This is all purely subjective and personal, but there is no reason to think that I am the only person who ever drank too much and then was able to quit and then go back to drinking fairly responsibly. I really d0 think it depends on what else is going on with the person's mental state.
If it was just the person's mental state how does that explain the corelation between alcoholism and sugar addiction? There has to be some sort of physiological process involved which makes it impossible for certain people to stop once they start.
Sorry SD I missed your response here. I don't disagree with you at all, even if it kind of sounds like I do. If somebody says that they personally cannot drink just a little bit and it will lead to drinking too much, and it is better for them to abstain, I sure wouldn't argue with them. That is the case with my father; I wouldn't tell him to take a drink anymore than I would tell him to shoot himself.
I also know what you mean with binging on carbohydrates and how that is an addiction. I have a problem with that too, and I am choosing to abstain from sugar, because more likely than not, actually almost guaranteed, if I eat a little bit of something like that, I'll eat a lot, and have trouble getting back on track. (Except very small amounts of sugar in natural forms, and very dark chocolate that doesn't even taste sweet.)
I'm not sure if I put that right when I said "mental state", and I don't think that is a small thing ("just
mental state", as you say) in any case. Mentally, emotionally, physiologically--whatever the addiction process involves; maybe it is different in different people. I guess that was my point, that it is
different in different people, and maybe more of degree than of anything qualitatively different. My capacity for alcohol addiction seems to be different than for carbohydrates--one I can control, the other not so much (without abstaining). But maybe both are a really symptom of something else, I don't know. Once I "fixed" my outlook and way of living that caused too much drinking, the problem went away. (For the most part--I almost think I have a physical self-medication need for alchohol sometimes; it makes me feel better, but I need to remember that a lot more won't make me feel a lot better.) Can I "fix" the carbohydrate thing by doing something similar? I don't know--I was wondering if this site would maybe help with that. I would like to have small amounts of very good desserts sometimes without wanting to eat the whole thing.
Anyway--I wouldn't tell somebody else that shouldn't abstain from anything that they have a problem with if that's what they feel that they should do, but I also wouldn't tell them that they might not necessarily be able to control it either. They would have to figure it out for themselves. For drugs like heroin or cocaine, there wouldn't be much point in being able to do "just a little", and it's fairly dangerous if the addict tries again. Maybe the same for alcohol, but I got away with it. I don't know if I will figure out food, but it's not the end of the world if I eat too many cookies either. I wouldn't tell anybody that Twelve Step programs are bad or shouldn't exist; if that helps somebody, they should stick with it. Certain aspects of the program are very useful; for example, the serenity prayer is pure stoicism.
The crux of the issue seems to be whether it is possible for alcoholics to stop the irresistible drive to drink once they have started, and whether this inability to stop has its basis in personality, physiology or mental disorders or disease.[
It could depend on how you define alcoholic. But then people may be alcoholics sometimes and not others, which seems to go against what AA says.
Of course, there is not necessarily a contradiction in saying it is a combination all three at the same time -- personality, physiology, and pathology. I'll have to think about that.
I think most chronic diseases are a combination--diabetes, heart disease, etc. are all controllable by lifestyle--so why don't all people do the right thing and avoid them? A combination of those three things.
The more important question to me is: what can be done about it.
It depends on the person, but I don't think you have a real problem with alcohol, so you can do whatever you want to.
OK Todd I thought your race was last weekend, so I'll tell you good luck again! That sounds great, and not like something I could do at all! (After my first three weeks of sardine diet, I'm going to add some running, so you will inspire me.