Alcoholism and the Family
I’m alone in my head.
My thoughts, my perception of the world are isolated to my consciousness. I can share my thoughts and perceptions using words, and another person can intellectually understand those words and the meaning behind them, but no one other than me can experience the workings of my mind. I can never experience the consciousness of another. My ego is empowered by this limitation of human consciousness. This is my life; my choices; I deal with the consequences—good or bad—of my actions.
My ego is blind to the truth.
Humans are social animals. We live and work in communities, choose life partners, make families. We work and play in teams or cliques, just like when you play online videogames with elo boosting services. We share physical space on a planet with limited resources. There isn’t a choice that I can make, a lifestyle that I can live that doesn’t have some impact on others, no matter how minuscule, no matter if I never see or understand that impact.
Alcohol addiction, like all addiction, is fueled by our egos. It is the ultimate surrender to self: this thing makes me feel good, so I’m going to do it as frequently as possible. I choose to drink, and I will accept the consequences of my drinking. My ego overlooks, or dismisses, or undervalues how my drinking affects others.
And it does affect others. Our families, in particular, tend to feel the most frequent and direct impacts of our excessive drinking. Families are bound together by a mix of physical and emotional bonds, and a drinking problem puts strain directly on those bonds. When we choose to drink, money that could have gone to something positive for our families—a vacation, education, family entertainment—disappears. Sometimes, often, we even dip into funds that have been reserved for groceries, rent, and other essentials. Drinking also affects our moods and our inhibitions, sometimes leading to uncontrolled violence against our families. Our inebriation can create emotional distance between us and the people who love us most.
Children pay the highest costs of all when we choose drinking before them. They are easy to harm and, because they are still developing, physically and psychologically, the harm we inflict upon them does the most lasting harm. Worse, our drinking can lead our children to develop drinking problems of their own; and, as the study of epigenetics has taught us, drinking excessively before we have children can make them genetically predisposed to developing alcoholism. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that children of alcoholic parents are four times as likely as other children to develop alcohol problems.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found in 2012 that more than ten percent of children in America live with a parent with alcohol problems.
Good news for the alcohol and medical industries. Bad news for the countless lives that will be negatively impacted by the 3.7 million children from the 2012 study likely to develop drinking problems.
So always remember: our lives are tied together by many threads, seen and unseen, and our choices have consequences beyond ourselves. Remember that those closest to us, our families, are those most affected by our choices, for better or for worse.
I’m alone in my head, but I am not alone.