Alcoholism as a Mental Disease

I don’t have deep feelings or strong opinions about how to classify alcoholism, medically or otherwise.  It’s not important to me why or how it originates.  I have no doubt that I have it, and unless something revolutionary happens that I can’t now even envision, I am very much not interested in a “cure.”

Last week I brought up the topic of the “mental” aspects of alcoholism, and people quickly combined “mental” with “emotional.”  I was thinking of them separately, but “emotions” don’t fit into the physical or spiritual aspect, so I guess “mental” is where they belong.

I looked it up, and “mental” has to do with the mind.  That’s where thoughts and emotions come from, so I guess that putting emotions and thoughts into the “mental” aspect is correct.

For the “mental,” thinking, reasoning part that occurred for me before I got sober, I really believe that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for different results.”  I mostly set off drinking with the hope of getting slightly buzzed, no more, no matter how many times I failed to do that.  Most of the other things I did were bad, stupid, wrong, or so warped by my drinking that they had no chance to be sane or good.

Now?  I don’t know.  I still get in bad fixes but I can’t compare them with drinking.  I’ve aged and hopefully gotten smarter and better with more experience, and I feel that all the time I’ve spent in and around Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me be a better person.

Of course my emotions were warped when I was drinking and before I drank.

For now, I’m trying to avoid and cut short an excess of negative emotion.  When situations are such that I let myself feel an excess of negative emotions, I’m trying to reframe the way I think (mentally and emotionally) about those situations so that even if they don’t change, my “feelings” about them will change.

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