Agreed. I see alcoholism as no different than clinical depression or any other chemical imbalance. There are treatments available. People who choose to feed the illness are weak. People who choose to fight it by following through with a treatment plan are not weak or wimpy.
It's life, no one gets out alive.
That's what Jim Morrison said.
It wasn't exactly an original thought with him, either.
There is nothing new under the sun.
Infinite Blessings Mike/NAFOD "Lord, please, protect me from Your followers!" "WWBD? Buddha- Does it matter? If you are enlightened it does not. If you are not enlightened it still doesn't matter." "If you go looking to place blame, eventually you'll wind up blaming the Gods"
Going through the responses, I have seen some very good ideas advanced. At the same time, I'm seeing a lot talked about as concerning stereotypical masculinity.
My perspective is from one who is intersexed. I have Kleinfelter's Syndrome (47 karotype XXY). I was raised as a male but developed female characteristics over time. Intersexed people are not as rare as people may think. An estimated one in 2000 births is intersexed in some way. Some cases adapt well. Others do not without other medical corrections. Some corrections are necessary just to be able to fit into a society so religiously insistent upon a gender dichotomy that it propogates stereotypes to the sanctioned harm of others.
So when it comes to masculinity, I'm the first to admit that I don't fit that pattern at all. I'm the first not to consider myself a man and the first to agree with other's declarations to that effect, even if those declarations were meant to be insulting and degrading. Yet I'm also the first to agree that, when it comes to strength, the feminine has strengths the masculine does not readily possess.
Consider menses (yes, some of us who are in-between may have them to some degree). I remember my first, how all the energy went out of me and all I could do is lay down and cry. To some of you that would be very funny. But when another intersexed person came to visit me then, she said, "Welcome to womanhood," and told me how these things were supposed to teach me how to "fly through the storm."
In time I understood. Going through those hormonal shifts meant I had to learn to keep quiet and endure, even in pain. Isn't it interesting how the man needs the inner strength of the woman to face the things he must? It isn't the kind of strength most men automatically have. Men learn these things another way and often he learns from his woman.
So when I had GRS (genital reconstruction surgery) my endocrinologist recommended I stay home for 8 weeks and recuperate. In my case, this was impossible if I was going to keep a job at all. I went back to work the Monday after my return home. Fortuntely it was a secretarial position in which I could stay seated most of the time and take it slow. But even in the week after being released from the hospital, I had to go to the market to buy food and to prepare my own meals. I had no assistance in this. Did I feel pain and exhaustion because of this? Yes indeed. Others who had learned of these things told me that I had "grit." But I simply had no choice if I was ever going to find a legal place in an intolerantly dichotomous society.
So I may be feminine in appearance and demeanor. But if anyone thinks I'm a wimp, I dare that person to seriously consider what it means to have to go through what I did. I acted according to what should allow my highest and best purpose possible for my condition, even if it ultimately meant a celibate life.
I consider alcoholism to be wimpy. Same with smoking tobacco.
*Please note alcoholism and not the consumption of alcohol.
On the one hand, there is no solid boundary between "consumption" and the corresponding "ism"; everything done regularly is a habit and at face value indistinguishable from addiction.
On the other hand, what is wimpy here? (Well, I do have problems with the word 'wimpy' as such, I must admit...) That you don't stop the habit before it has established itself? That you tell yourself "I could stop now if I wanted" but never try it? That you dare to admit that you are having a problem? That you actually do try to get rid of the habit, but so far failed?
I consider it 'wimpy' (to use the word here) when a problem is denied vs. acknowlegded. A severe alcoholic working on his addiction is less wimpy than the latent guy who thinks he just consumes for lifestyle reasons.
I'd absolutely agree.
Lynne, thank you very much for your beautiful post.
As to the comparison of an addiction (personal fault) to other medical conditions (which addictions are) that people suffer (which they are not responsible for), I find that irresponsible.
The dwarves of yore made mighty spells, While hammers fell like ringing bells In places deep, where dark things sleep, In hollow halls beneath the fells.
For ancient king and elvish lord There many a gloaming golden hoard They shaped and wrought, and light they caught To hide in gems on hilt of sword. - J.R.R. Tolkien