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Kofi Carmichael

A Reminder to the non- Alcoholics. Alcoholism is a disease that don’t just cure over the years and you are able to have a few beers here and there. We don’t call ourselves “Recovered Alcoholics” because the disease is still there whether we drink or not. I’ve found myself in many situations over the years where people just could not understand the concept. I remember my mom would tell me “Boy, you’ll be okay as long as you drink at home! Everything in moderation.” Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way mommy. As alcoholics we can’t just turn the addiction on and off at will. Many friends of mine still don’t understand the nature of alcoholism, especially the friends I only see once in awhile. If I see them once a year, they often would offer me a drink. When I decline they say, “Still?? Isn’t your parole over?” It often reverts to me explaining the entire process all over again, even though I haven’t drank in more than 6 years! I can’t lie, it can get annoying sometimes, but I can’t blame them for not understanding. Most of us alcoholics know that whether drinking or sober, it’s usually a lonely road.

The fact that I am a single man dating, requires me to “go out for drinks” when I first meet women sometimes. It’s still something that I have to kind of ease into the conversation when the waiter comes around and I explain that I don’t drink. Yet I try to make the woman feel comfortable and I advise her that it doesn't bother me if she drinks. In fact it’s more annoying if she does and now she decided not to on my account. Trust me ladies I’ll be okay. I haven't had the desire for 6 years now and don't plan on having them anytime soon. I have gone to the liquor store and bought liquor for women that I can keep in my house with no desire to drink it. And let’s be clear here, have a drink or I can’t get in your pants is a major deal breaker. I value my life way more than a “maybe” one night of passion.

Every once in awhile us alcoholic have to remind the non-alcoholic people around us that we are different. Alcoholics will have a bad drunken night and wake up feeling near death saying “I am never drinking like that again!” Within 12 hours we’ll be back at that bar. The non-alcoholic will have the same night but have the will to not touch a drink for a few days, some week or months.

So when you offer me a drink and I decline, don’t feel offended. I’m an alcoholic and even though I was a fun guy when I was drunk, I’m way more fun now when I’m sober and can remember any crazy things that I still might do. Just remember, I’m not offended that you may not understand alcoholism. I know you mean no harm and we know it’s hard to understand the road that the alcoholic travels.