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Old 01-26-2018, 05:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I do NOT accept alsoholism as a disease.


This is an angry post. For those of you who are just beginning and think it might stumble you, please don't read any further.

It is a choice. An actual disease is NOT a choice you make. Like type 1 diabetes or cancer. Yes, it changes the alcoholics their brain function to an extent. I have Bipolar disorder. I can choose to be unmedicated and make a living hell for my family. If I don't take my medications it can change my brain function and then I am doing all kinds of things that can have dire consequences. But I CHOOSE to do something about it, I don't want to see my family suffer because of my selfish choice. I don't say this to say I am better than anyone, just that a choice can be made for the good of yourself and the ones you love. My mom was an alcoholic, which killed her in the end by causing liver cancer, my husband is an alcoholic, both of my sisters are alcoholics and my brother-in-law is an alcoholic. I know it makes me a bad person, but I believe it is a choice, and saying it is a disease, in my opinion, makes it an excuse.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I thought this was in the Alcoholics forum - my bad - but maybe an alkies input could help

To be honest it doesn't matter to me if I have a disease or not.

The important thing is I do something about it.

If people in your life aren't doing anything about their problem then thats the problem

hiding behind a label or using a label as an excuse to do nothing is simply a symptom of a bigger problem, to me?

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Old 01-26-2018, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I too struggle with the idea of whether it is a "disease"... to me it is a mental disorder if anything. The problem is that that disorder as a tendency to make them make bad choices, even tho they know they are making a bad choice.

I asked my wife how could she knowingly ingest something again that everytime she has done it it has resulted in nothing good coming about from it. Her answer was that her disease compels her to do it in order to survive.... for her disease to survive... funny thing is that her doing it will eventually kill her and the disease right along with it. However, there are parasites in the world that kill their hosts and thus take them with it.

Now, some of the other actions that go along with substance abuse to me are clearly choices... but just like anyone under stress/influence/etc... we do make bad choices. I am working hard to cut her some slack on all those bad choices... but while I may forgive her for making them, she does not get scott free of the consequences.

T
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think it's a disease - for one reason, it's not a coincidence that it runs in families as it does rampantly in so many - and I think it doesn't matter. At all.

I'm an alcoholic and at a basic level, alcoholism is a condition of my life, and it can be turned into a life of recovery from alcoholism, "recovery" as like others I'd differentiate from "alcoholism" - and that's what matters. Any words or other things that can get me stuck in anger, aggravation, looking at others not myself....any of that kind of junk only serves to hurt me.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I know it makes me a bad person, but I believe it is a choice, and saying it is a disease, in my opinion, makes it an excuse.

and thats youre choice. you are entitled to have that choice just as i am entitled to believe it a disease-a spiritual disease-in which i lost the power of choice over whether or not i drank.even when i didnt want to drink, i couldnt not drink.
i gave up the power of choice over whether or not i drank as alcoholism progressed.
im a stage 3 metastatic melanoma survivor and dont like it one bit when people compare the 2.i find it quite ignorant in fact.
i had a man i became good friends with while going through chemo- another melanoma (stage 4) fighter- die from the cancer. never drank a drop in his life.
comparing alcoholism or anything related to alcoholism to cancer isnt right.
i hope you can get past this and accept whatever helps you heal.
but please dont compare anything with alcoholism to cancer.

p.s. that crazy dog in my avatar is pete-named in memory and honor of my friend that died from melanoma.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The American Medical Association (AMA) declared that alcoholism was an illness in 1956
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I believe alcoholism is largely related to genetics but what does it matter.

Genetics, disease, weak-will or just plain bad luck.

What is important is I don't pick up that first drink.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh my gosh, I thought this was the 12 step program for the Alanon/Family section. I've only been on the boards for a few days. Probably not something encouraging for any of you working the 12 step program. Tomsteve-I didn't mean to be insensitive. But I was, and I'm sorry. Losing anyone close to cancer is... well there is no word to really describe it. I watched my mom die three months after she was diagnosed. And Pete looks like he is riot, dogs are the best.
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hope this will not make you angry(er) but what you related about you bipolar disorder actual strengthens the disease argument. Drinking alcohol is a choice, whether your first and you don't have a problem, or your 15th in one day 15 years later and you obviously now do have a problem. But some diseases can be induced by unhealthy choices, like type 2 diabetes caused by poor diet and extreme weight gain. Same with alcoholism. It's just once you've crossed a certain threshold your ability to choose is nothing like it was when you took your very first drink. Along with the bipolar analogy, to not have the symptoms of your disorder you admitted you need to take your meds. Well, same with alcoholism--only your "meds" are things like going to meetings, reading, meditating on, and carrying out the instructions in the steps, staying connected to your sponsor especially when triggered, etc. Sounds like you yourself tho are not an alcoholic? If not, it is really nothing you can comment on with any degree of validity. And for me, not accepting it is in fact a disease and not "just" a choice was the beginning of real hope towards living life in sobriety one day at a time. But any day I don't take my "meds" mentioned earlier, I'm bound to relapse.


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Originally Posted by Wamama48 View Post
This is an angry post. For those of you who are just beginning and think it might stumble you, please don't read any further.

It is a choice. An actual disease is NOT a choice you make. Like type 1 diabetes or cancer. Yes, it changes the alcoholics their brain function to an extent. I have Bipolar disorder. I can choose to be unmedicated and make a living hell for my family. If I don't take my medications it can change my brain function and then I am doing all kinds of things that can have dire consequences. But I CHOOSE to do something about it, I don't want to see my family suffer because of my selfish choice. I don't say this to say I am better than anyone, just that a choice can be made for the good of yourself and the ones you love. My mom was an alcoholic, which killed her in the end by causing liver cancer, my husband is an alcoholic, both of my sisters are alcoholics and my brother-in-law is an alcoholic. I know it makes me a bad person, but I believe it is a choice, and saying it is a disease, in my opinion, makes it an excuse.
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You made some good points, especially about crossing a certain threshold and the ability to choose isn't like it was when the alcoholic started.Things for me to ponder on, thank you.
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Wamama48 View Post
. Tomsteve-I didn't mean to be insensitive. But I was, and I'm sorry. Losing anyone close to cancer is... well there is no word to really describe it. I watched my mom die three months after she was diagnosed. And Pete looks like he is riot, dogs are the best.
its all good and i know ya werent tryin to be insensitive. its understandable- i have heard and read the comparison a lot. if you were sittin at my kitchen table hearing what i typed i think youd be able to hear what i typed quite differently-prolly read like i was upset and stern,eh? but wasnt. quite calm and serene- i just not eloquent with my speach or writing.

there are stages of alcoholism. there is a line that gets crossed by many- that line gets crossed and there is no power to chose when it comes to drinking. no amount of willpower can help.when that line is crossed,even when the alcoholic doesnt want to drink, they cant not drink.
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Wamama48 View Post
Oh my gosh, I thought this was the 12 step program for the Alanon/Family section. I've only been on the boards for a few days. Probably not something encouraging for any of you working the 12 step program. Tomsteve-I didn't mean to be insensitive. But I was, and I'm sorry. Losing anyone close to cancer is... well there is no word to really describe it. I watched my mom die three months after she was diagnosed. And Pete looks like he is riot, dogs are the best.
It was me who thought you were in the main 'alcoholic' 12 step forum when I posted Wamama - it was my mistake.

You were, and still are, in the Family and Friends section

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Old 02-11-2018, 09:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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But some diseases can be induced by unhealthy choices, like type 2 diabetes caused by poor diet and extreme weight gain. Same with alcoholism. It's just once you've crossed a certain threshold your ability to choose is nothing like it was when you took your very first drink. Along with the bipolar analogy, to not have the symptoms of your disorder you admitted you need to take your meds. Well, same with alcoholism--only your "meds" are things like going to meetings, reading, meditating on, and carrying out the instructions in the steps, staying connected to your sponsor especially when triggered, etc.
This.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I think of it as a genetic fluke or "allergy." Alcohol is a chemical that I can't put in my body, whereas many people can without ill effect. It's a genetic reality that I can't drink without suffering tremendous damage, and once I recognized that fact, everything made a lot more sense. Disease or not, I'm susceptible to it and therefore I can't drink, any more than I can drink a big glass of poison.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:28 AM   #15 (permalink)
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There is no cure. No matter how many meetings or how much therapy or how many days or years we get through, it is still there. The switch was flipped at some point and there is no going back. And like the diabetic who ignores the diagnosis we will die if we ingest the substance we cannot ingest.
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You made some good points, especially about crossing a certain threshold and the ability to choose isn't like it was when the alcoholic started.Things for me to ponder on, thank you.
l agree..not a disease. But l would class it as an illness...mental issues link with alcoholism and then it becomes a physical addiction = illness.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm writing from the other side of the fence, not a Friends and Family, but an ex alcoholic. I haven't had a drink since the moment I decided I would quit, and that was over seven years ago. I never will again have any alcohol either.

I don't believe I had a disease, I had an addiction. The addiction had many seriously bad effects on my life - it messed up my mental and physical health, it damaged relationships, it affected my ability to make decisions. But those things are gone now, permanently, along with my dependence on alcohol.

Believing I didn't have an incurable disease was an important part of my permanent recovery from alcoholism. If I had believed I had this incurable disease, I would never find my self as I do today - free, happy and living a full life with all of that crap firmly and permanently in my past. I'm not afraid of alcohol, I can't get triggered and I don't restrict my activities in order to avoid alcohol. I simply don't drink any.

And the AMA made its disease declaration due to the lobbying by Marty Mann, an AA member and proponent, and R. Brinkley Smithers who owned and operated rehab centres. The effect of this AMA declaration was to free health insurance dollars so that they could be applied to rehab. Smithers was launching a treatment program while at the same time lobbying for insurance money.

Maybe the concept of addiction as disease is helpful to some, it just was never going to help me. It was by refusing to see myself as helpless and incurable that I was able to regain some agency and self determination. Once those were in place, I was able to make that vow of permanent abstinence.
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