Further Reading

I am not an alcoholic!

Dear Stanton:

Where have you been for the past ten years? I stumbled upon your web site by accident and found an answer to my prayers. For several years now I have been diagnosed as an alcoholic. I was in treatment twice and hated every minute of it. I didn't buy into AA and never really believed I was an alcoholic. the phrase, "You're in denial," was my theme. I was young and my father had just died the first time I went into treatment. The second time I was alone in a small town in a different state. It sounds ludicrous, but if someone had taught me to cope instead of drink I'd be much further along. Today, I have found my own recovery. I drink when and where I want--in moderation and I confront my problems head on. I'm a different person. I'm successful and goal oriented. I'm not handicapped by drinking. I realize now, that this is not a fluke. How can I help other people to identify the PROBLEM behind their drinking and to deal with it in a logical manner?


Dear Barbara:

I love your letter. And I love your spirit. I was thinking of a man I know whose father was an alcoholic. The guy I know drank too much when he was younger, and when he was doing a number of antisocial things. But his values were basically good and strong. He was worried about his drinking, and as he settled down in life he cut back. On the night before his wedding, he went out with the boys and became falling down drunk - clearly, another case of an irreversible alcoholic whose true nature came out. Except he hasn't been drunk for years now, although he frequently drinks ordinary amounts of beer and wine at meals or with people. How easy it would have been to have labeled him an alcoholic when he was younger! But the greatest danger of all is not being put in that category, but accepting it! You didn't.

Your story is so important, because people less strong than you need to understand that because someone else you are something does not defeat your self-perception. I'd like to spread your story, and will do so on my web site. If you look at my response about non-AA resources, you will discover other sites which offer exchanges among people with feelings similar to yours. But yours is the best.

Sincerely, Stanton