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Alcohol is a disease that manifests itself both physically and psychologically. Here we will deal with the psychological components of the disease.
Simply put: Alcohol abuse messes up your thinking. Your emotions are displaced, distorted and deviant. When you are finally at the point where you want to stop drinking, you may feel helpless, hopeless, and devastated. You may be too afraid to kill yourself, but simultaneously too afraid to live without alcohol. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous refers to this as "the jumping off point." You will feel irritable, anxious, exhausted, ashamed, fearful and maybe even hopeful, but all at the same time. You cannot experience this alone.
At this point, it is necessary to arm yourself with a network of support. Attend Alcoholics Anonymous (in major city's like Chicago there are 4,000 meetings a week). It is also recommended that a medical doctor, a therapist and a network of sober, supportive friends be used for assistance during this time. You are not the professional here, so seek help from others who understand you. Trying these new tools will help. You cannot think your way into a new way of acting, but you can act your way into a new way of thinking and feeling.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|