Takeaways: 

  • Alcohol is revered.
  • Alcohol is condemned.
  • Your “disease” of addiction is based on your “degree” of control.
  • Alcohol addiction is not a mental illness. It’s a compensatory behavior for an emotional pain.

Alcohol - No Win

Alcohol – Damned If You Do Or Don’t


By Kevin R. Strauss, M.E.

Our society reveres and celebrates drinking alcohol for any reason.

Your status increases the more alcohol you can consume and “manage”.

Until, you go “overboard” and no longer have conscious “control” over your use.

Then, you are condemned by society, labeled: an “Alcoholic”… FOR LIFE, and lose your social “status”.

From then on, you’re “in recovery” from a “disease” and further labeled as having the Mental Illness of addiction.

Of course, the addiction would have never occurred if you never participated in the behavior in the first place.

 However, while in “recovery for the rest of your life”, your efforts are again celebrated and you’re congratulated for “controlling your behavior” and “improving” your Mental Health. Your status improves again.

 Sadly, behind your back or in the “thought bubble” above someone’s head, they may secretly #shame and #judge you. And your status and value as a person ultimately decreases.

A person’s ability to “control their behavior” is NOT about their Mental Health.

Behaviors are rooted in your Emotional Health, and there’s a difference. This difference is one of the biggest problems in understanding human behavior and why we’ve struggled for more than 150 years of “modern” psychology.

The mixed #judgements around #behaviors and the “degree” to which you participate in them is an inconsistent and unreliable measure of a “disease”, “disorder”, or fundamental understanding.

I think it’s time we ask…

“What’s driving the behavior, from the beginning?” and

“What need is any behavior attempting to meet?”

More often than not,

We seek #power, #money, and #status (why?)

In an attempt to meet our basic human need for…

#love, #connection, and #belonging

Which directly nurtures our Emotional Health and ultimately drives our behaviors.

Hurt people [will] hurt people, including themselves

And the pain they have is not physical, it’s not mental,

But it IS emotional.

You’re not crazy, weak, broken, or diseased.

You’re in emotional pain and attempting to manage it.

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