The myths of alcoholism are often repeated so often that it becomes difficult to distinguish them from the truth. This is especially accurate when the topic of conversation concerns Alcoholics Anonymous. Here are 3 of the more prevalent myths of alcoholism:
Alcoholism Myth #1. Alcoholism is a Disease
Background: The “disease concept” of alcoholism has been with us off and on since the 1800’s. It was later revived by Alcoholic’s Anonymous in the 1930’s, even though their “evidence” was simply a mixture of religion, personal beliefs and limited observation.
The Truth: Today many health professionals reject the theory due to a lack of scientific evidence. The fact is that alcoholism is NOT a disease, but actually a bad habit that you’ve acquired over the years. And just like other bad habits, it can also be broken by committing oneself to change.
Alcoholism Myth #2: You are Powerless before Alcohol
Background: The idea of being powerless before your addiction is primarily promulgated by 12 Step programs. Step #1 lays it out: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
The Truth: The absolute worst thing you can do psychologically is tell yourself that you are powerless before that which requires STRENGTH to overcome. Do NOT let anyone tell you that you are powerless before alcohol because this is simply a ready-made excuse to keep drinking.
Alcoholism Myth #3: You Can’t Quit on Your Own
Background: Adherents to 12-step programs will often say that ONLY AA can really help you kick the habit. They preach this because they sincerely believe the success rate of AA is much higher than it actually is.
The Truth: Most people who have quit drinking have done so on their own. Some quit cold turkey, as they feel the need to change their lives immediately. Still others have done so by making small, but consistent changes to their daily habits that help them move in the direction of sobriety.
Instead of Believing the Myths of Alcoholism, Remember These 3 Truths
1. Alcoholism is NOT a disease, but a bad habit you’ve acquired over the years.
2. You already have the God-given will power to change the way you act.
3. You CAN quit on your own by committing yourself to change.
The most important thing to remember is that taking action is the key to getting sober. I don’t know what the future holds for you, but I do know this much: You are NOT destined to stay an alcoholic for the rest of your life, because inside of you is a much better YOU.
Take action right now, and make TODAY the first day of the new, sober you! You’ll be glad you did. ♦