I’m an Alcoholic

The True Life episode I chose to watch centered around two
individuals name Casey and Christina. They both are dealing with extreme cases
of alcoholism. Casey is a twenty one year old woman from Boston. She just moved
to Las Vegas.  She has already lost
multiple jobs due to her drinking and is essentially living off of her friend. Casey
started drinking at the age of 14. She has gotten multiple DUI’s and drinks
every day.  At one point in the episode,
she states that she has been drunk for the last seven days straight. Drinking is
destroying every aspect of her life. She knows this is happening yet doesn’t
seem to be able to take steps to deter the inevitable. Christina is a 24 year
old woman from Northern California. She started drinking when she was 16 and at
the age of 22, she began drinking every day. She states that she is dependent
on alcohol and can’t go a day without it. Like Casey, She has gotten a DUI. At one
point in the episode, she drinks the morning after a night out to “cure” a
hangover. In the end, Christina was proactive and seemed to have turned her
life around. She’s now engaged and has maintained her sobriety for 2 months.
Casey on the other hand, went the other direction. Her father offered to pay
for rehabilitation but she refused. She stated that her problem isn’t that bad.

I believe that Casey’s case correlated well with the chaos
narrative. Her attempts to combat her disease were futile and in the end, her
addiction continued. She never truly seemed to want to get better. Christina’s
case matched up well with the quest narrative. She seemed to have truly gained
valuable life experience through her struggle with alcoholism. Her acceptance
and realization that she had an illness, seemed to empower her and give her the
ability to act proactively.

The episode didn’t show any direct experience with medical
professionals. Both individuals went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as a form
of treatment. Casey disregarded most of the valuable information given at her
meeting while Christina seemed to benefit greatly from hers. I believe
Christina took on more of the sick role and that greatly enhanced her chances
at achieving sobriety. AA is an example of the shared narrative in which people
share similar experiences in order help recover and understand how others have
beaten or coped with their like disease. The shared narrative was very useful
for Christina.  It’s actually what seemed
to turn her life around. Her new found love also played a big role. Illness
narratives can help family members deal with their loved ones problem. Illness
narratives also provide healthcare professionals with a viable pathway to treat
and cure individuals with a wide variety of diseases.

2 thoughts on “I’m an Alcoholic

  1. I think it’s really interesting how you compared the two narratives. Casey who is still struggling badly with her alcoholism gives a chaos narrative while Christina who has a more proactive approach provides us with a quest narrative. I found a video on YouTube of a man giving a narrative describing his struggles with alcoholism. There are many similarities between him and Christina and Casey.

    TJ is a 27 years old make from Sydney Australia. Before filming this video he heard of a man from California killing himself due to his struggles with alcoholism. This inspired TJ to make a video of his struggles with alcoholism. He said that he understands the feeling the man must have felt before ending his life. TJ is in control of his alcoholism now but has experienced the constant struggle of alcohol dependence.

    TJ began drinking when he was 15 years old. From the time he was 15 to 25 years old he drank daily. TJ lost weight, became reclusive, antisocial, and pessimistic. He normally drank alone and had very few friends. One night after becoming very intoxicated he talked to his mother on the phone. During the phone call she became very upset and began crying because she felt that he was killing himself by overusing alcohol. After passing out he woke up the next morning remembering the conversation he had with his mother. He decided to quit drinking and remained sober for a whole year.

    After becoming sober he found himself being more positive and social. He even started dating again. One night while out to dinner with friends he decided he would try a drink. The thought he would now be able to control himself but he couldn’t. That one drink turned into a yearlong binge that ended his long time job. TJ found another job that he really liked but almost lost that one as well due to his drinking. He decided to quite again and he hasn’t had a drink in a year now.

    TJ transformed himself from a person that would have probably given a chaos narrative to a person who now gives us a quest narrative. He provides videos on YouTube to help himself as well as others struggling with alcoholism. It took many outside sources to turn his life around. TJ’s crying mother motivated him to change his life the first time. The loss of a job that he enjoyed and the near loss of another job is what motivated him the second time. From your post it sounds like Christina also had things to motivate her as well. In her case it is the relationship with her boyfriend and becoming engaged. These powerful outside sources that people feel passionate about seem to be the key to making positive personal change.

    “RIP Joe Bodolai, and My Alcoholism,” YouTube video, 7:35, posted by “TJlogs,” December 27, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF1G4-ch5ns.

  2. I found an illness narrative on youtube of a woman named Suzanne. She was working on a boat and would have a drink every once in awhile, but never had a problem with drinking. She mentions that one day someone told her that she looked like she was gaining weight from drinking too much beer, and they told her she should switch to something else. She took this comment to heart and started to drink vodka instead. This is where her problem started. I think Suzanne is similar to Christina because they both realized they had a problem, and are seeking help. I think it takes a lot of guts to admit you have a problem and I really admire that about them. I definitely think that media influences their experience because you always see commercials, billboards, and ads about alcohol and they always feature people having a good time normally in a party setting. I think when people start drinking they don’t realize that it could become a problem, they only think of the short term effects, not the long term ones. I think a breaking point for Suzanne was when her friend told her she was gaining weight. Something like this can trigger someone to change the way they live, and have a big influence on the way they feel about themselves.
    Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi3fq76IftA

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