|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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
A Family-Community Affair
Re-visioning Human Behavioural NeuroDiversity in a new Key
|Alcohol and Addiction Counselling, Life Guidance and Support and
more. Klaas Tuinman virtual online and in-person at Dawn Cove Abbey
|Helping you navigate Life’s speed-bumps
and expand your Life potential