|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
You can find the Courage you need, and
You are Never alone . . .
Like the entire site, this page 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.
always has an excuse . .
A "winner" always
has a program/plan.
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
Dawn Cove Abbey
"Roadside Assistance" for your Journey through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From, "One! The Journey hOMe", the eBook by Klaas Tuinman M.A © 2007-2019
Comments and Inquiries are welcome
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. . . 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,
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 genuine 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 unpredict-
able 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 insanity".
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 individualistic - because for each
person there are two important "ingredients" they
bring into it, "set and setting": those are two extremely
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
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, chemistry and perhaps 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
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 at home!
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
slow 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 involved.
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.
Winning vs Losing >
The difference lies
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