Note:

I listened to these in audio format through my subscription. I highly recommend, now owned by Amazon making it convenient to both read some books on Kindle and listen to the same book on Audible. Audible is inexpensive at about $20 a month and gives you two books per month. To make my money count, I select high cost and lengthy content books for my two per month. Discounts are also a plus with a subscription. After you purchase or select your allotted books, they are yours and remain in your online library. I have about 800 books in my audio library. I have the free app on my smart phone enabling me to Bluetooth the books in my car. It is so convenient because we take our phones everywhere so whether we are waiting in the doctor’s office, having our hair done, exercising or driving there is no need to get bored. It makes me want to run my errands and do my housekeeping or yard work so I can listen to a book and now I have a Bluetooth headset so I don’t have to deal with wires from my earphones. Check it out!