A few years ago I got into a discussion with a friend... kind of a friend... about addiction and the horrible costs that come with it. I mentioned the recent studies about binge drinkers being different from alcoholics. Got a very pious attitude from him about it, too, which was kind of new.
I've always thought that alcoholics should be pitied because they really can't help it. They get nervous without their sauce. Their bodies go through withdrawal, which can be hell, or so I've read. Drunks can go long periods without drinking, and according to the recent studies most of them do, because unlike alcoholics, they don't have a physical addiction. If anything it's more psychological.
Treating my depression with booze instead of anti-depressants was a choice. I made that bad choice because my initial anti-depressants, Citalopram, only helped curb the racing thoughts that constantly made up my mind. It did not get rid of the darker thoughts, but for a while it helped me ignore them. Eventually I moved on to Zoloft, although for the wrong reason... hoping that Ex really would consider coming back to me... and by the time it actually started working and I was able to curb the drinking, he was seeing somebody else. That resulted in the final tripping up, which wasn't actually that bad, but it did kick-start my period of dryness for months on end.
True alcoholics do not have that choice. If they do not get the sauce, they can have fits. DT's, they're called. Sweats, nausea, twitching, seizures even. It really is something genetic, and it's not their fault. Alcoholics didn't ask to be born with a gene out of whack. Drunks know what they are doing, and that's why drunks are more pitiful.
So our discussion was about addiction, and how awful it is. His job exposes him to a lot of cases, my upbringing exposed me to it as well. He tried to tell me how he got on the straight and narrow, because he is an alcoholic who is beating his sickness. It had been ten years since he had gone on a bender or even had a drink. He had found salvation in Alcoholics Anonymous, which until X had me take him to a meeting I had no idea was religious in nature.
He proceeded to proselytize, telling me that no matter whether I had a physical addiction or a mental one, I would not be able to defeat it without placing my faith in God. He had been an addict once, he told me. I remembered. Never saw him at a party where he wasn't boozed up to the gills, popping insane pills that he probably didn't even know what they were, and of course there were rumors of him renting himself out, but I never confirmed that. Thank you Lord, for saving me from my addictions, he said. I am free from the shackles and without You I could not have done it, he said. Help my friend see that he needs your help too, oh Lord, and free him from his own addictions.
The night was drawing to a close and it was time to go home. "I can't help noticing that the Lord hasn't helped you to quit cigarettes since you've smoked seven of them while we've been talking." I was told that he wasn't addicted to cigarettes and he could quit any time he wanted.
I read in the local paper that he recently had a lung removed. But hey, at least he's not an addict. Praise the Lord.