Friday, June 24, 2011

Wine is just a cultural thing in France

Oh yes, as we say in the field of alcoholism------ "the main symptom of alcoholism is denial".

And what 'better' denial than saying that drinking all that wine is "just a cultural thing"?

What is the truth?

Historically, France has the highest rate of cirrhosis of the liver in the world.

Why would countries want to continue to deny that so many of their citizens are dying of alcoholism? And continue to deny that so many of the families of alcoholics, there, are being physically and/or emotionally battered?

This is just speculation-----but I would imagine that much of France's income is from wine.

Now------- nothing wrong, of course, about making a living, making a profit----- but doing so within ethical boundaries.

But, can the booze industry make profit without alcoholism?
In the U.S., that is doubtful.

There was a blurb in back of an A.A. (their monthly magazine) Grapevine. It talked about the fact that 52% of the income from the "alcohol beverage industry" comes from 10% of its consumers. (I would imagine that it is now from around 18% of its consumers, because since that blurb was written, the alcoholism rate in adults in the U.S. has risen to around 18% of the population).

But in France, its a tourist and export industry------and many consumers are not alcoholic. So my guess is that the industry could still exist without alcoholism------but its income would diminish.

This all reminds me of a short story by Kafka-----"The Metamorphosis".

A man wakes up one morning and looks in the mirror and has turned into a giant cockroach.

He and his family are of course upset.

But, they do not know what to do.

He stays in his room and they toss apples in the room, to help keep him alive until they can all figure out what to do.

But his biggest worry is "how will I make a living?"

Now, this is, on the one hand, very understandable.
But------on the other hand, one wants to shout, "Look in the mirror! Do you KNOW what has happened to you?!"

Another analogy--------- in an old issue of "The Forum", the Al-Anon monthly magazine, there was a one-frame line-drawing cartoon. An alcoholic (drinking) was in the cellar with his wife.......he had her tied to a chair......and her feet were in a bucket of cement.
He was obviously going to kill her.
She said this to him ------- "Now, you make sure you clean up when you're done!"

One wants to shout, "Lady--------- do you KNOW what he is planning on doing to you?!"

Denial about alcoholism does not just come out the mouths of alcoholics--------it runs rampant in us------it happens in industry-------in government. (Of course, since around 18% of the population has alcoholism--- the numbers of people in the U.S. who have grown up with alcoholism have grown from 28 million to around 45 or more, million. And more than half of all helping professionals are adult children of alcoholics --with the same denial in them, that they grew up with, as children in alcoholic families---99% of whom never went to counseling or healing around their alcoholic-family-of-origin issues, including denial.)

We LEARNED to deny------our SHAME was the impetus for us to deny---- when we grew up in alcoholic families, we hid the alcoholism as best we could-------we took on the shame unto ourselves.
(That's what 'toxic shame' is all about).
Yes, if we grew up with alcoholic/abusive parents-------we carry that deep toxic shame and denial with us------and we need to heal from both.

But most of us who grew up with alcoholism/abuse------ the denial has ripple effects-------we carry denial into our new families, into our professions, into our communities.

None of us WANTS to see alcoholism.
That's why there are so few people in healing groups for families of alcoholics.
We don't want to face it. We want it to just go away...on its own.
That's why, I believe, Al-Anon named one of its early-on books, "Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism".

FACES it. Yep-------therein starts the healing. (P.S.----- a great book on healing from toxic shame is John Bradshaw's "Healing the Shame That Binds You")

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