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Kofi Carmichael

They say alcoholism is a disease. I believe that to the fullest. Some may argue and feel that it's just a matter of self control or the "Lack" of self control that we as alcoholics are suppose to have. Many alcoholics believe that alcoholism is an incurable disease that effects the mind. Like every other incurable disease alcoholism needs to be treated as well as monitored through the various channels available to us. If alcoholism was a simple matter of a lack of will power and self control, then there wouldn’t be millions of people like myself who choose not to drink a substance that is legal and readily available to the public such as alcohol. Then I wouldn't be able to work in a club environment as well as being around friends that like to have a few (A lot) drinks on occasions. I wouldn't be able to say that I am rounding off my 5th year alcohol free or the millions of others who have 10, 20 even 50 years of sobriety under their belts.

With all the ways people use alcohol to cope with problems as well as celebrating the good and positive times, there's no way that anybody can say that we have no self control. At least we have a grip on the alcohol versus dying department. If I was to ingest alcohol the disease would begin to take effect. It's not like I would hulk out and turn green. Or get aggressive because I was never an angry drunk to begin with. Matter of fact, I would probably be the life of the party. And everyone around me would get just as wrecked as me and I would end up waking up with a hang over next some attractive (Or not) woman with stale liquor breath and an ever so slight but present smell of vomit.

After that crazy episode I would probably be ashamed of myself and beat myself up asking myself how could I have destroyed all the accumulated years of sobriety. I'd probably be pretty tore up about it and not drink the next day for sure. I might not drink the day after that maybe even a week after that, all out of repent. But then, that voice will creep. That voice in every alcoholic's mind that is activated by the taste and the feeling alcohol brings. That voice will get louder until I eventually end up on a binge that can last for years before either awakening or straight to an early death. This does not happen to people who are not infected by the disease of alcoholism.

In the previously mentioned scenario, the non alcoholic would have the same night but without the voice activating in his head. The chemicals of the alcohol would not react in his or her body that would eventually effect his or her mind even when not inebriated. He or she can make that a routine every weekend without ever risking it turning to a never ending everyday binge. That's the difference! With that being said, I have to always be mindful of my actions as well as my surroundings and how I conduct myself. I have to make sure that if I drink a non-alcohol beverage and I put it down, that I don't accidentally pick up a glass with alcohol in it. That mistaken sip can be detrimental and life changing.

On that note I have, made sure that no one ever tries to spitefully hand me a glass with liquor in it knowing I have a disease. Or someone handing me a drink with alcohol with all positive intentions who just honestly is unaware of the severity of my disease.

As a single man, I have to keep in mind that when I meet new women going for drinks is a different experience. Only one of us is drinking on that date and it ain't me. It doesn't mean that I'm not a good time or I need liquid personality. In these situations I can't fall victim to thinking that drinking with my date will make me more attractive to her. It creates a weeding out process where any woman who tries to make me drink is automatically cut off. As far as the women who don't like the fact that I don’t drink, won't even want to go on date one with me.

At the end of the day I don't want the infected minds that we have influence the way we are treated. We're not contagious. You won’t catch alcoholism if you get too drunk in front of an alcoholic. We don't have a visual disease. We don't have lesions or have facial ticks. Our disease does not make us deteriorate over time as long as we don't feed it with alcohol. As previously mentioned, our disease is one of the mind. However it's that same mind that we use to make sure that we stay in control of this infamous and deadly disease.