Alcoholics are harshly judged for their behavior. Society generally tells alcoholics that it has no place for them and puts them on the fringe. High functioning alcoholics do their best to hide their problem at all costs to maintain their respectable image and not be cast out of “good” society. Alcoholics are one of the most misunderstood group of people there is, and there is a desperate need to change the judgmental behavior of society to a compassionate one.
Alcoholics do not desire to be alcoholics. They are aware of how society feels about them and wish they did not feel the need to drink. The truth about alcoholics is that their need to escape into intoxication does not reward them. It makes them feel trapped. Feeling dependent on booze decreases an alcoholic’s quality of life, and they are aware of it, but still do not know how to stop drinking.
Alcoholics feel isolated because of the way their family, friends, co-workers, peers and society at large react to their problem. They can feel their support system withdrawing from them, and they can feel their addiction pulling them away from those they care about. But they feel powerless to stop it. Their mental dependence on the alcohol, and their complex mental unhealthiness that makes them unable to cope with life are overpowering and dictate most of their decisions.
When an alcoholic decides to quit drinking, this is a very important turning point that their support system needs to celebrate with them. However, the hardships and the trials are far from over. Even those who are successful in their recovery experience a challenging uphill struggle in order to get there. They need to think critically to understand and reevaluate the causes of their alcoholism, build a new set of coping skills, test these coping skills in the world, face triggers and cravings and opportunities to relapse, struggle through the low opinions of them and repair the damage they caused when they were drinking heavily. Recovery is a lifelong battle, but one of immense reward. No one who has stayed sober has ever regretted it.