Skip to main content

What Is It Like to Be an Alcoholic?

I discovered alcohol in my twenties. Today, thankfully, I am sober. This article is an attempt to take you inside the mind of an alcoholic.

It occurs to me, even after all the articles I have written about alcoholism, that many people out there still do not understand what goes on in the mind of an alcoholic. How could they? Many alcoholics do not even understand their own thought processes—at least until they find sobriety and have done research on the matter. So how could we possibly expect normal people to comprehend what is inside of our minds?

I am going to take you on a little trip. We won’t be gone long, and the length of the trip will not tire you. It may, however, exhaust you emotionally if you have a loved one who is or was an alcoholic. What is maddening about alcoholism is that it affects everyone in the family—not just the alcoholic. The alcoholic, of course, suffers physically when heavy drinking occurs, but the family also suffers emotionally and psychologically in dealing with the alcoholic, and that may be the true tragedy of this disease.

Alcoholism does not discriminate; in a way it is the perfect democracy in the disease world, allowing membership to any race, creed, or gender. If left unchecked this perfect disease is a ruthless killer, and taking prisoners is not in its vocabulary. If you have been affected by alcoholism then you most likely have read about it, researched it, and tried to better understand the disease and its possible “remedies."

But you cannot see inside the mind of an alcoholic no matter how much research you do, and so I will attempt to be your guide.

At this age I had no plans to be an alcoholic.

At this age I had no plans to be an alcoholic.


There are millions of alcoholics around the world, so naturally what I say in the following paragraphs does not apply to all. However, there are a great number of similarities among alcoholics, so I will tell you what I have observed and heard from others and we will have this little disclaimer that it certainly does not apply to every single alcoholic. Having said that, let us begin our tour inside a rather scary place.

Intelligent and Troubled

Alcoholics are generally intelligent beings; we would have to be to manufacture as many excuses and lies as we do. It is not an easy thing to juggle hundreds of lies at a single time, remembering which lie was told to which person. I am not saying that in jest; just stating my experience. If an IQ test were given to a group of alcoholics I think you would find a rather high reading for most. What relationship high intelligence and drinking have is anyone’s guess but it seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

We are also a troubled lot, usually suffering from low self-esteem and poor self-image. Alcohol tends, at first, to give us the extra something we need to forget our supposed deficiencies and move about the general public with our heads held high. Once the disease kicks in, however, alcohol no longer blots out these troubled memories but only intensifies them.

Well worth watching

A Feeling of Being Different

I sensed during my childhood that I was different from others. I am not suggesting that I was different, but rather that I felt like I was completely detached from the rest of the human race. Social settings completely confused me (and truthfully still do) and the simplest mechanisms to get through life seemed to have passed me by at some point in my life. I did not understand how to function around people; I felt completely different and weird around people; and I lived in fear that people would find out just how strange I was. I have heard this often in AA meetings so I finally realize that I was not alone in these thoughts.

I discovered alcohol in my mid-twenties.

I discovered alcohol in my mid-twenties.

Moving from Normal Drinker to Problem Drinker

The slow but inevitable decline of an alcoholic typically starts with normal drinking although the effects of alcohol on an alcoholic could almost be described as heavenly. The first time I had a dark German ale I literally fell in love with the effects and could hardly wait to have another. That is not a normal reaction for the casual drinkers out there.

What is so difficult for an alcoholic as they move into the troubled stage of the disease is that by that time they cannot conceive of not drinking and yet they begin to understand that they do not drink like normal people. They sense a problem but in no way are they willing to admit that they have a problem; that requires a serious shrinking of ego to admit that and alcoholics are ego-driven. In the Big Book of AA they describe alcoholism as self-will run riot and that very accurately describes an alcoholic as they reach the problem stage.

Ego, and fear, prevents them from admitting to a problem, so they go about finding a way to drink normally. Adjustments are made to their drinking habits. Maybe they try only drinking on weekends; next they try drinking a different drink, possibly beer instead of wine. They are constantly searching for the key that will allow them to be a “normie.” That key, however, will never be found.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Patientslounge

Secrecy Is a Must

Once drinking becomes a necessity, and once the alcoholic realizes that fact, then the hiding and the lies begin. By this stage it has become apparent that loved ones do not approve of your drinking habits, and you realize that you cannot or will not quit drinking, so the only solution is to hide the amount of drinking and lie about it.

For many this is also the stage where inhibitions break down and moral decay begins. Now we are not only covering up the drinking, but we also have to cover up our behavior, whether it be affairs or stealing or cheating someone in a business deal. Now the self-loathing kicks into high gear for we not only hate ourselves for our weakness in not being able to quit drinking but we also despise ourselves for our moral decay.

Telling lies at this point is almost second nature. I found myself fabricating stories when I had no reason to do so and I know for a fact most alcoholics do the same. Quite frankly it is exhausting being an alcoholic, constantly hiding the truth, constantly telling lies and constantly beating ourselves up for our lack of character and strength.

Living in Fear

Our very existence at this point becomes fear-based. We are fearful that you will find out what we are. We are fearful that you will find out who we are. We are fearful most of all that we will eventually have to live a life without alcohol in order to survive and that is unthinkable. By this time alcohol has become who we are; we are so tied to it psychologically and physically that we cannot and will not entertain thoughts of living without it. We will do anything to protect ourselves and our disease for truly the two are so intertwined that it is impossible to distinguish between them.

The World Is Our Stage

We need control by this time in the disease. We sense we are losing complete control and so we try harder to establish control in every facet of our lives. If people do not act the way we want them to act we become angry. Everyone is out to get us, to screw us, to keep us from achieving what we want to achieve, so we exert more control over everyone. The boss at work hates us, the wife is a bitch, the kids are a pain in the ass and nobody understands us because if they did they would leave us the hell alone.

The sad thing is that by this point in the disease the alcoholic has no control over anything in his or her life. The lies have been found out; the poor performances at work have been discovered. Friends are dropping like flies and the family is embarrassed, shaken to the core, frightened, angry and considering options in life that have nothing to do with the alcoholic. The end is very near and that terrifies the alcoholic who by now is helpless to mount a defense.

Today my life is a happy one.

Today my life is a happy one.

And so It Ends

One way or another it ends. The lucky few find a way whether it be by treatment or some other form of intervention. The unlucky either find themselves in prison, in a mental institution, or dead. There is no magical cure for this disease, and the number of deaths attributable to alcoholism is staggering.

Without a program of rigorous honesty the alcoholic is defenseless. Without completely changing their lives there is no hope for happiness. Those, my friends, are truths.

I truly hope that this has helped someone out there who is either suffering from alcoholism or who loves someone who is an alcoholic. If my experience can help someone else, then it has all been worth it for me. May peace be with all of you!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: How can grandparents help grandkids when the parents divorce?

Answer: I'm no expert, but my initial response is by providing loving stability in a family which has been torn apart. This is a tough one, but I still believe in the power of love.

© 2012 Bill Holland


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 20, 2019:

Thank you Smoked! Thirteen years and counting. I hope your partner finds the path, for both of you.

Smoked1970 on June 19, 2019:

Truly enlightening. The best article I’ve read. I hope my partner can turn himself around or we are done. I’m glad you did it Bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 14, 2019:

it is my pleasure, Louise,and I'm so happy this helped you in some way. Blessings to you...if you ever want to "chat," my email is

Louise Elcross from Preston on January 13, 2019:

Thank you Bill for sharing your story. I am truly happy that you quit and overcame your addiction. Your insights have helped me a lot so thanks again.x

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 10, 2019:

Thank you Jo! It was a struggle. It took me decades to find the peace of mind and heart necessary to finally quit.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on January 10, 2019:

I came across this article this morning and found it so compelling. I'm not much of a drinker (an occasional glass of wine), but I've always had the feeling when hearing these stories is "there but for the grace of God go I".

You are to be commended, Bill, for overcoming your addiction and for sharing it with and helping others.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 03, 2018:

Carrie, I totally changed my lifestyle. There is no magic me at and we can chat about it.

Carrie Keenan on May 01, 2018:

Dear Bill,

Are you willing to share what steps you took to achieve long term sobriety?



Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 18, 2017:

My pleasure, Shannon!

Shannan on August 17, 2017:

Thank you for sharing. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 15, 2017:

Adam, thanks for reading and best wishes to you. This disease is a bitch.

Adam on January 14, 2017:

You hit the nail on the head with this as I read it I was stunned by its accuracy. My own alcoholism scares the hell out of me and I've tried to be sober many times and I'm back in the beginning again. It's a horrible way to live. Thank you for sharing this

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 20, 2016:

Jamie, I'm very sorry for you. He has made his choices, so my sorrow goes to you. Best wishes to you in the future. I wish I had good news for you, but in this case, I have none.

Jamie on July 19, 2016:

I've been dating a man for 18 months who is an alcoholic. He was diagnosed in Feb 2016 that he only has 10% liver function and if he wanted to live, he'd need to be sober 6 months. He has been lying to everyone that he's sober so time is running out for him. I love him with my whole heart and every time we get close in our relationship he rages into an argument. My opinion to get me gone so I don't tell his secret. Heartbroken is an understatement.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 29, 2016:

Karen, it's just an ugly situation for everyone concerned. I don't usually give advice but I will in this instance. Yes, you should tell his mother about the failed suicide...for your own peace of mind. Then the sooner you can get over him the better. This had nothing to do with you. He had no idea, starting out, how much he loved alcohol. Once he found out, you were destined to be in 2nd place in his life. I'm very sorry. It's up to him now whether he gets help or not.

Karen1973 on June 28, 2016:

I have just split up with an alcoholic 15 days ago....we were in a relationship for 2 years.... I love him dearly and so do my 2 girls and I am really struggling to come to terms with him suddenly finishing things....he dropped the bombshell after we had a fab day out.....saying it was best for me if I just walked away.....He sometimes admits he has a problem, feels really depressed, worthless, doesn't want to get out of bed.... Or want to go on living...But he won't get help...... He has now blocked me from everything and I fear that he is spiralling out of control.....I have told him I would be here to help and support him and so has his mum..... But he is not listening......I have a dilemma.....last year .....he tried to cut his wrists....I am the only one who knew about it and I feel should mention it 2 his mum so that she knows just how low he has been......I know that if anything happens to him the guilt of not telling someone will destroy me....... I still love him dearly....he was my soul mate and we had a great time......I so wish he would get help......I suffer from depression so I know how feeling low can affect you..... I feel, helpless and am heartbroken.....x

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 13, 2016:

My pleasure, Alicia...thank you!

Alicia on June 12, 2016:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 09, 2016:

Broken Heart, I am so very sorry for your loss. I've seen it all too often and I'm so tired of watching good people die to this disease.

Sending your comfort through the airwaves. If you ever need to chat through email you can reach me at

Broken heart on June 08, 2016:

I don't know where to start. ..thank you for helping....I do not drink. ..I have struggled so trying to FEEL what this addiction must do to a person. ..I lost my son who was 28 who took his life. I don't have to tell you all the horrible things he went through and what it feels like for the family who no matter what desperate attempts to bring him to sobriety feels like. The horrible, undescribable feeling of not being able to save him and living without my son.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 08, 2016:

Thank you Manoj and best wishes to you.

Manoj on June 08, 2016:

Absolute unadulterated truth.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 11, 2016:

Wendy, I wish you the best. It is an impossible situation for those who have to sit by and watch the self-destruction. Just know there is nothing you can do....let go of it, and I know how hard that is. Offer love and move on, my friend.

Thank you!

Wendy Rose on March 11, 2016:

Thank you, Bill, for this absolutely sobering look (pun intended) into the mind of an alcoholic. I've been completely unable to comprehend why my son would continue drinking when it's obvious to me and everyone else around him that his drinking is the cause of nearly all the problems he is suffering at present. Sadly, now I get it.

The people left in his life (all 2.5 of us) have all asked him to get help and offered our support in it. There have a been a couple moments he was almost agreeable to it but then changed his mind. It's frustrating. At least now I understand the what/why of it.

To know that you've come out of it and have written and shared this beautiful account gives me light and hope. Thank you again for sharing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 09, 2016:

Bravo, Paula! I have nothing to add to that compassionate and loving comment.

Thanks, Sis!

Almost ten years and happy...thanks to the love of those around me who would not let me quit.

Suzie from Carson City on March 09, 2016:

Somewhere within those 95 comments, I'm fairly sure I'm in there. In any event, I'll say something today.

The millions of individuals dealing with addiction, healing, balancing and perhaps now struggling are in reality, some of the strongest, most compassionate people there are.

Character and resolve are born of pulling one's self up and out from the depths of a hell on earth. If you have not had to face a long, difficult battle for your sanity~~ your very life, it is doubtful you can have this awareness.

Please let me comment on the families & loved ones of addicts. These are the situations & times where love & loyalty are tested. They are the moments that give way to determination & trust in a broken person striving to be whole again with the help & support of those who quite possibly have been hurt & challenged time & time again.

It is these people who embrace the addict when he/she emerges from their climb. It is my hope that if you find yourself in this position, you recognize the incredible importance of your contribution to any recovery.

Peace & affection, Paula

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 08, 2016:

Say Yes, thank you for sharing your experiences and viewpoint. Best wishes to you.

Yoleen Lucas from Big Island of Hawaii on March 07, 2016:

There have been a few times in my life I drank rather heavily. What turned me around was the fact that AA meetings bore me. They keep rambling on and on, and all their stories are the same. I realized that if I didn't get a grip on myself, not only would I be forced to give up alcohol forever, but I would also have to attend those meetings. That kept me in line.

I have since discovered ways to curb the desire to drink. The best way is to do a heavy duty sweaty workout, then take a cold swim. Afterwards, you're refreshed, and don't want to drink; doing so will put you to sleep.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 07, 2016:

SJ, first of all, I'm sorry for your loss and pain. Why don't you email me at and I can give you what you need to hear. If you choose not to, let me just say that no one on earth can force an alcoholic to rehab and make them take it blaming yourself, although natural, is a complete waste of time and effort.

SJ on January 07, 2016:

Well, it happened. My fiancé passed away from his addictive disease on November 5th of last year. We were already "on the rocks" no pun intended. Although my engagement was magical and I had very high hopes, his relationship with beer and vodka had already crept back into our lives only a few short months after the proposal and everything was turning sour. He sobered up and went to treatment to keep me and save us a week before he was hospitalized. He never again left ICU. I am angry and hurt and sad and devastated. This was not supposed to happen. Neither were all the other ugly things that happened afterward. I guess in his drunken state which was constant he must have told a lot of lies and made a lot of empty promises because a lot of very mean things happened to me when he passed. I just need to hear from you that this was his choice and that he was at fault for this. I can't help but blame myself for not forcing him into rehab sooner although I have no proof it would have worked.

Please help. The guilt is stifling.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 06, 2015:

Emma, thank you for sharing your story and your pain. I'm truly sorry for your loss. I was able to find the answer before serious damage was done to my health, and I was able to repair damage to family. Today I am able to receive love, and give it, but I know for a fact that it is impossible to do when the only love is alcohol. I wish I could give you words of comfort but I simply don't know the answer to your final question. I'm sure a part of your man loved you, but he was simply too far gone to show it.

Emma on March 06, 2015:

I lost the only man I loved from this terrible illness. It will be one year next week since he died and I still find it hard. I think he was already too far into alcohol when we got together and either could not or did not want to stop. A year before he died he was admitted to hospital with alcoholic hepatitis and I am not sure, as he never spoke about it, but I think the doctors told him he was dying and there was nothing more they could do. Six months before he died he pushed me away because I told him I loved him and he could not handle that. He did not think he was worth anything and did not understand why I loved him or cared so much. His best friend found him at the end unconscious and yellow. I think his liver just gave out.

Thank you for your insights into how and why from the perspective of an alcoholic. I have done lots of research since. My wish is to know whether Brian had loved or cared about me, was he capable of those feeling, he never said did not show affection and pushed me away so I guess I will never know and that hurts

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 26, 2014:

beta, thank you for the kind words. I would not be surprised to find out that addictive behavior finds its roots in a societal problem, although I certainly have no proof of that. Just a hunch. :)

beta5909 on December 26, 2014:

This is a beautiful article: your honesty and openness is refreshing.

After reflecting on your thoughts, I'm thinking about 5 people I know who have this disease. They all have expressed this feeling of not fitting in.

They also are "sensitive" and pick up on social cues that many miss. They have a sixth sense about people and their intentions. They are gentle people at heart.

I wonder if society places so much importance on conformity, that " addictive" behavior is indicative of a societal problem.

Thank you for giving me something to think about on a deeper level.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 30, 2014:

Sjs, thanks for your thoughts. It's always interesting to hear varying viewpoints on the matter.

Sjs on October 30, 2014:

It is true, we can't put labels on a person with a drinking disorder any more successfully as they have tried to with eating disorders or OCD or's not a one size fits all disorder and no two are alike. In one way, people are all 'alchoicls' when it comes to our thinking...being drunk on our own thoughts and self justifed in our own philisopihes of life in order to make sense of an insane world. This particular issue only brings it close to home for everyone involved particular. Unfortunately, the 'label' of calling it a disease could well be creating more harm than not. The original idea was that of a psychiatrist who singed the declaration fo independence..who also thought being black was a 'disease'..if that tells as is a disease' concept'...but what if that is incorrect. How much does the power of persuasion assuage the masses with comforting lies.? To even suggest it gives a person an alibi and has made MILLIONS upon MILLIONS for book sales and 'treatment' centers all of which only are a piece of a much larger puzzle. Not all alcoholics are necessarily intelligent when it comes to IQ that is testable, and even that is a bit of a scam by placing human worth and merit based on a test. Almost all 'geniuses' having something a bit wrong with them..the greatest of which create the likes of an atom bomb? No, the only way to be perfectly sane is to be totally out of your mind. With man these things are not possible, but with God, all things are possible..the Words of The Christ, the Light of Man Himself, known as Jesus, The Lord is My Salvation...The Light within you is the solution to the problem...."And the sun of righteousness will come with healing in its wings".. Micah. Frank Sinatra sang, "I did it my way"..yet Jesus said, I AM THE WAY. Woe to the alcoholic who continues to neglect the most important truth in AA which sets out to deny him and Bill Wilsons bogus revelation which was likely drug induced.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 07, 2014:

I'm very happy, Susan. Email me at if you want to chat in a less private setting.

susan on June 07, 2014:

I couldn't get anybody to come but I was able to think about what you said and stopped being so hard on myself thank you

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 07, 2014:

Susan, you need someone with you to help you through this up a close friend and have them come's much easier with two.

susan on June 07, 2014:

Thank you so much for your support I wanted to die I was in that horrible dark place again last night and today worst I fighting the shakes, headache and sweats is horrible =(

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 07, 2014:

Susan, most of us relapse. It is part of the process. We are alcoholics....alcoholics drink. It's like breathing for us. Any period when we fight the devil and go without drink is a good period. Instead of beating yourself up, take strength from the fact that you beat the devil, and if you can do it once you can do it again. I know you can do this.

Susan on June 07, 2014:

I relapsed I was doing so good I hate myself right now I let myself down


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 14, 2014:

Blessings to you too, Susan! The offer is always open.

susan on May 13, 2014:

Thank you bill I got to tell how happy I feel now I don't have facebook but I can make an account I drank for 7 yrs many times too much and very few little I'm going to be 37 and I didn't want to get older and there is still so much to do but I realized that it can only happen with a clear mind and clean system.. Many blessings to you =)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 13, 2014:

Susan, best wishes to you. If you ever want to chat, you can find me on Facebook under Bill Holland, Olympia.

susan on May 12, 2014:

Yes Bill! you know that lonely place when is just you and your life affected by alcoholism the pain and sorrow when you feel that you're dead inside we'll THAT'S where I never want to be again after relapse after relapse and it just doesn't get any better, now I think why don't I let the good just get better this isn't working at all it always takes me to that dark place.. Thank you for your help and to let us see how life really can be turned around and like you said " you are ready when you want to really leave again "

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 12, 2014:

I've had a couple alcoholics write to me and tell me these articles have helped. That is special my friend.

Mark Bruno from New Jersey Shore on May 12, 2014:

Yes it is Bill!! all worth it to change one person's life. I would love to know by someone telling us that. It would be truly awesome and rewarding !

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 11, 2014:

Hey, buddy, you are very welcome. If we make a difference in one life then it is worth it....right? Right!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 11, 2014:

Susan, congratulations my friend. It only gets better from here on.....if you want it then it is yours.

Mark Bruno from New Jersey Shore on May 11, 2014:

Bill, I just was reading so of your comments here and I just noticed you used my hub, "when is enough enough". That is awesome and I thank you my friend for putting it in your wonderful hub. Between the both of us we will indeed make a difference to someone out in our world that has an addiction.

Thanks again and God Bless

susan on May 11, 2014:

I recently quit drinking I had to since getting horrible sickness from hangover I hate the disease is a chain that needs breaking! Alcohol is not and will never be your friend after you turn to it all the time, now I'm excited about my life and no longer live in terror of DTs or being drunk

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 09, 2014:

asadface, thank you for sharing your experience and your fears. The fear of not being said a mouthful there....for me it was a fear that people would find out who I was and not like me and thus I would be alone. In reality it is nonsense but it seemed so real when I was drinking. I had to finally take the risk of being alone.....and since taking that risk I found love and have not been alone since. Best wishes to you!

asadface on February 08, 2014:

A very true look into my life. I admire your honesty, for i lack it in my own. I have always feared social environments, and though i stay sober through work and other social settings (lover, parents, friends) I become so exhausted by constantly having to "deal" with social environments, im rarely sober if i'm alone. Of course this has, and probably will, lead to times where i choose to drink and skip out on other opportunities. I read a lot of the comments and realized that many nondrinkers had alcoholic parents, i envy their restraint. Sadly, my parents are both alcoholic, rarely engaging in loving interaction unless buzzed. They've binged drank my entire 22 years and i think that is my catalyst. That they loved me more when they were drunk, or i was drinking with them. I... Love my parents so much. And never want them to change. They loved me when they were sober or drunk. Cared for me. Fed me. Nice house. A car for my 17th birthday. Any gaming console i ever wanted. My disease lies not in fear of being weird... But fear of not being loved. Of being alone. It has compounded the disease, making it worse in many ways. But i believe that i will soon realize that it is counter-productive to my cause because of the simple fact that no one loves a drunk.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 20, 2013:

To Start Again.....thank you for the follow. I appreciate your words and if this hub helps others then my experience will have been a blessing. :)

Selina Kyle on April 20, 2013:

Excellent, excellent hub. Thank you for writing this and for giving some of us a look into the minds of our loved ones we may have never known otherwise. ;)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 03, 2013:

Seanorjohn, there is most definitely an inherited gene in for the absurdity in life, I would think anyone with a brain could see that. LOL Thank you!

seanorjohn on April 03, 2013:

I wonder if intelligent people become alcoholics because they recognise the absurdities of life. I think there is strong evidence to show that alcoholics have inherited a gene to make them more predisposed to alcoholism.

Tup your uncle is prob not an alcoholic. 6 cans a night is perhaps excessive but not for a well built male with a strong constitution.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2013:

tupailiew, it does not seem excessive to me but I'm not in a position to speak about someone else. :) Thank you!

KienChoong, Liew from New York on March 17, 2013:

My uncle drinks 6 cans of beer every night, should he then be regarded as an alcoholic? He seems to be functioning well enough in handling his job. (He is a delivery man on his bike)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 12, 2013:

Mark, it is a wonderful feeling indeed. At times I feel overwhelmed that people are asking me for advice, but when someone reaches out for help I am responsible, so I do what I can to give counsel.

Take care buddy and keep on doing what you are doing.


Mark Bruno from New Jersey Shore on March 12, 2013:

Bill, thanks for your kind words to me. That really means a lot my friend. You are so right regarding when someone comments and ask for help is so awesome, I tell them I am not a Doctor or a Therapist but I sure know how alcohol can ruin your life. I also get many emails on my Gmail regarding people asking for my opinion and that really makes me feel as if I am touching someone's life.

God Bless you Bill and stay in touch as I will.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 12, 2013:

Mark, you are a good man and I want you to always remember that. You write far more alcoholism hubs than I do, and if one of them helps one person then what a miracle that would be. I am sure you have had comments of thanks, just like I have, from people who are struggling with this disease, and that is the greatest high I can ever imagine. Keep doing the work you are doing, buddy, and God bless you.


Mark Bruno from New Jersey Shore on March 12, 2013:

Bill, what a wonderful hub and the video was EXCELLENT. Great words of wisdom my friend and all from your heart. I am so proud of you of what you are doing to help others. You know Bill, what you said regarding waking up in the morning not having the urge or desire to drink is me now , BUT there was that time the minute my eyes opened even after feeling so hungover from drinking the night before, my first thought of the day was I can't wait to get home from work and drink again. I am free of that worry as you are Bill and it is the most wonder feeling in the world not to depend on alcohol to live your life. I too am so very happy and it makes me so happy to write as you do to hopefully help others that are struggling with an addiction.

Your words in that video were right on Bill. Thank you so much for posting this and for being a sober friend of mine. I just added this link to my recent hub Bill.

God Bless you and yours.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 24, 2012:

Christina, your first responsibility is to yourself, and if you have children, to them. Your husband has made his choice; there is help if he wants it.

christina white on November 24, 2012:

i wish others like my husband felt like he don't need alcohol cuz his alcoholism is killing me i can not ddeal anymore

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 14, 2012:

Albert, it is my pleasure! Thank you !

Albert on November 14, 2012:

Thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2012:

Pavlo, you do not offend me my friend. No, I do not drink alcohol; I have not done so in fix years. It no longer has any hold over me. :) Thank you for asking that question.

Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on October 28, 2012:

I hope my question will not offend you. Just curious, do you drink alcohol now? or you do not even look at it ? :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2012:

Teresa, I write about alcoholism so I can be of some help to others. It is a horrible disease, and I'm truly sorry you were hurt by it. Of course you can use my article on your blog, and I will stop by and see it for myself. Thank you and bless you always.


teresa on October 26, 2012:

Hello, I am touched by all the articles you have written. Especially this one, I was a wife of an alcoholic, I am now divorced. I have started a blog in spanish about my experience and some articles to give strength to women with alcoholic relatives and I took the liberty in translating this. I hope you do not mind and I did write who the author of this is. I just wanted to spread this article of what goes on in the mind of an alcoholic to other women. Thank you so much. The link to my blog is:

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2012:

Journey, i truly don't hate those with alcoholism; if that were the case, I would hate myself, and I do not. These are sick people who can become active and productive members of society, if they only stop drinking.

Journey01 on October 26, 2012:

I know that many people are addicted to alcohol. Their lives are not human being in the behavior. I hate them. They don't know how to control themselves and many bad news happened to wine.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 21, 2012:

Kartika, you are absolutely correct. Admitting the problem is the first huge obstacle to finding wellness and peace of mind. It's hard to give up something you love so much.

kartika damon from Fairfield, Iowa on May 21, 2012:

Thanks for this reminder - insanity is a good word for it. I also see that a person has to admit they are alcoholic - and, there are so many ways they have to skirt this - my friend had a million other labels for his relationship with alcohol - I guess admitting it would mean taking action to let go of drinking and face a life without alcohol...that is unimaginable for many people.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 21, 2012:

Kartika, the idea that we can one day drink like a normie is a true sign of insanity. I will never be able to drink again...period! It is that realization that every alcoholic has to face if they are to get better. Thank you for taking the time to leave a meaningful comment.

kartika damon from Fairfield, Iowa on May 21, 2012:

This is a very powerful description of what this disease does to a person. I'm not a drinker, but recently became close to an alcoholic - the toll his drinking has taken on his life is enormous and I've witnessed the extreme denial that keeps a person locked in the belief that he can keep drinking like a "normie."

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 26, 2012:

Thank you Jelly; I'll do the same with yours.

jellygator from USA on April 26, 2012:

What a wonderfully candid explanation! I'm including a link to your hub in my latest one.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 13, 2012:

You are very welcome Joesy; if I can be of any help to you or answer any questions please reach out to me....


Joesy Shmoesy from New England on April 13, 2012:

Your name kept popping up so I followed you here. I am so glad I did. Thank you kindly for your insights. My mom is an alcoholic and it was pleasantly insightful seeing it through your eyes. I look forward to reading more.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 23, 2012:

Happy, I greatly appreciate your comments. Your story of your brother is sad, touching and so very important to hear. It is painful for sure but it needs to be heard, just as my story needs to be heard. The numbers are staggering and there are times it feels like nobody is listening, but if just once we can reach a person and make a difference in their life then it is all worth it. I appreciate you opening up a part of your heart in this comment and I wish you peace and love today and all days.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on March 23, 2012:

Thanks for posting this. My brother is among the staggering statistics of those who died from alcoholism and he definitely fit the profile you wrote of in this hub. He did try rehab numerous times but always relapsed and by his last hospitalization at age 45, he didn't even want us to know that the doctors had told him he was dying from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver because he was so ashamed of his latest relapse.

Fortunately, a friend who was with him during his admission to the hospital heard him say to staff that he had no relatives. The friend (who we didn't know) knew that was a lie and through some great "detective work" tracked us down.

That last week of his life was so sad but it was also a healing time for our family as he was able to be reunited with his estranged daughter who was 18 years old at that time. He died peacefully with his daughter holding one hand and me holding the other.

I am glad that you are sharing so much first hand information about this horrible disease and are one of the ones who has been helped by effective interventions.

This hub did help me understand things from the point of view of a person who's in the throes of active addiction and I voted it up and useful.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 19, 2012:

Always, that has been my intention and hope from day one....I truly hope you are correct. I will just keep telling it like I see it and hopefully I will touch some lives. Thank you very much, as always, your friend Bill!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 19, 2012:

Alcohol has touched my family in the past. It is a terrible disease. Your story will help others who are still suffering. Thank you..

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 18, 2012:

Well Dana, if you figure out how to live without food let me know so I can cut down on the grocery bill. :) I do understand what you are saying and I greatly appreciate your words. I've said before that nobody can hurt me more than I have hurt myself so there is no reason for me to dodge the truth any longer. Time for me to come out of the closet and share my experience, strength and hope. Thank you so much!

Dana Strang from Ohio on March 18, 2012:

I love your matter of fact style. No self pitty. No fishing for sypmathy. You simply write it how it is. And thank you for putting it out there. Not a lot of people would have the guts to write what you do. Especially about your childhood. I never realized that you are right, it does start that early for some. I have alcoholism and addiciton in general on both sides of my family. So I have seen it. And I see a lot of it in me. But I have done a good job dodging it. I don't keep alcohol in the house cuz I always find myself drinking it for the wrong reasons. I smoked socially until the day I started wanting to smoke alone. I never bought a pack again. Now if only I could find a way to live without food! Thanks again. Voted up!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 18, 2012:

And I yours, billybuc! Touche!!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2012:

Pickles, I appreciate you greatly and thank you for sharing my hub; if it helps someone then that is a great bonus for me.

picklesandrufus from Virginia Beach, Va on March 17, 2012:

A very matter of fact hub. I am going to share this with someone who has an alcoholic loved one. thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2012:

That is my hope Bravewarrior, and the reason I write what I write. I'll leave the poetry and the "how to's" and the web suggestions to others; for me it comes down to passion and delivering my own message. Thank you so much! You are rapidly becoming one of my favorite followers. :)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 17, 2012:

And, once again, thank you, billybuc! People like you and me can give hope to the world. We can give hope of expression, admittance and the strength to survive! Again, I am sooooooooo glad I found you! HubPages has an awesome group of people. I believe we all, whether or not expressing ourselves on HubPages, have something to contribute. Something to offer. Hopefully, we can all make a positive effect on those who need guidance!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2012:

Bravewarrior, I applaud you on your success since 1987 and I wish you nothing but happiness and love the rest of your journey. My experiences need to be told so that others may see that there is hope. Thank you my friend for your timeless words of hope and affirmation.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2012:

Yes, Jamie, I am one of those too. has been a tough road but I finally found the key to life and that, for me, is love. All of that searching brought me back to the most basic of myself and love others. Thank you my dear for your great comment.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 17, 2012:

Billybuc, this is so true, but not only of alcoholism. Drug addiction is much the same, if not worse, although I think the only difference (and many times the justification) is alcohol is legal. I found myself in the same pattern years ago; I was addicted to cocaine. I, fortunately, had friends who loved me and I loved myself enough to just say "no". However, I had to move in order to do so. I moved from South Florida, where I knew with whom and where to find my poison. In order to save my own life, I moved to Central Florida where I knew not a soul. That was the only way I could just say no without depending on rehab to force me to clean up. Addicts don't want outside help because they refuse to admit to the problem. Or worse, their lies carry forth to their own minds. I'm happy to say, I've been drug-free since 1987. I do, however, look forward to a drink (or two!) after work. I'm keeping a close watch on myself and have learned that when the lies extend to your own psyche, a close look into your soul needs to be made. The challenge is being true to what you see and being strong enough to admit to the self-destruction and love yourself enough to make yourself right and strong.

Love the hub, love your honesty and your strength to admit to past downfalls. It can only do good for those who are willing to see!

Jamie Brock from Texas on March 17, 2012:

billybuc, OH, you are one of those too.. so am I. It's funny the places we will run into each other.. I appreciate the rigorous honestly it took to write this hub.. I'm still scared to write about my experience, strength and hope- at least here anyway. Best of luck to you :o) P.S. I watched the video.. LOL! At first I thought it was serious but then I thought maybe I was having a bad dream. Whew.... The sad thing is, it's not too far off from the truth. Many people think AA is wrong. I could never think that because it saved my life. I really enjoyed this hub.. voting UP and all the way across the board!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2012:

Xavier, thank you and yes, I have considered it, but like all of my other projects it is a matter of time. Let me say this: it is on the top of my bucket list and will be done sooner rather than later. Thank you my friend for your support and wisdom.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2012:

Mary, I want you to understand something...when an alcoholic turns violent it is time to cut ties with them completely. Tell him you love him...tell him there is help out there if he needs and wants it...and then get him out of your life until that time when he does get help. There is no turning back once they have turned violent and there is no reasoning with them. For your own safety you need to get him out of your life now! If you want to email me you can at and I will help you in any way I can.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2012:

Nat, I will be as clear on this point as I can possibly be: your number one priority is to yourself. Do whatever you need to do to protect yourself. An alcoholic, once they know they have a drinking problem, is making a choice to ruin their life....and you have a choice to get on with yours. If building a wall helps you then do it; I would hope you seek some help either through AlAnon or some other support group that is there to help you cope. If you ever want to contact me then do so at and I will try my best to help you through the hard times.

Related Articles