I’ve heard the term many times that alcoholism is a thinking disease. The longer I attended AA, I realized that there was much truth to be understood in this statement. Even prior to medical research finding facts to support the idea, alcoholics who participated in the Alcoholics Anonymous program knew it was true.
We have all heard the term chemical dependence. This is where the physical body becomes dependent upon some sort of narcotic or alcohol.
As a person in recovery, I can say that the thinking patterns of the brain and bodily functions have this weird relationship when it comes to an alcohol addiction. I’ll never forget the feeling of my body craving more of the liquid substance and how my mind was so obsessed with wanting more alcohol.
It’s really odd to wake up in the morning and all you can think about is where you will get the next drink from. Your brain is constantly reminding you that it wants you to get drunk throughout the entire day. The thoughts are relentless. They are so overpowering that self-will just isn’t enough to change your alcoholic mind. It’s like being on a locomotive that is traveling at full speed and wanting to stop the train, but you have no brakes.
They have a saying in AA that goes like this, “stinking thinking.” You will hear it referred to often by alcoholics in recovery meetings. Sometimes someone in a meeting will say that it was their best thinking that brought them into the program.
People in AA understand that they are wired differently than other people. The insanity of the disease of alcoholism is not something that can be explained. It has been deemed cunning, baffling and powerful. The thinking patterns of an alcoholic sure do not make any sense. This is why a normal person has such a difficult time coping with the stupid things alcoholics do. It is a disorder that is not so easily understood by anyone who has never battled with being addicted to alcohol.
For instance, my ex-sister in-law once attempted to kill herself by overdosing on prescription pills. What was her reason for this? Well, she had been trying to get into a 28 day treatment program, but she had no money. Someone explained that because she wasn’t a threat to herself or someone else that she did not qualify for financial aid. You guessed it, she took enough pills to cause her to be admitted into the hospital. She was so bad that they called an ambulance to rush her to the emergency room. She actually almost killed herself…for real.
Now that is insane thinking. It makes no sense at all to the normal person, but to an alcoholic/drug addict this sort of thing can seem like the logical thing to do.
I have heard it said so many times; “why don’t the just quit?” Most family members, friends, spouses and co-workers don’t understand what an addiction to alcoholic is like for the abuser. They think the problem drinker should just be able to decide to stop, like flipping a light switch on or off. They say things like; “they are throwing their life away” or “they are ruining their family” or “can’t they see what they are doing to their life.” I remember a young man who could have easily been an MD. Instead of pursuing to accomplish something with his scholastic abilities, he chose to clean pools and party with his bachelor friends throughout the week.
I got a little off focus from my original intent. My point was that an alcoholics/addicts thinking can be insane. The crazy things they do never makes any sense to normal people.
All I know is that alcoholics cannot stop thinking about getting the next drink. They plan their entire day around getting intoxicated. This was my personal experience. There’s a saying: “a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” I am truly convinced that alcoholics suffer from a thinking disease. Other people with addictive personalities who have sobered up will tell you the same sort of things that I’ve mentioned here. If you take the time to attend an AA meeting you will discover that the disease of alcoholism really is a disorder in the thinking patterns of addicts/alcoholics.