When you have developed an addiction to alcohol you will find you are drinking when you don’t want to drink – against your will and better judgement. Alcoholics who have a true addiction to alcohol, will find themselves constantly fighting that internal battle, that powerful urge to drink.
And throughout this continuous drinking cycle, the alcoholic will suffer the loss of the things in life that matter the most. Throughout these losses, which can include the humiliation and the disintegrating self respect that comes with the territory, the alcoholic personality is split right down the middle. The one half is the old, healthy, normal, pre-addiction self. The other half is the newer, sick, alcohol drenched self that keeps telling the alcoholic that everything is going to be fine. The disease tells you “hey – you’re not that bad!”
So begins the internal battle of the addict personality versus the healthier half of the personality that knows he or she has used up all of their drinking tickets in this life time, and if the drinking doesn’t stop, the consequences have the potential to become more dire.
When you are able to stop drinking, every cell in your body is protesting the deprivation of alcohol. Just because an alcoholic wants to stop drinking, doesn’t mean your body is going to be in agreement.
So the drinker decides to stop drinking and succeeds for a time. In comes the addicted part of the personality with a convincing argument that may go something like “You’ve been sober for awhile now, you can go back to drinking normally.” “You can just have one or two drinks and stop at that.” Or “You are not really an alcoholic, your drinking just got out of control for awhile.” Take that internal dialogue combined with the physical longing for alcohol, and you are now primed for a relapse.
If there is building pressure your life at this time, the next round of drinking could logically be called relief drinking. Just to keep the wolves at bay. This round of drinking will relieve any withdrawal symptoms, make the drinker feel more normal because the drinker has given his or her body the poison it has been demanding, and drinking is also a way to blow off emotional steam.
So goes the ongoing battle between the addicted self and the normal self. In reality, after an alcoholic stops drinking for a time and returns to it, fully believing that they can handle just a drink or two (which most of us do many times) sometimes the problem drinker will behave like he or she is making up for lost time – drinking to even further excess, and could end up in some kind of serious trouble, such as a new health problem or trouble with the law for example, as a result.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease. It never goes away completely. Even after you stop drinking for good, it will always be way back there somewhere.