The disease of Alcoholism/Addiction is one that is cunning, baffling and powerful. It is frequently described as the only allergy that deliberately tricks you into thinking you don’t have it, and causes you to crave more of the substance that is hurting you. In the end it is not up to anyone to diagnose you as a “Real Deal” alcoholic/addict (according to 12 Step fellowships) except you. There are ways you can diagnose yourself. These are, in my own experience, a few ways to see if you can identify yourself as the “Real Deal”.
- Do You Crave The Substance
One obvious effect of excessive drug use and/or drinking is the physical withdrawal, but the craving acquired in the “Real Deal” is a different type of abnormality. It is a crippling that occurs when a “Real Deal” takes the first drink or drug, and has no control over the obsession to use or drink more, and have no control over how much they take in. If 9 out of 10 people have a certain reaction to something and 1 out of 10 people have a different reaction, then the reaction of the 1 out of 10 is defined as abnormal. The effect of using alcohol or drugs on a “Real Deal” is a manifestation of the allergy described. It is explained in 12 Step literatures that the phenomenon of craving is exclusive to this class and NEVER occurs in the average drinker/drug user, and that these allergic types who develop the craving can NEVER safely use any form of drugs or alcohol.
- Do You Find Life Unmanageable (With or Without The Substance)
The first part of a program of action includes identifying the issues created in your life by your condition as an alcoholic and/or addict. One clear symptom of a “Real Deal” can be how nearly every aspect of life seems intolerable or incomplete, with or without the drink or drug. In my experience in recovery if I cannot accept the people and circumstances of my life as they are, and I cannot find any peace or happiness in life, I am living in the sickness and not in the solution. It won’t even matter how drunk or high I get, I can find no peace or freedom in my life and I try drinking and using to block out the pain of my unmanageability.
- Do You Take Serious Risks For The Substance
There have been plenty of times in my personal experience where consequences related to my health, both mental and physical, were presented to me due to my using and drinking. I have been a breath away from death, lost all sorts of sanity, and hurt a lot of loved ones with my active alcoholism/addiction. A “Real Deal” can be presented with situations that put their health, family, security, and sanity at risk if they do not stop drinking and/or using drugs and still they do not stop. Even when they want to stop for a sufficient reason, they cannot. They will use/drink themselves back into hospitals, out of homes, jobs, and relationships, or even to death.
- You Cannot Give It Up On Your Own
“Real Deal” alcoholics and addicts are typically incapable of doing this at all. Any time you find yourself unable to stay abstinent from a substance, it is a pretty good indication you are in the grips of a serious illness. Moderate or even hard drinkers/drug users can still stop when they want to or need to. They can remain clean for extended periods of time without using drugs or drinking and are able to cope with life, and maybe moderate again safely. The “Real Deal” cannot do this. It is suggested in most 12 Step Programs if you truly want to test yourself, try to remain abstinent for up to 1 year. It will become very clear in short enough time, and if this is not possible for you it’s probably safe to assume you are a “Real Deal” and it will take a lot of work, and some outside influence to protect you from the allergy of alcoholism/addiction.
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