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Alcoholism

GUEST, Threadie 02 May 00 - 12:29 AM
Gypsy 02 May 00 - 12:20 AM
GUEST, Threadie 01 May 00 - 09:10 PM
Jon Freeman 01 May 00 - 06:27 PM
Frankham 01 May 00 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Michelle in New York 01 May 00 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,toad 30 Apr 00 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,TonyK 30 Apr 00 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,kat/katlaughing 27 Apr 00 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,small threadie 27 Apr 00 - 07:14 PM
GUEST, Threadie 27 Apr 00 - 06:42 PM
Jon Freeman 27 Apr 00 - 09:24 AM
Frankham 27 Apr 00 - 08:38 AM
Hyperabid 27 Apr 00 - 04:32 AM
Jon Freeman 27 Apr 00 - 12:05 AM
Frankham 26 Apr 00 - 11:24 PM
John in Brisbane 26 Apr 00 - 10:28 PM
alison 26 Apr 00 - 09:39 PM
Jeri 26 Apr 00 - 09:17 PM
Willie-O 26 Apr 00 - 05:55 PM
Jon Freeman 26 Apr 00 - 02:00 PM
Hyperabid 26 Apr 00 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 26 Apr 00 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Toad 26 Apr 00 - 11:48 AM
John in Brisbane 25 Apr 00 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Middle Ground 25 Apr 00 - 04:01 PM
Peter T. 25 Apr 00 - 03:34 PM
MAG (inactive) 25 Apr 00 - 12:16 PM
The Beanster 25 Apr 00 - 01:33 AM
John Evans 24 Apr 00 - 05:48 PM
Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive) 24 Apr 00 - 05:31 PM
Peter T. 24 Apr 00 - 05:27 PM
Ed Pellow 24 Apr 00 - 04:12 PM
Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive) 24 Apr 00 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 24 Apr 00 - 11:04 AM
Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive) 23 Apr 00 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,Whiz 23 Apr 00 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Whiz 23 Apr 00 - 02:39 PM
Gypsy 23 Apr 00 - 01:06 AM
JedMarum 22 Apr 00 - 11:01 AM
Willie-O 22 Apr 00 - 08:48 AM
Rick Fielding 21 Apr 00 - 11:09 PM
Jon Freeman 21 Apr 00 - 07:22 PM
Gary T 21 Apr 00 - 06:58 PM
Dharmabum 21 Apr 00 - 05:21 PM
Willie-O 21 Apr 00 - 05:08 PM
MAG (inactive) 21 Apr 00 - 05:00 PM
The Beanster 21 Apr 00 - 04:35 PM
Willie-O 21 Apr 00 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Twitchy 21 Apr 00 - 03:55 PM
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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST, Threadie
Date: 02 May 00 - 12:29 AM

Without being condescending or patronizing, you forgot to say.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Gypsy
Date: 02 May 00 - 12:20 AM

And I thought that I had violent opinions on the subject. Without generalizing too much, a very great teacher told me this about addiction (of any kind) "People who are addicted, or have addictive personalities, are generally sensitive, highly intelligent beings. The substance is how they try to cope with the chaotic world." Now, much as I intensely dislike substances (yeah,yeah, Temperance union, anyone?) this is a viewpoint i can totally understand. Separate the disease from the person! You don't blame a body for alzheimers, do you? Same, same. Help those with the disease of alcoholism, in the same way.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST, Threadie
Date: 01 May 00 - 09:10 PM

Subject: RE: Alcoholism From: GUEST,Toad Date: 26-Apr-00 - 11:48 AM "I think that Threadie is a little to defensive."

What did you think I was being 'defensive' about.

I assumed you meant the marquee message by 'Guest,threadie' (the first one).

I was not being defensive about anything in this thread except to say to my unworthy 'imposter' that I did not agree with it's assumption (which it attributed to me), that Alcoholism and music were not related.

Now do you geddit?????.....


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 May 00 - 06:27 PM

Frank, isn't one of the best things about Mudcat that people can disagree. I apologise to you for my tone in my previous posts and thank you for your last post.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Frankham
Date: 01 May 00 - 06:03 PM

Jon,

I applaud your efforts for "wanting to get out". Congratulations. I wish for you nothing but the best.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,Michelle in New York
Date: 01 May 00 - 01:43 PM

In case John Evans and affected others are still reading--- I checked out this site just to find a song name, but saw the subject and decided I should read. My boyfriend of almost 6 years is an alcoholic. He is only 26 and has been drinking since he was 14. Yes, messed up past and all, but he had many chances to make things right, but he wasn't ready. After many break-ups, and tons of psychological help for me to deal with his problem, things got worse. He called me from Holland to "say hi", then I got a call two days later that he had been caught trying to transport drugs overseas. He is now in jail, but has been given another chance through a "boot camp" type program. When he is released, I know things will be tough for him. But I also know that I am not the one who is able to help him through this. He obviously didn't think all of this could happen to him, just like some of the people who responded to John's original e-mail make lightly of their own problems. My boyfriend can only look ahead now, but the road will be a much harder one. The awful evenings I spent waiting for him to come home will always be engraved in my mind. I hope no one else ever has to go through that, and I wish John and others the best of luck throughout their life.

Hope I got my point across. MM


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,toad
Date: 30 Apr 00 - 12:44 PM

Huh? I don't understand.%\> toad.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,TonyK
Date: 30 Apr 00 - 12:04 AM

AA works for me. My sponsor is an atheist. I am not. I'm for whatever works. I'm comfortable now in my own skin. I don't log in to mudcat as much since i went back to school, but I don't remember so much acrimony. Easy does it.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,kat/katlaughing
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 07:31 PM

Oh dear, I feel a relapse coming on.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,small threadie
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 07:14 PM

Threadie

You are lying!

Even if no one else does - I know which threads I posted...

you are very small


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST, Threadie
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 06:42 PM

Oh Toad?
Didn't you geddit?
'Guest,threadie', Guest,Threadie', and 'Guest,_gargoyle' were all the one person. In other words someone, not very far away from us, is staring down from his nesting place and overtaking unsuspecting 'Guest' identities.

You're not paying attention, Toad....!!


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 09:24 AM

Frank you introduced much of the latest round of the heated debate. You are as Hyperabid said, guilty of confusing acloholic addiction with Drunkenness. You are also judging a persons personality with no knowledge of what goes on inside that person.

You comment on a little hostility from me. Come on Frank do you really expect to suggest that you can, by implication, accuse me of being a child and wife abuser, suggest that I have an insulting nature, start fights in pubs, etc without attracting a little hostility. Get real Frank, this is nothing to do with alcholism. Non alcoholics would be angered by the same suggestions that you made.

Protect their life style? You are full of shit. Having to have a drink to calm down and relax, etc, is not a happy condition are you so blind and stupid to think that I enjoy waking up feeling ill and knowing that the easiest solution is to have another drink because then I will feel OK. I want out, am trying to get out and I have received helpful advice from people here and there are Mudcatters who were aware that I was struggling and wanted out before this thread started.

Your comments are worthless and inaccurate and I shall be grateful to see you leave this subject alone at least until you are able to separate fact from your own predjudice.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Frankham
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 08:38 AM

Hi,

I don't believe the problem is other people who are not alcoholics. I don't believe that the problem is the government or attitudes of others. I belive that the responsibility for the problem rests with the alcoholic behavior and it's being condoned by well-meaning enablers.

I was hoping for a rational dialogue on this issue but I think it's too highly charged for sensible discussion.

I want to thank you all for demonstrating just how insidious this disease is and to what lengths the alcoholic and their co-dependants will go to protect their life-style.

Now for me it's on to other things.

Thank you,

Frank


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Hyperabid
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:32 AM

Frankham

I think you are failing to draw a line between users and people who have fallen into addicitve diseases...

Secondly, you dismiss all the other points made in the last posting because you don't like the first one.

I still stick with the fact that prohibition and condemnation breed as many problems as they cure.

Sweden and Norway both have restrictive alchohol regimes and some of the highest alchoholism rates in Europe and Scnadinavia. The US import 50 times the amount of Marijuana illegally than the UK yet has only 5 times the population and the strictest drug laws in the developed world.

Don't get me wrong... I have a strong degree of personal empathy with people who need to draw strong lines in their lives to get through the problems brought on by addiction. I find these life standards brave and uncompromising and the spirit needed to stick to them an inspiration.

All I am saying is that the problem of addicitive behaviour is not helped by current attitudes from central government in the developed world. Medical treatments programmes are often more about maintenance on lower risk substitutes... Help organisations are voluntary and receive minimal government aid... and we push those that need our help into the background with the law.

My £0 0s 0d - again

Hyp


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:05 AM

Frank,

"One thing I have noticed, however, that the alcoholic is adamant about defending his/her position until they make an important breakthrough"

One thing I have noticed is that some people make sweeping statements before realising that they need modification.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Frankham
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 11:24 PM

Hi,

I appreciate your comments. Lets take 'em one at a time. Hypeeabid.Drugs and alcohol may not be fun and funny and do hurt others.

Jon, 1. Female alcoholics are also capable of abuse. Husbands and children. 2. Congratulations, Jon. You are apparently a responsible person. You have the guts to call yourself an alcoholic and are working on it. You have my admiration.

3. Alcoholic addiction is a state of mind. It can manifest whether you are drinking or not. It is generally associated with hostility, hence the comment about my talking through my "arse". I know more about it than you give me credit for.

4. I'll take your word for it.

5. Again, I know more about it than you give me credit for. I know that alcoholics are not necessarilly irresponsible all the time. But their responsibility rests with their sobriety. When you tell me that you are responsible to an audience, I take your word for it. but I stand by my statement.

6. Sorry Jon, I don't buy the "hardened alcoholic" statement.

8. Usta' be there. Used stuff. Total waste. "What am I on?" sounds like a hostile statement.

Re: liquor industry and organized crime, I don't believe that this requires too much explanation.

Tobacco and alcohol are addictive substances. For an alcoholic, there is no such thing as a little drink being good for them.

One thing I have noticed, however, that the alcoholic is adamant about defending his/her position until they make an important breakthrough.

Jeri, your point is well-taken about generalizations. I agree. Sanctimonius pronouncements are futile. On the other hand, making excuses for an alcoholic is also a disease.

Alison, helping people is fine. But making excuses is another thing that is not helpful. But encouragement to people like Jon who are trying to do something about it is helpful. It's far more hurtful to make excuses.

I agree with John. AA is a wonderful organization. I have been to meetings and have seen the great things that they do.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:28 PM

Alison, your thoughts are very well placed. I believe that you'll find that recovering alcoholics who work hard on their sobriety won't be too concerned about bullshit comments from others - the harshest criticsism will come from their own feelings of guilt and (often) perfectionism. Learning to grow again is one of the greatest benefits of being sober.

I'll leave others to assess the effect of bigotry and prejudice on those more vulnerable. At the end of the day however becoming clean/sober and maintaining that state is a personal matter and often a life threatening one. Let's not make it any harder for sufferers to achieve that goal.

As I understand it AA welcomes visitors to many meetings around the world if anyone wants to experience this part of the real world close up. The Alcoholics Anonymous phone number should be in your local phone book.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: alison
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:39 PM

Frank, have you any idea how hurtful your comments are to people who have this disease? (and no I'm not one.. I don't drink).

I hate drink drivers, I knelt in the road beside a friend one night as she bled to death (at the age of 17) hit by a drunk driver...... it's a picture I'll never forget, nor the look on her mother's face as I told her what had happened......

But your comments were too general, and hurtful to people here who are asking for help...

alison


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:17 PM

Convenient, isn't it? You don't have to get to know individuals if you can lump them all in one big group and make sanctimonious, un-provable generalizations.

Frank, alcoholism is a DISEASE, not a personality flaw. I hate stereotyping and prejudice based on it. Believe what you want, but most of what you've said destroys your credibility on the subject with me. You make it sound like your beliefs are facts, and they are anything but.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Willie-O
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:55 PM

I stand firmly with the Middle Ground guest!

It's funny how this topic brings out extremes--it's kind of like the blind man describing the elephant I guess, except that everyone seems a lot more certain about their perspective. But prohibitionist sentiment has had a huge influence on the way we view the problem, when it is a problem. And that ain't necessarily a good thing.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 02:00 PM

Alcoholics should be credited for:

1. Child and wife abuse

Even female alcholics? Besides that child and wife abusers should take the credit for what they do regardless of whether they are alcoholics or not.

2. Reckless and dangerous driving habits DUI

True, it is hard not to drive under the influence without a drink but you don't have to be an alcholoic to drink and drive on the other hand I am an alcholohic but I don't drive through choice.

3. Insulting demeanor and behavior to others

OK Frank, I not had a drink today and I think you are talking through your arse. I often post here after 8 or more pints without being insulting. Again, it is a persons nature that makes them behave as they do after drink, not the drink or any part of an alchololic condition.

4. Irresponsible public displays

Drunks may put on these displays but Frank, alcholosim is a condition, people like myself just keep topping up all day. It is more a matter of keeping a certain amount of alcholol on the blood stream than getting drunk. I can think of many non-alcholics who are far more likely to do something irresponsible after a few drinks that I would be.

5. If performers, blatant disregard for the audience

I have occasionally done paid work, oddly enough I have always rehearsed, turned up on time and in a fit condition to play. i wish I could say the same for some of my non-alcholic partners. Again Frank, you are talking about something you know nothing about and you are trying to define a persons nature by the fact they drink.

6. Instigating barroom brawls

Well Frank, in around 25 years of drinking in bars, I have never instegated a fight and I have only got involved on a couple of occasions. On these occasions, it has been to help split a fight up rather than to join in. I will admit that the majority of fights I have witnesed have been caused by somebody under the influence of some substance or other but in my experience, they are normally caused by kids who can't handle what ever they are taking rather than by hardened alchoholics.

7. Disregard for the feelings of other people

Like I say Frank... no I won't this time.

8. Corrupting and degrading influences on others

What are you on Frank?

9. Self-destructive personal habits

Agreed.

10. Occasional dissheveled appearance

Agreed.

11. Prevarication and dissembling

Maybe - maybe not.

12. Supporting the alcohol industry = organized crime

Please explain.

13. Advocating a gateway drug

Or getting caught up addicted to a substance that has been legal all my like. Perhaps you should point you finger somewhere other than at the victims Frank.

14. Working in tandem with tobacco users

I smoke tobacc but I don't see what you are getting at.

15. Fostering the myth that alcohol is good for you.

I believe it is in SMALL doses but not to excess.

16. Fostering the myth that good works can't be done without it.

I've never heard that said from any alchoholic I know. Where did you get that myth from Frank?

Jon


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Hyperabid
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 12:23 PM

Ooooh Drink and Drugs two such emotive subjects that on the whole needn't be.

If it's fun or just plain funny and it deosn't harm anybody else then it is okay - EVEN if other people think it is harming you!

Most people in their younger years choose to do things that their family now refuse to admit that they did when they were young. Some choose to continue into middle or even old age.

No matter how often poeple tell you they have there is no way for them to have a common frame of reference to your particular use of any particular substance. It's entriely personal.

If you think any one thing is taking too firm a hold in your life stop it for one month. If you can't seek help to do so.

Some things I am certain of...

Prohibition endangers lives by handing substance provision to criminals. Censure drives people towards behaviours such as secrecy that can turn them into addicts. People will seek altered states of consciousness whether it be through exercise - mental or physical or substance use - no matter what others say, think or do. Any other world view is simply naive.

I am interested to hear the religeous right promote virginity as a cure for AIDS. Fill a young mind up with the need to grow and explore then wait until it reaches a stage where sexual drive is probably only exceeded by curiosity - then stifle it! I am awed by such creative thinking - NOT!

Society's attitudes are as much guilty of creating subtancew abuse as the victim is. Addicts are medically unwell they are NOT criminals!

My £0 0s 0d...

Hyp.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 11:50 AM

I think that every question regardless of it's intent deserves an answer.

1. Since woman and children are anathema to alcoholics, it is reasonable to assume that alcoholics show no respect for their origins.

2. Alcoholics who drive do not like to assume responsibilty for their actions. Lack of personal responsibility is a hallmark of this disease.

3. Alcoholics should be respected as people but their actions should not be tolerated or condoned. I think the same could be said for murderers, robbers and criminals. I will go with the fact that alcoholism is a sickness, a disease and is often uncontrollable until help is seeked. Even those that defend alcoholism are in dire need of professional help.

4. It might be a good idea for some alcoholics to be incarcerated for a period of time until they are restored to sanity.

5. It's not a good idea to generalize about performer behavior toward an audience, but I've rarely seen a drunken performer who has done a great show with respect for their audiences. There is an abuse of sound reinforcement at times on the part of many performers but this is a different topic.

6. Barroom brawls involve alcohol. There is no other reason for them to take place.

7. The alcoholic often drinks with others to keep from having meaningful relationships. It is a psuedo intimacy that is in lieu of real human contact. There is a certain supercillious attitude that accompanies this disease which makes them fly at the wrong altitude.

8. Sugar dependency is a problem. The alcoholic is often addicted to sugar. It's easy to transfer addictions.

9. To blame alcohol addiction on "God" is an often used as a defensive ploy. It reinforces the inability to take responsibility for alcoholic actions.

10. Dishevelment is particularly ugly on a drunk. It is accompanied by foul odors, misplaced anger and can be likened to a diseased person who has refused medical help.

There are many artists who are wonderful regardless of their disease. But I believe that this has little do do with their wonderfulness.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,Toad
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 11:48 AM

This is a very worthy thread. I'm not against people who have a few drinks but I do find it interesting that some one had the naiveness to say "What has this to do with music." I can't imagine a musician anywhere who's life hasn't been dramatically touched by alcoholisim, not to mention drugs. Hats off to you all. I think that Threadie is a little to defensive.

Sincerely, Toad


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:29 PM

I've been there and I'm thankful that I've been able to claw my way out. My Mudcat activities have been one of my successful strategies to get me clean and keep me going. Thanks to all who have helped along the road. I'm only a personal message away if anyone else needs help. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,Middle Ground
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 04:01 PM

It seems to me that there are too many extreme perspectives surrounding this thread.

I drank to excess from 15-22...quite a lot. I decided on my own to stop.

For a brief time a friend convinced me to go to 12-step. I think there are good things about these programs, but that they are only for some people. I also found alot of unhealthy, unhappy people who had been clean and in the program for a long time. And who also did not tolerate other viewpoints. Many times I was told that if I questioned aspects of the program...it was "my disease talking". I was pretty self aware at that point, and did not agree with that sentiment. I stopped going to 12-step and decided to see a counselor.

I went to a life counselor and spent alot of time maturing and learning how to enjoy life without substances. After being abstinent for 11 years, my counselor suggested that I wasn't an alcoholic and that I might be ready to try moderate drinking.

I did, and have been doing well ever since. I don't drink everyday and I limit the amount I drink because I like to feel good. And being drunk and hungover dont feel good. I now have many friends who drink responsibly or not at all. I don't hang out with people who are drunks.

For me, it was about maturing and learning to take personal responsibilty for my actions. I'm glad I took the time off from drinking, and I would do it again if it ever became a problem again.

Food, alcohol, drugs, skiing, jogging, etc....all can kill you if used in excess, but they are pleasurable if used in *moderation*....and they can be used in moderation...

To the original poster....if you cannot stop, get help, it's out there. In fact, it would probably be a good idea to stop for some time, and work on the underlying problems that are contributing to your drinking. But look carefully at all the different options for getting help. 12-step may work for you but it is not the only way...and every person is different, and different people need different strategies for overcoming problems.

Check out the Stanton Peele site for alternative viewpoints to 12-step groups....


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Peter T.
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:34 PM

Beanster/John, I use this article all the time in environmental studies: "environment" is another pretty good term for larger context. Our planetary situation is one in which we have developed extraordinary powers of local so-called "rational" control over our own practices, but on the larger scale it can be seen that this "control model" is driving the planet crazy, into wild swings, simply because we are unwilling to give up this need to dominate and rationalise, and recognise that we are within the larger natural world, which works according to quite different "larger" principles. yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:16 PM

bill Wilson of AA is the closest thing to a true saint and true mystic America has produced. His thinking was that alcoholics ARE gifted people who constantly short-circuit their creativity with alcohol instead of using it the right way. There is an excellent history of AA which goes into it, and a new biography which I haven't yet read.

Conrad is a famous woman-basher and bar-promoter on another discussion group to which we both belong.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: The Beanster
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:33 AM

Thanks, Peter T., for that explanation. Abstract as it is, it made me understand more clearly the philosophy behind the "higher" or "larger" power idea. I don't know if the folks directly involved with AA are aware of this interpretation but it's too bad that this perspective is not more well known among the general public who may be seeking help with alcohol addiction and are scared off by the obvious religious implications contained in that "higher power" phrase. Maybe they should have used some phrase like "universal balance" or something...words with less baggage attached. But again, thanks--learn something new every day!


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: John Evans
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 05:48 PM

Conrad,

If this thread is anything to go by - a lot more people offer support than are mean...

Peter T,

Wow! Someone who reads Gregory Bateson! I have to say I find some of his stuff hard going. I have read the piece in 'Steps' that you mention - but I still started this thread...

Mind you, in what he says about 'the pattern that connects' I can only say, yes - he's right....

John


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive)
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 05:31 PM

I do not think alcoholics would have such a time in this life as they do if people would not be so mean to them.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 05:27 PM

Just a note about AA: Gregory Bateson wrote an interesting piece some years ago in his book on the "Ecology of Mind" where he pointed out that one of the reasons why AA works (and there is a mountain of evidence that it does) is that it faces the issue of control uniquely. The idea is that until you let go of focussing on personal egostrength, you cannot let the larger forces of balance work. It is trying to fight it alone with willpower that boxes in some people. The paradox is: "I am out of control; I need a drink to steady my nerves to get control of myself". He likens it to a highwire artist with one of those long horizontal balancing poles. If the highwire artist tries to keep the pole absolutely horizontal as he walks, then the momentum moves to the highwire itself, which swings in larger and larger arcs, eventually spilling the person over, because he was too tightly focussed on inappropriately narrowed control. It is only in the context of the larger system (sometimes referred to as "the higher power") that real balance can be achieved. Bateson notes that this sometimes has nothing to do with God: sometimes it is just reconnecting to other people in your life who can help you normalize, widen out the narrow unbalancing focus. He once said that he thought the AA phrase should have been "larger power" so as to get away from the idea of God, and accentuate the movement away from personal punishment and control.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 04:12 PM

Conrad,

Alcoholism leads to an enourmous amount of misery, both to the drinker and those close to him / her

I'm not sure why you've responded in this way - but if you'd seen the misery first hand - you may well have posted differently.

Regards

Ed


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive)
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 03:50 PM

1. Child and wife abuse Why should alcoholics have to put up with women and children- what a drag! That is abuse of the alcoholic!

2. Reckless and dangerous driving habits DUI Why in the world should an alcholic ever have to drive? Of course they should be driven. In a limmo with a bar if at all possible. And they should never be driven to a "dry place"

3. Insulting demeanor and behavior to others Alcoholics should be respected in all instances as would any other "special Person" I have seen quite a few seat wetting and drooling senior citizens who yell at the top of their lungs - but they we must worship! The same with alcoholics. Just learn to be tolerant.

4. Irresponsible public displays Re read 3- remember we do not need to force alcoholics to leave their palaces but we make them live in the streets.

5. If performers, blatant disregard for the audience I have seen perfectly respectible tea totaling performers respect the audience and often. One of the greatist sins is for these tea totalers to always use electronic amplification even in small spaces. IMHO an instance of number 4 above. And there are other sins to many to count.

6. Instigating barroom brawls The last barroom brawl I saw was conducted by sober folk.

7. Disregard for the feelings of other people Alcoholics are not people - they are the elect! Again see 5 above. It is infact a gross disregard not to join the alcholic in rounds- a lack of reciprocity and hospitaltiy....

8. Corrupting and degrading influences on others dont make me laugh! nothing good about sugar dependancy!

9. Self-destructive personal habits

Only god gives life and the same takes it away. by virtue of life all personal habits are self destructive. Who are you some sort of imortal?

10. Occasional dissheveled appearance I have seen wonderful dishevelment upon very dry and teatotaling school teachers.....you must be nuts!

11. Prevarication and dissembling 12. Supporting the alcohol industry = organized crime 13. Advocating a gateway drug 14. Working in tandem with tobacco users 15. Fostering the myth that alcohol is good for you. 16. Fostering the myth that good works can't be done without it.

I will not respond to 11-16 except to say that many of the most wonderful artists and musicians and people of this world have been alcholics and many of the worst have been tea totalers.

Get a life- beter yet- get a drnk!

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 11:04 AM

Spirits were originally introduced for ceremonial purposes and quickly became abused. Their original usuage became forgotten. They were employed to bring about a kind of exalted experience during special rare occasions.

Alcoholics should be credited for: 1. Child and wife abuse 2. Reckless and dangerous driving habits DUI 3. Insulting demeanor and behavior to others 4. Irresponsible public displays 5. If performers, blatant disregard for the audience 6. Instigating barroom brawls 7. Disregard for the feelings of other people 8. Corrupting and degrading influences on others 9. Self-destructive personal habits 10. Occasional dissheveled appearance 11. Prevarication and dissembling 12. Supporting the alcohol industry = organized crime 13. Advocating a gateway drug 14. Working in tandem with tobacco users 15. Fostering the myth that alcohol is good for you. 16. Fostering the myth that good works can't be done without it.

I think that they should have a special place......

How about the Betty Ford Clinic and AA, both organizations that are doing a wonderful job.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive)
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 11:35 PM

Alcoholics should not be persecuited but instead made to be the holy elect of our society. They should be provided with a life of guarded yet unlimited luxury.

Until recently I had hoped I could reach that exalted position......regretfully my body would not permit it.

I have all of the proper motivating factors but the genetics stand in the way IMHO.

Drinking is given to all men alcoholism to but a few.

We need not make these gifted individuals outcasts. They have much to give society and one of their gifts is their own euphoria and ability to consume.

It is the full enjoyment of the gifts of god. Only the imperfect can not reach their heights.

They may not make good drivers, lovers, or parents but what the hay- those things are work- It is only work which gets in the way of the true alcoholic.

We need to set them free of the social stigmas and provide them with the safe environments they deserve.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,Whiz
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 02:39 PM

I never quit drinking but I did stop cigarettes after 30+years. Notice I said stop not quit. I deceided I was not smoking today. Every day I remind myself I'm not smoking today. The approach is one day at a time. That was 10 years ago. I still haven't quit smoking I'm just not smoking today. It worked for me for cigarettes it might work for you for alcohol. It's worth a try. Good luck today. Whiz


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,Whiz
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 02:39 PM

I never quit drinking but I did stop cigarettes after 30+years. Notice I said stop not quit. I deceided I was not smoking today. Every day I remind myself I'm not smoking today. The approach is one day at a time. That was 10 years ago. I still haven't quit smoking I'm just not smoking today. It worked for me for cigarettes it might work for you for alcohol. It's worth a try. Good luck today. Whiz


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Gypsy
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 01:06 AM

Can't let this one drop...John, if you are out there, whatever choice you make, will be right for you. Addiction runs in my family, have LOTS of alcoholics, and stopped drinking 8 years ago myself. It's a nasty, difficult drug to deal with. And the real bitch is not only is it legal, but portrayed in such a fashion that it appears that people are happy when drunk...forgetting that alcohol is a depressant. I send the energy of the universe to you.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: JedMarum
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 11:01 AM

John - you've had so many thoughtful and supportive comments here in this thread, I feel redundant by adding my own. I do agree with so much that has been said, though, and agree that alocohol can be a powerfully destructive force.

Clearly AA is an organization that will help you. I realize that some peopl harbor anger toward expressions of faith in any form, but even if you have little or no faith yourself, AA is still the place I would urge you to start. I hope you would not let your personal religious convictions stand in the way of letting this organization help you.

In my own experience (I do not drink at all, now) - I do not believe I was alcoloholic; though I drank 1 to 3 beers each day for years, and occasional party days of excess - I loved beer and never have wanted to give it up, but at a routine physical discovered that I have a very high tri-glyceride level, a condition that will cost me years of my life. Every drink I take now shortens my life. It was as easy choice; I gave it up immediately, and have never regretted it. I have also been surprised how easy it was to go without it.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Willie-O
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 08:48 AM

Certainly there are different degrees of abuse--but I think the heredity theory is very dubious science. There is a lot of theory which is inappropriately promoted as gospel, something I am liable to do myself. Widely publicized statistical data shows that different ethnic groups have very different rates of alcoholism, but interpreting this data is difficult.

Hereditary-alcoholism theorists suggest that the longer alcohol has been a part of a culture, the smaller the proportion of alcoholics because they have less evolutionary success. A tenuous theory. The cultural factors theory explains the same data by pointing out cultures which ritualize the social or religious use of alcohol, but strongly discourage excessive consumption and drunkenness (Jewish and Italian society are the usual ones cited--both have very low rates of identified alcoholism.) North American alcohol culture has been strongly influenced by the temperance movement which advocated an all-or-nothing approach. You know, zero-tolerance. Some people need to not drink any alcohol, ever, but as a universal cure-all, it's a strategy lacking in breadth.

But if you drink a lot of alcohol for a long period of time, your physiology changes--if like me you have always had a high tolerance for alcohol, you are probably at more risk of developing a severe problem with it than if you get sick every time you drink. The thing is, eventually your liver stops working right, and instead of being processed normally and released gradually, the alcohol is metabolized straight into the bloodstream--and that's when you may get to the point of intoxication and unpredictable behaviour after one or two drinks.

By the way, thanks Dharmabum.

I feel like I've said a lot here, and maybe we should let this thread drop off since John E decided to go to private discussion--anyone who wants to keep this discussion going care to start a new thread?

Best of luck & positive reinforcement to everyone working through this issue in their lives.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 11:09 PM

When I started playing professionally (bars for 20 years) 32 years ago, I drank as much as most of my musical friends did (which was quite a bit). One problem was that it didn't appear to affect my singing or playing at all. Same thing with dope. Grass, hash, coke. All easily available and free (to musicians of course). After about 8 years I started having agonizing hangovers and migraine-like headaches. I stopped. To me, the sad thing was that I never liked the taste of alcohol, and dope often made me dizzy. But to a shy person in an extroverted profession, it allowed me to feel like "one of the guys and gals". Silly reason to get into it in the first place eh?

Guess it gave me enough false confidence to face bar audiences night after night. (too bad I waited til the age of 40 to kick THAT habit!) What got me back to my first love of folk music was reading a LOT of Quentin Crisp. Now THAT guy gave me something worthwhile...with no hangovers!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 07:22 PM

Interesting distinction. I fit more into the alcohol abuser category. There have been times when I have gone out and simply got blind drunk and sometimes this has gone on for a period of a month or more but the longer periods have nearly always been brought on by emotional upsets and when I have decided that it is time to stop that, it has never been hard.

Other than that, I very rarely get blind drunk but I find it very difficult to relax without alcohol inside me and I tend to just keep topping up, the amount I need seems to get higher, my consumption increases until I say stop and then I cut right down agan and go round in the same circle.

Just to try to exlain, on one hand, it is like having a demon inside you shouting "drink, drink..." and coupled the mental battle, a tension, fear and nervousness inside me and although I know it isn't the answer, having a drink puts a stop to all of this so eventually I give in.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Gary T
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 06:58 PM

Regarding Willie-O's mention of "controlled drinking", and his earlier reference to "controversy about...whether problem drinkers or alcoholics can ever become moderate social drinkers again," my understanding is there is a distinction between alcohol abusers (problem drinkers) and alcoholics.

Alcoholics have a physiological handicap, they are physically incapable of stopping at one drink (this trait seems to be at least partially hereditary). They can never become social drinkers, it's essentially all or nothing. Moderate drinking is not possible for them.

Alcohol abusers, on the other hand, are theoretically capable of using alcohol in moderation. Whether any given individual can accomplish this depends on various factors, and many are wise not to tempt fate, but it is within the realm of possibility.

How one reliably determines the difference between the two situations I don't know, other than trial and error.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Dharmabum
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 05:21 PM

I don't reply to very many threads but this one hits too close to home. So here's my .02. I'm 47 years old and i've had to deal with drug/alchohol problems for more than half of my life now. First with my wife,who passed away 3 years ago,and a very talented artist in her own rite,and now with my daughter,who is 60 days clean & sober. I can't speak for anyone with an addictive problem,nor can I offer any solutions,Only you can make those decisions. But I can say this,Caring about and loving someone with an addiction makes life tough. Simply put,if it's causing problems,It is a problem. We all carry our own little demons of one sort or another. Alch/drug addiction just happens to be one that has a readily available network of support ,if you choose to use it. And A A is not the only form of support. Hope I don't come off sounding preachy, certainly not my intention. Whatever route you decide to take, I wish you all the strength,courage, hope and whatever else it takes. Ron. P.S. Music Related? Try concentrating on stage while your wife is getting sloshed in the audience.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Willie-O
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 05:08 PM

Personally, I find it more useful to not have a group or a "sponsor" to keep me on the straight and narrow, because I have to do it myself, and I can't put anything over on myself, the only person who is always with me...if ya followed that.

One little notion I've found useful is the concept of the addictive voice. Works like this: when you feel that craving for alcohol, even though it seems to be coming from inside of you, it IS NOT YOU. It's the Addictive Voice talking. You can just take that message, fold it up and put in in your pocket, because it isn't from you, its just directed _to_ you. (In fact it's spam!)

Also, the craving, physiologically, is a sugar craving. So eat a chocolate bar or a donut. Really works! It passes.

It only gets easier though if you quit stone cold. If you try to cut down gradually you are making your life very difficult because all the time you're going to have to decide "can I have a drink now?" I never had any luck with that approach.

There's an approach called Moderation Management which promotes controlled drinking rather than complete abstinence, but I'm happy enough with the results of the latter that I don't care to risk messing myself up for the sake of having a beer once a week or something. Might be helpful for people concerned about their alcohol habits but unwilling to stop.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 05:00 PM

No disagreement from me, to either of you. -- MA


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: The Beanster
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 04:35 PM

Willie-O,

I liked what you said before about the AA tenet that you must admit that you're powerless over alcohol. I always thought that was crap, too. Seems backwards to me--if you're powerless over it, how are you ever going to get control over it? But I suppose what AA wants you to do is substitute an Almighty Something Else for the Almighty Alcohol. I am an agnostic justthisside of atheism so I too, disagree with this powerlessness stuff. I know AA has helped SO many people and I think that's great, of course--but for people who don't go with that Higher Power idea, I do think that looking for an alternative to AA would be a good idea. Thanks for broadening that horizon.


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: Willie-O
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 04:22 PM

Whistle Stop takes the discussion in an interesting direction. Fairly recently I've started playing in bars again--and it just depends what the scene is like, really. I don't mind being there for the most part, as long as everybody there isn't loaded, loud and boring. Being surrounded by drunks does not make me want to join in. I just assess bars like any other social situation: what's going on here besides alcohol?--anything worth sticking around for? Good music, good company or hopefully both?

As far as choosing a recovery program if that's what one wants to try, I would urge anyone to do some research on the breadth of philosophies that are out there before committing to a particular group. (My criticism is not limited to AA--the recovery group/program/counselling field seems to have a lot of conflict between the different groups and professionals, and it doesn't seem you can rely on much balanced information from within a group. That is, you _might_ get it, you might not. Sorry MAG, no intention to offend, but you've just about made the point for me.)

By the way, just to clarify, the _quitting_ was easy--much easier than I had expected. (You may be lucky like me and get a long way down the road towards physical addiction, without reaching that point. If you think you have a real problem with it, it's better to deal with it sooner than later.) Maintaining that decision and figuring out new ways to live my life--that part is hard.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Alcoholism
From: GUEST,Twitchy
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 03:55 PM

(Apologies to Joe Offer for posting this photo in this thread.)

For those of you who are curious and want to see what Joe deleted and what triggered Moonchild's nervous breakdown over it, click here.

(It's really quite tame. All that matzoh meal and kreplach soup must have triggered a psychotic reaction.)


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