If you are an alcoholic are you always an alcoholic?
Alcohol addiction is a complex and often misunderstood condition. It’s a disease that impacts not only the person struggling with it but also their loved ones. However, there are several misconceptions around alcoholism that make it difficult for individuals to understand the nature of this condition. One such belief is whether someone who has been an alcoholic can never drink again without developing addiction.
In this article, we will explore the question “If you are an alcoholic, are you always an alcoholic?” by breaking down what alcoholism means and why people may relapse.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is defined as a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking despite negative consequences or impaired physical health. It’s associated with craving for alcohol, loss of control over its use, and continued consumption despite adverse effects on work responsibilities or social activities.
The factors contributing to alcohol dependence include genetic factors (Yes! Blame your genes), stress levels and mental health conditions like depression or anxiety (and all those countless broken hearts!). While these underlying causes cannot be reversed entirely at once (we can only wish!), what we do have complete control over is our behavior towards alcohol consumption (We humans sure love power).
Can Recovering Alcoholics Drink Again?
Many recovering addicts avoid drinking out of fear of relapsing into old habits due to intensive cravings combined with weakened decision-making skills after one too many drinks (Stupid alcohols pretending to be smarter than us!). Others manage to get past their addiction stages altogether completely avoiding any possible interaction with alcohol in future (that’s cheating…at least small shots shouldn’t hurt anyone right?) There are no hard-and-fast rules regarding sobriety maintenance since different methods work uniquely depending on each individual (don’t fall victim to peer pressure here!).
There are cases where some people recovered from alcohol addiction, manage to implement control measures and enjoy occasional drinks responsibly, however subjecting themselves to regular drinking may risk relapse due to the feelings triggered by these memories being potentially too elusive (Say no! Say no! Say No!)
Why Do Some Recovered Alcoholics Relapse?
Relapsing after sobriety is a difficult reality for any recovering addict. While everyone tries their best, certain life events can trigger them (Spoilers alert: Life happens). These triggers are different in every individual; thus there’s no precise way of avoiding all circumstances that could lead one back onto the dark path (I mean blackouts are pretty easy though right?). However, some common triggers include social pressure (school and workplace- who said colleagues make your healthy choices easier!?), emotional distress (Here come those broken hearts again) and boredom (hobbies go out of style more easily or rather cheaply with alcohol)
Additionally, taking impromptu decisions without seeking professional help before forming long term views on soberness often result in fatal consequences. The likelihood of returning character traits such as mood disorders like anxiety depression or bipolar disorder which were controlled earlier – especially if you don’t follow specified intake patterns following consultation – increases when not performing due diligence.
Can You Turn Into an Alcoholic Again After Just One Drink?
Ah yes! The million-dollar question haunts every person fighting the ‘borderline’. Drinking regularly at non-problematic levels generally does not re-create addictive tendencies since research suggests it takes prolonged exposure; numerous days/weeks/months: Constant heavy drinking rewires neural pathways specifically urging continued use while tolerating larger amounts Otherwise referred to as “kindling behaviour” So ultimately…it depends but probably yes… always remember progress isn’t determined on how fast-paced I becomes necessarily but inward scrutiny managing impulses daily.
How Do You Know If You’re Experiencing a Relapse?
Relapse is often caused by external stimuli, thereby making recognition only possible through self-honesty and personal acceptance: Barriers defining it include difficult-to-manage mood swings (developed once again post addiction), isolate surrounding oneself from friends family; ultimately choosing to continue drinking despite negative consequences.
If you aren’t sure if you’re in fact relapsing back into your old ways, here’s a list of common signs that can help identify alcohol abuse recurrentness:
- Regularly craving for alcohol despite conscious efforts against indulging.
- Developing withdrawal symptoms after soberness extends daily heavy eyelids anyone?
- Continuing feeling ashamed or lying about the extent of consumption around others.
- Managing relationships decreased functioning nevertheless continuing behaviour at comparable levels (what ever happened to growing older not up?)
- Neglecting hobbies & interests held dear earlier when adaptively adjusting while routinely stalking hours over distractions.
It’s important always to bear in mind each trigger creates an avenue towards vulnerability,(not strength!) thus vigilance is necessary regardless.
Can Relapses Be Prevented?
The most effective way to prevent relapsed episodes involves three steps:
- Identifying High-Risk Events – understand what triggers dangerous behavior hence know how best one should consciously stay away
- Sticking To Sober Support Network – Surround yourself with people who have similar goals and encourage perseverance while supporting mindful choices.
- Relearning Healthy Coping Techniques – It’s essential learning new coping skills since ineffective measures like substance abuse may yield even more problems In addition to pre-existing ones encountered before
The Bottom Line
While sobriety maintenance depends solely on individual cases, there are no guaranteed safe pathways out of Addiction La-La land without falling off the wagon now and then (besides we all fall victims occasionally) albeit attention directed mainly towards persistent staying true these temptations lessen as days go by slowly adapting to the fruitful lifestyle you’ve created alongside close allies from your support network (also, is it me or do sober friends laugh more?).
People may recover from alcoholism and live a happy healthy life by following the right route; however, ensure a solid enough foundation since falling forward towards depression could hark back doubly hard ultimately leading to even darker times than before (Complete Regression) gulp.
It’s okay to have occasional drinking whilst also maintaining control measures should things escalate. Alcohol dependency disorder relies majorly on awareness; self-awareness of events triggering previous behaviors that were ultimately hazardous.
In conclusion – If You Are an Alcoholic, Are You Always an Alcoholic?
It’s possible for recovering addicts not returning to addictive idioms overnight but collectively occurring as a gradual process over time affording sufficient learnings along the bumpy winding path however long with regular intervals of internal reflection complementing outward reinforcement celebrating accomplishments ad-hoc.