For most people with some sort of alcoholism, their over use of alcohol has arisen from too many unpleasant emotions in their lives.
As such, understandably they yearn for the good feelings usually associated with positive life experiences. These feelings are immediately available through alcohol, so excessive use can take hold. As many an alcoholic has said –
“I just wanted to feel normal…”
The important thing here is that most of the time alcoholics do not feel normal, they feel like something is wrong. Sometimes it’s because a part of their personality is not being expressed fully, they are suppressing a part of themselves which may have been buried for years, for so long they have probably forgotten it was a part of them.
What often happens though is that when drunk, these suppressed or forgotten parts of us come out to play – sometimes this is enjoyable, and sometimes not. But the way people behave when they are intoxicated can be very informative. It can tell us a lot about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the addiction.
These two aspects of an addict’s personality – ‘the straight’ and ‘the addictive’ are very often in conflict with each other. They don’t like the other part, they don’t trust them and they fear each other.
To move forward, there has to be a truce. An acceptance and understanding of both parts of the self. You need to recognise what the positive qualities are about both. Then maybe some of the guilt and self-blame can subside…
» Read this related article on Addiction and Mental Health.