The High-Functioning Alcoholic

Understanding this Hidden Class of Alcoholics from a Professional and Personal View

The Power of Drinking Memories

Memorial Day is just around the corner and summer to follow. Those living in areas where there are four seasons are coming out of hibernation, getting small tastes of sun, heat and outdoor activity. Along with memories of past drinking. Read More

the power of drinking memories

Ms. Benton
You are aptly describing post acute withdrawal syndrome. These lingering feelings can actually last for years. Many people relapse because they do not understand the meaning of these "memories" and feelings. AA's will ridicule members for even discussing these feelings. Most therapies approach these symptoms with avoidance strategies wit the hope that one is urged to redirect there actions and stay sober. Over the years those strategies have pretty much been a failure. Recovery rates are abysmal. Alcoholics and Addicts must face these obsessions head on. The sooner one reconciles that the path to recovery will probably be a bumpy one filled with many obsessions to drink, the battle gets easier. A lot of time is wasted on soul searching that actually makes the process more difficult. In recovery being sober should be zen. Sobriety is everything. When drinking thoughts come it does not matter because first and foremost one cannot drink. Once we feel and acknowledge these thoughts it no longer has power, even in the midst of being uncomfortable and on the verge of relapse. The true mark of being sober is going through a horrible episode being on the cusp of relapse but yet staying sober. When we do become sober we relish the fact that we met the disease state head-on that no mental lie set us back and when the obsessive thoughts subside then we can truly appreciate the process and live sober and free. BTW there are no highly functioning alcoholics. Unhappily there are people that are armed with the resources to slowly destroy organs and eventually kill themselves. I have never equated highly functioning with self destruction behavior. Seems like one would cancel the other out -- don't you think?

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Sarah Allen Benton, M.S., L.M.H.C., LPC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and author of Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insights.


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