“Alcoholic” and “Addict” are just labels unknowledgeable people have stuck on you, primarily to gain control over you. By putting you in a lesser position than they are, by making it seem as if you’re wrong, they get to criticize you and tell you what to do. Some centers use that as an excuse to have you scrub toilets and do other menial work as if you need punishment for being an addict or alcoholic. What it does is keep their cleaning bill down and make you think you deserve the punishment.
Thinking of yourself as an addict or an alcoholic is detrimental to your self-image in the extreme, especially if you buy into their concept that you will be an alcoholic or an addict — forever.
Alcoholics drink, addicts use. When you were little, you never hoped to become an addict or an alcoholic. As kids, we imagined “drunks” scrounging around in trash bins and picking up cigarette butts off the streets, and we envisioned “addicts” to be junkies, skinny, disheveled, dirty, maybe shaking. There is a stigma attached to those labels, and it exists in your mind as well as in the minds of everyone else.
What are you if you’re not an alcoholic or an addict?
You’re a great person, a worthy person, an exceptional person, a deserving person who has suffered — and is still suffering — and you are using drugs, including alcohol, which is the drug ethanol, to help yourself get through your days and nights.
Because your addiction is being kept alive by one or more of the Four Causes, the substance you are now using may be saving you from a fate worse than that which you are experiencing now during your addiction.
You’ve been beaten up enough by yourself and others. Let’s end it. You are not an alcoholic or an addict.
Years ago, I received two calls in one week from two different men in two different cities, each of who was standing in the aisle of a bookstore — crying. They were reading our book, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure, and had just discovered that they weren’t alcoholics.