Society has to ask the question “what is alcoholism” if any in depth solution is to be found.
Alcohol addiction is the symptom of an intricate web of cause and effect. Layers of causes build up in the emotions of an individual and erupt in the effect which is the disease of alcoholism. The underlying cause is the emotion of fear. The individual’s essential problem is one of fear and society’s reaction to an individual’s alcoholism compounds the problem by also being one of shock and fear.
The individual with alcohol problems fears loss, failure, loneliness, rejection, not being good enough, sadness, lack of security, not being loved and suffering. The alcoholism symptoms are seen in anger, depression and despair as a result of fear. The individual who lacks emotional awareness (which will be the alcoholic and often those living with an alcoholic) will not be aware of these causes or of these effects. A society which lacks emotional awareness will react towards the alcoholic with harsh judgements, anger, despair and disdain. That reaction only entrenches the problem.
What is Alcoholism to Society?
Alcoholism treatment by society should be one of compassion, non-judgement and kindness. Without those positive and healing emotions the alcoholic cannot be healed and neither can those who are close to them nor society as a whole. If a person is drinking too much and society treats them with the same emotions that gave rise to the drinking problem in the first place, namely with fear, then that may compound the problem and help will not be sought, as denial is used as a last defence.
If the alcoholic is driven into denial, then those close to them will be too. Many skeletons in family cupboards are not mentioned because an alcoholic brings back too many emotions related to fear. That means children are not made aware of the dangers of alcohol or the potential genetic link to alcoholism that they may carry. Through society’s denial advertisers are not properly held to account and so the disease continues down the generations.
If society brings the problem out of the cupboard so that everybody can discuss it, find out about it, dissect it and lay it to rest without harsh judgement, steps can be taken towards alcohol rehabilitation.
So if we ask “what is alcoholism” we find that the answer is a many layered problem of emotional lack of awareness in the individuals involved and in society as a whole.
If an alcoholic and those close to them wish for alcohol recovery then the best chance that they have is to understand themselves and their own emotions by taking responsibility for their own lives and treating themselves and each other with kindness and understanding.
If we ask “what is alcoholism” then we will find that once self knowledge is obtained, the answer will unfold.