Alcoholism isn’t drinking at social gatherings, but it could be.
Alcoholism isn’t closing the blinds and drinking behind the curtains everyday, but it could be.
Alcoholism isn’t the concept of being unemployed, but it could be.
Alcoholism isn’t abuse, but it could be.
Alcoholism isn’t a broken family, but it could be.
Alcoholism isn’t the poor man sleeping with a lone jacket on the side of the street, but it could be.
What many people don’t understand is the concept of alcoholism. Everyday, we pass people who seem to be living normal and healthy lives, but we don’t see the darkness behind their eyes or the loss in their minds. We don’t see the nights of emptying bottles or the sickness they feel when they have gone without their poison for too long. We see the show. Behind the scenes, they spend hours perfecting their appearance for when they find themselves in close proximities with other people.
They learn to mask their breath with gum or mouthwash so we don’t smell the last drops they poured into their mouths. They learn to wear extra cologne or perfume so we don’t smell the alcoholic scent. They learn to try to enjoy the conversation so we don’t think they’re avoiding the company. They still go about their normal day-to-day activities, but they eventually lose interest in some of their favorite pastimes. Not all, but some. They act as though nothing is wrong, and to some, these people may seem more normal than others. They don't act abnormal, and they don't draw attention to their addiction.
They don’t know about our suspicions because they don’t know what alcoholism is.
Alcoholism is masking your breath before you talk to anyone.
Alcoholism is taking shots before you go into work every morning.
Alcoholism is adding poison to your drinks throughout the day.
Alcoholism is falling asleep before the moon trades places with the sun, and then laying awake at all hours of the night because your mind is restless.
Alcoholism is the process of gradually forgetting memories.
Alcoholism is something nobody else can help you with. You have to want to help yourself before others can step in and loan a hand.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.