The Long Road to Recovery

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The Long Road to Recovery 1

The Long Road to Recovery, From a Hopeless State of Mind and Body

Michael A White
ENG 211
Professor Geoff Pope

March 14, 2010

The Long Road to Recovery 2

The Long Road to Recovery, From a Hopeless State of Mind and Body

Alcoholism and the disease of addiction have been viewed in two strong yet completely different ends of the spectrum for as long as men and women have been losing control of how much and when they drink. One end of the spectrum is the immoralist point of view, which claims the “alcoholic as not having morals” (Gary, 1999). When describing alcoholics, they have also been known to call them “sinful” or “moral weaklings” (Gary, 1999). Throughout history, the alcoholic has been ridiculed, as described by Gary Stofle in the article “The Morality of Alcoholism”: “Society has ascribed to these views as evidenced by the fact that alcoholics have been jailed just for being alcoholics in the past.   At worst, alcoholics have been killed or left to die because of society's views and from a lack of knowledge concerning treatment of alcoholism as well. At best, alcoholics have been laughed at, scorned, pitied and/or run out of town” (1999). These views of the alcoholic have caused a great many to relapse, and even die, when all that was needed was a little understanding of the disease. The biggest problem with holding this view of addiction is that it can be potentially fatal for the alcoholic of The Long Road to Recovery 3

my caliber. The other end of the spectrum that I hold to be truer, yet still don’t agree completely with, is the view of the Amoralist. “The alcoholic must also understand that he is not responsible for the things he said or did when he was drinking. The physical addiction controlled his behavior, and because he is powerless over the addiction, he cannot be held responsible for it” (Gary, 1999). My purpose in this essay is give my first-hand experience of the pain and despair that the disease of alcoholism can cause, and how if you are willing to do whatever it takes to end the pain and the suffering, anyone can be relieved from the same hopeless state of mind and body as I was.

My name is Mike and I am an alcoholic. I am responsible for the things that I have done while being loaded. What makes me an alcoholic is that when I drink, I don’t know how much I will drink, or what I will end up doing while I am loaded; what I mean by that is when I consume alcohol or any other drug, I release my addiction all over again, and I am at the mercy of it. I lose my power of choice, between doing the right things and the wrong things. When I am loaded, there are only three places that I can end up: jails, institutions, and death.

The Long Road to Recovery 4

There are three main stages regarding the disease of addictioncolon the early stage, the middle stage, and the end stage. C. H. Angel writes, “During the early stage of alcoholism an individual becomes more dependent upon alcohol. If a person has a stressful day, alcohol will be consumed to alter his or her mood. Alcohol is used to relieve stress on a regular basis” (2007). I remember this stage clearly, this is when I was just trying to “fit in” and be one of the “cool kids” when I still had the power to control whether or not I got drunk. (Keep in mind that when you cross from stage to stage, there is an imaginary line that you cross. You don’t know when you are about to approach it, or even when you have crossed it, but it comes and then it goes.)

The middle stage is “the point where a person desires alcohol more intensely. A person starts drinking more alcohol at one sitting. The person clearly starts losing control over his or her drinking” (Angel, 2007). When I got to this point in my life, my thoughts and actions were controlled by alcohol and drugs; just about all my actions were consumed with the thoughts of using. What I mean by that is everything I did I always had thoughts of...
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