Fear – The Alcoholic Imperative

fear and the alcoholic

“Fear is an evil, corroding thread; the fabric of our lives is shot through with it.”

Personality traits of alcoholic individuals will vary greatly – and of course they will, because each human being is exceedingly unique. Some alcoholics are raging egomaniacs, believing that they are the ultimate authority, and that they can truly do no wrong. Some alcoholics are brimming with self-doubt and an overwhelming sense of worthlessness, believing that they themselves are the cause of all the problems in the world at large. Some alcoholics work hard to maintain a false sense of stability and self-sufficiency – some alcoholics lie and cheat and steal in order to continue scraping by, abandoning outward appearance for intemperance in a matter of months. Yet, it has been repeatedly proven that the basic ingredient in every alcoholic personality across the board is an abnormal amount of unwavering fear – fear that motivates the seemingly insane and often inhuman behaviors of the alcoholic, causing misunderstanding, grief, and resentment on the part of those near and dear to him.

Alcoholic Traits and Characteristics

This abnormal and overwhelming fear is the root cause of four main characteristics that all alcoholic individuals are believed to possess: childishness, sensitivity, egocentricity, and grandiosity. For you see, even the alcoholic that feels unfit and disgraceful believes that he is at the center of every issue – that the weight of the world rests on his shoulders and his alone. Egocentricity does not necessarily mean that an individual views himself as greater than all of his fellows… he may also view himself as the lowest of all the low. But he is either greater than or less than – there is no in between.

These four basic alcoholic traits are typically hidden somewhere deep in the subconscious. They will manifest in the consciousness by means of several variant feelings and reactions, all detrimental and rather extreme. The alcoholic will frequently feel irritable, frustrated, restless, anxious, aggressive, nervous, depressed, and lonely. He may also experience occasional feelings of elation, and will frequently engage in dishonesty in order to protect himself and his relationship with alcohol. While these feelings vary immensely, they all stem from the thick core of steadfast fear nestled deep down in the pit of his soul. If the alcoholic is approached and told he must work to correct the aforementioned defects, he will not even know where to begin. Rather than futilely attempt to teach an alcoholic how to reign in his aggression or combat his depression, one must instead work to instill enough faith and self-assurance to combat the deeply rooted, self-centered fear.

Alcoholism and Self-Centered Fear

And yes, the fear that alcoholic men and women are governed by is entirely self-centered. Alcoholics fear that they will lose something that they already possess, or that they will fail to obtain something that they feel they need. Because the alcoholic lives in a cruel and unfair world of unmet demands, he is always disturbed and dissatisfied. Most alcoholics will opt to blame someone or something else for their faltering and unfavorable quality of life, therefore remaining in a bitter state of denial until they pass as a direct result of the disease.

“If only it was this way.”

“What if it had been different?”

“It should have been like this.”

“No one understands; if they did, they would drink too. They would drink like I do. The world has been so cruel to me. Why me, why me, why me.”

The alcoholic builds a self-sized cage from resentment and woe, and locks himself inside with a deadbolt made of titanium fear. He thinks the lock is indestructible, and that he will rot away in solitude, clutching a bottle close to his heart. And then he is introduced to an entirely new way of life, and he becomes willing (even just momentarily) to heal from the hurt of the past; to put his faith in something other than liquor and loathing and self-centered fear. The sensitivity, the grandiosity, the immaturity and the egocentricity will begin to dissolve – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Embittered disillusion will be replaced by a steadfast belief in something greater – in a universal good. Life will seem less cruel and more beautiful, and the deep-seated fear that has been inspiring all beliefs, behaviors, and emotions will finally begin to give way.

The Truth About Fear and Faith

We will never be entirely free of fear, because we are human and fallible and because we have a lot to learn. Fear might act as a motivator, prompting us to keep ourselves safe and veer clear of potentially perilous situations. The consequences of fear may lead us to positive values – there is a reason for it, sometimes. It is imperative, sometimes. But when self-centered fear rules our lives and motivates our every decision, we become slaves to it – we are not free men. Many irrational and detrimental fears stem from childhood, and can be resolved with some intensive therapeutic care, guidance, and support. In many cases, healing from past harms is the first stepping stone on the path towards ultimate freedom. After we take this initial step, we must look towards faith to continue guiding us. In most cases, faith is a successful antidote. As our faith in something greater grows, so does our sense of inner-security and personal peace. When fear does rear its head we are able to understand it for what it is – it does not control us, because we do not allow it to.

Living a life of freedom and positive conviction is not all too difficult, although it certainly does not happen overnight. We must desire change, and then we must work towards it. Help is available, and recovery is possible. We hear that often, but only because it is true. Fear is the alcoholic imperative – it prompts us into recovery, after all. We are afraid to die or to continue living in utter misery until we do die, sick and alone. We are afraid that we will never amount to anything more than a blubbering mess of intoxication; our dreams and goals and aspirations will drown in a pint of cheap vodka.

Fear is imperative – but only until recovery is honestly sought.

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