Alcoholism is a family disease. It is said that the age the person starts using is the age they generally stop growing emotionally. I had never realized that all the time my sister was sick, I was getting sick right along with her. That’s why I was in those roles, of my own choosing, and why I’m still in them, and in therapy learning how to get out of them. I’ll keep this short and sweet, since we all have many blogs we want to read.
When I first started this blog many years ago, I told myself I would always be honest no matter how much it might hurt. If I can’t be honest in my blog, where the hell else can I be honest, right? Here goes: intellectually I totally get that alcoholism is a disease. But that knowledge hasn’t traveled the few feet or so down to my heart. I still have wondered sometimes, “Why doesn’t she just stop drinking?” I’ve been to thousands of family meetings with my parents and Carol at the 20 or so treatment centers she’s tried. You’d think it would be cemented in my head.
A couple of months ago I went to one of my favorite Al-Anon meetings. It had been a while before I’d attended. I shared this problem I have with the concept of disease. I was crying. Almost right after everyone at the table had shared, this woman practically stood over me and ticked off these things on her fingers: “The DSM recognizes alcoholism as a disease, Blue Cross recognizes it as a disease,” (and one other thing I can’t remember she said–I was a little in shock) “so you have to accept it as a disease.” There you go.