The "problem" or issue always looks much bigger, and more threatening,
through the bottom of an empty glass, or bottle.

A Native American elder once described
his own inner struggles in this manner:
Inside of me there are two dogs.
One of the dogs is mean and evil.
The other dog is good.
The mean dog fights the good dog all the time

When asked which dog wins,
he reflected for a moment and replied,
The one I feed the most."
    You can run, but you can’t hide from yourself forever; when the night, or the quiet moments come,
    the terrors visit and invade your thoughts and dreams - all the stuff you tried not to face.

    How’s your avoidance coping working for you? Why not consider to no longer run away, and
    facing your fear, instead?  Please remember that "if you always do what you've always done;
    you always get what you always got".

    Why continue turning to the one strategy that has proven it doesn't work? You've had enough
    of Self-defeating and Self-sabotaging behaviours. You can find the Courage you need, and
    You are Never alone . . .

    Like the entire site, this page (and site) is like a "Never Ending Story" book, a constant work in
    process and progress. Please return often.
Only the Wounded Heal;
Only the separated reconcile
Those who want to Heal
will find a way;
those who aren't ready yet,
will find an excuse.
An Alcoholic/Addict
always has an
excuse . .

A "winner" always
has a

This is not a quite
fair assessment in
many cases. It would
be more correct to
say that they always
have a "trigger" that
starts them off; and
the power of alcohol
keeps them going.
How can you tell if an alcoholic is lying?
when their lips are moving.
Is true . . . but qualified
Klaas Tuinman MA
at the virtual Dawn Cove Abbey online

"Roadside Assistance" for your Journey through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity
and decency to life -

Comments and Inquiries welcomed
There is no obligation, and will be held in strictest confidence
. . N
. . . E
. . . .V
. . . . .E
. . .. . . R
. . . . . . . comes
    ** NOTE: There is no consensus among the professionals who work in, or operate, or  are
    sponsors, in Recovery Work and Programs, on whether it is a "learned habit", or a "disease".

    1:  AA and the 12-Step programs see alcoholism and addiction as a disease and operate from a  
    type of socio-medical approach. You can Google "alcoholism" and get many hits on information
    about AA and 12-Step programs: they have their successes - you might also investigate John
    Bradshaw's writing on alcoholism and dysfunction based on the disease model.

    Along the same vein, but on a different aspect of addiction/alcoholism: Codependency, you
    can Google Melody Beattie for excellent writing on this.

    2: A totally different view is offered by the Drinkwise organization's approach - it sees the problem
    of  alcohol as being one of habit that's gone out of control - and offers a different approach to
    dealing with it. You can find more information about this at DRINKWISE Canada, and also at
    DRINKWISE Australia

    Follow/use the navigation menu to explore Alcoholism, it's effects and "why's" further. Those
    pages will lead you to others which provide support: through insight, through reading  other
    people's stories, finding suggestions and descriptions of strategies others have used (and the
    many successes).
    What is Alcoholism? And why do people become addicted to the use of alcohol?

    One way to "look at" Alcoholism is that it is "turning to a proven non-solution for a
    problem, that has never worked before, and hoping for a new outcome "this time":
    again, and again, and. . .

    Another way (and perhaps a better one) to answer that is to think of "alcoholism" more correctly
    and constructively as a response to something, a situation, an event, a long-buried inner pain, etc,
    that they are trying to deal with - or avoid dealing with, because it is painful, or frightening,  etc: and
    FEAR - of  something(s) - it is a coping strategy; one that has gone out of control.

    Therefore, it is an ineffective,  self-defeating and self-sabotaging strategy; see REASONS. And
    sometimes people drink to excess in order to address a deep  inner need; one they know they should
    deal with, and at the same time are afraid of, as well  as Anxiety, and thus choose the "wrong tool
    for  the job" (see below). From my experience, and all I've learned, this perspective works much
    better than to see it as a disease, or disorder, or "weakness".

    There often (usually) are causes, situations etc, (direct, or underlying), including Stress  that trip
    the switch to begin the drinking bout (and many other negative, dysfunctional behaviours). Those
    things  are "triggers". More about triggers will appear throughout the pages on the site.  Problem-
    solving is good; finding coping strategies that work is good. Selecting Self-Sabotaging ones is not
    good.   Alcohol is  one of those.

    To help you to understand the "WHY", Click/Tap "I Drank -REASONS" - on the Navigation menu)
    to read  the many various reasons people had, or gave themselves, for arriving at this state of control-
    loss (or perhaps  of "control-relinquishing" or "surrendering"). In this context, an alcoholic therefore,
    is a person who has unsuspectingly lost, or given away, control over their use of a substance - and
    their lives, whether chronically, or for periodic bouts: a substance that gradually, cunningly and
    bafflingly took their self-control away - and now controls them - Alcohol. Read "Amazing Power Of
    Alcohol", and "I Am Your Addiction" (see the side menus).

    They are not social pariahs, or "losers", or objects of abject pity, but people who have lost their way,
    either temporarily, or for longer terms. But it is important to remember, they are consummate liars
    and manipulators, as one Toronto outreach worker said, "their only concern is that you help them
    get that next drink. That is all, and they'll do whatever it takes". But do not be disheartened: love,
    caring and patience DO work - in many cases: and please remember the most important thing of
    all; You are NOT your addiction.

           And what's really positive about "One Step At A Time", is that you don't have to say
             "NO" to all alcohol, ever; only to the next drink (there is a huge positive difference).

    NOTE 1: Just looking at the "whys" and the results, doesn't help us ind a solution, and this site's
    purpose is to help people find solutions toward healing and moving forward - so I suggest we look
    at the "reasons" carefully  to see what the people who contributed them were "really" looking for, in
    order  to understand why the alcohol didn't provide the answer or solution (perhaps it did so
    temporarily, but given they had to keep trying over and over,  it did not do so permanently.

    Thus, if we try to determine the "real" reason, we can not only understand why their attempts failed
    so  miserably, but also, perhaps help them find  different, constructive one, by getting them to
    address the "root problem".

    NOTE 2: There is little wholesale agreement on whether Alcoholism is a disease  or a habit - see the
    note below at the bottom ** (terminology is difficult to choose. The two common ones above reflect
    huge differences in understanding human beings). In my opinion, "Disaster" would be a better
    choice than "disease", because "alcoholism"  is a disaster: and it brings disaster into the lives of many
    people, collaterally.

    Professionally, as part of my private and teaching practice, I worked with alcoholics and other
    practising  addicts for over 30 years. Currently, I have made a change in regard to that: I am available
    to those who have entered the stage of "recovering from", to help them learn and acquire new coping
    skills, as well as other "life skills", and the issues, etc that led to their former addiction; but no longer
    with "active" addicts. More on that below. I offer the following with compassion, love, and a desire to
    be of help.

    Another thing I learned comes from my involvement with people who experience major problems with
    alcohol; particularly with alcohol being an "inhibition remover". It actually works in that regard, and
    works very well (temporarily). BUT, I don't think it is the alcohol, because if it were, it would work that
    way on most alcohol consumers - but it doesn't. My further observation and conclusion is that this
    applies virtually to all addictions that are used as coping mechanisms.

    I think the key is in the decision made just before taking that first drink, or actually, it lies in the
    reason for making that choice, because that indicates a great level of self-awareness, and of
    something very fearful, painful, or threatening, that should be addressed, but is not being done.
    That process is by-passed by taking the alcohol. What IF, we began helping our clients with that
    knowledge to guide us? I have done so, with various degrees of success, because the trigger, and the
    reason for the trigger are usually very deep, very painful and very powerful things; things that the pain
    and fear resist dealing with.

    That introduces fear as another important factor. Fear is also understood as being connected to many
    "disorders" and "phobias", for example), but I do not think this has been explored nearly far enough,
    or that the knowledge I share here has been investigated or utilized nearly as much as it could be.
Alcoholics become/are consummate actors and actresses:
totally inauthentic chameleon-like performers
ALCOHOLISM: A Family, Community and Social Affair

"Roadside Assistance" In The Journey Of Life.
Detoxifying the Conditioned Alienated Mind.
A "loser" always has an excuse;
A winner always has a "program/plan".

This site can help you design your own program.
    People "drink" for many reasons; one of which is to do "problem
    solving", as we've seen, See REASONS for more on this. Because
    among other things, it is my aim to help people being successful
    in that, I can unreservedly say that alcohol is the "wrong tool"
    for the right job.  The "right job" is to find positive, constructive
    resolution to "solving the problem" that it was used for. That is
    so, because while it was used to provide recovery and healing, it
    brought  the opposite: more inner turmoil, and more destruction.
    That is part of the nature of Alcohol.

    It is insidiously enigmatic, and thus totally unpredictable as to
    how it will "mix" with each person who turns to it. Among its
    many qualities is that very subtle and powerful ingredient: "latent

    Why is it enigmatic, and why "latent"? Because its many different
    qualities and characteristics do not manifest in everyone the same
    way. For some people, those dangerously powerful qualities barely
    manifest at all, nor do they manifest the same way to everyone:
    this is because the reasons for the drinking are highly individual-
    istic, because for each person there are two important "ingredients"
    they bring into it, "set and setting": those are two extremely
    important "variables".

    As an approach to "problem solving", alcohol is the most ineffective,
    useless and counter-productive tool imaginable - because it always
    leads to the same predictably reliable  repeated outcome: failure to
    achieve the intended goal, because that is its nature when used for
    this purpose.
    It is not the person's failure - and this is crucial to understand: it is the tool's
    failure, because it's nature -for many people- is totally counter to the desired
    outcome. It's nature is to fracture, disintegrate and destroy. Therefore, this is an
    easy, conclusion to draw from that predictable lack of success. The repeated use of
    that chosen tool, so far, has not led to either resolution, recovery or healing - nor will
    it: ever!  After all, "healing" means "to  become whole" ("whole" is the original root
    word that "heal" comes from). And when the tool that is employed brings more disintegration,
    fracturing and inner destruction as part of  its nature -for many people- it is absolutely the
    "wrong tool".

    I have tried to avoid making a "judgement" about people; rather, this is a "description" of the
    action of alcohol IN many people - and the results; NOT a judgement on the people.

    The negative behaviours are not in the alcohol - because many others drinking the same  
    brew do not have the same negative consequences - hence it is a complex mix of the alcohol,
    nervous system, body chemistry and emotional state of certain people that is the catalyst for
    the self-destructive behaviour.

    For those who want to "heal" and recover, being more familiar with the nature of the tool  
    they turned too, and its inability to do the job, may help them find other, new and more
    constructive ways to achieve the desired outcomes, or goals; of resolution, recovery and healing.

    One of the reasons it is a difficult addiction to stop is because you're in a truly "double
    jeopardy" situation: because it isn't just the alcohol/substance that is the problem.

    There is the Dopamine Factor as well. When the "feel good" sensation dopamine creates is
    added to the highly addictive and biologically toxic, central nervous system depressant that
    alcohol is, you are truly in "double jeopardy".

    So the most obvious workable conclusion is to consider some  other way to find resolution to
    the problems - one that leads to new, constructive outcomes - ones that open the way to
    recovery and healing.  After all, "if what you've been doing has never achieved the desired
    goal - try something (anything) else.

    I do not have YOUR answer, nor am I, in any way, making judgements on you,
    or trying to TELL you what to do.

    Currently, I do not work with active alcoholics or other "addicts"; instead I work with those
    who have stopped their addiction and are seeking to heal and go through the process of
    "recovery" (learning new life and coping skills) - as well as with the people in their lives who
    are their co-lateral casualties: partners, spouses, children, friends etc.

    Dawn Cove Abbey's sole purpose is to help people who want to heal, find new ways, better
    than the ones they've used so far, to achieve that. NOT by finding  their solution for them,
    but through the use of the many support articles and stories, and counselling/guidance, to
    help them  find THEIR healing space and steps. Workshops and seminars are also available.

                      Please NOTE: I cannot (and won't) tell you what to do.
                           Why is alcoholism considered insidious and subtle?

    The following hypothetical analogy about a frog in water will help: it is based on a  frogs' ability
    to adjust its body temperature to its surroundings; it aptly illustrates the power of subtle change
    to escape our awareness - do NOT try this !

    If  a frog were to fall or jump into a pan of boiling water, it would jump out faster than  the eye
    can see. But if a frog falls asleep in a pan of water that is at the its body temperature, and the
    heat slowly increased to a boil, the frog will stay in the water -- even to the point of boiling alive.

    This is because the frog would not notice the gradual change in temperature: Alcohol-ism works
    the same way:  the heat is constantly turned up, but nobody  notices - because it's so gradual:
    cunning, deceptive, and baffling!

    It is a progressive "disaster". Initially, people may start out with casually  accepting unacceptable
    behavior(s); "Oh, he/she didn't mean that, she/he just had too much to   drink last night". But a
    few years down the road the behaviour will have slowly grown more and more intolerable, but it
    is still being accepted and becomes the "norm."

    The question I'm asked most often is "Why don't they just Quit?" or "Why can't I quit, or find it so
    hard to quit?"

    While there is no quick "one-size-fits-all" answer to those - there are road signs pointing toward
    answers (and thus solutions and recovery). For as we saw above, the situation in most cases is a
    result of a reaction to something, or "things" - a coping strategy, in which among others, fear is

    So to really address this challenge - it is  necessary to deal with the original reasons ("issues", or
    "triggers") that it was a response  to - as well   as the underlying un-named fear. (There is also the
    fear of detoxing and withdrawal,  which highly unpleasant - and can be very dangerous). And
    remember the Dopamine Factor

    The other "collateral victims" (family members, etc) can begin their recovery whether the alcoholic
    is still drinking or not: see Children Of Dysfunction and Codependency, for example.

    But it can't happen until somebody picks up the telephone, writes a message,  or takes some other
    steps, and asks for help. There is hope and help out there; including here on this site.
Self-Sabotaging &
A Family-Community Affair
Re-visioning Human Behavioural NeuroDiversity in a new Key
Alcohol and Addiction Counselling, Life Guidance and Support and
Klaas Tuinman virtual online and in-person at Dawn Cove Abbey
Helping you navigate Life’s speed-bumps
and expand your Life potential