Is Alcoholism a Disease? Addiction Recovery Stories

Is Alcoholism a Disease? Addiction Recovery Stories

Is alcoholism a disease or a choice? In my addiction recovery story, i explore the question: is alcoholism a disease? Alcoholism disease discussions have long caused debates, with recovering alcoholic stories in one arena, with yours truely, the recovering alcoholic Sober James emphasizing the disease of alcoholism can be brutal, backed up by my alcoholism recovery stories. Addiction and the brain has always fascinated me. Now, I’m exploring whether or not alcoholism family disease, listing alcoholism signs, explaining alcoholism warning signs, exposing early alcoholism signs and symptoms in the young alcoholic, and more. I touch on my higher power: alcoholics anonymous, and Sober grid, AlcoholMasteryTV, my addiction recovery stories, cg kid Russel Brand. hi I’m James I’m a grateful recovering
addict and alcoholic today January 18th of 2020 I’m celebrating four years clean
and sober from drugs and alcohol after two decades of chaos now I love to tell
you how happy and successful I am now how funny and handsome I can be but
instead I’m gonna talk about something a little more difficult and a lot more
significant I’m gonna talk about my early years what they have to do with
addiction and recovery and how they can help you or a loved one understand what
you’re going through so kick back and let’s do it first about this channel if you or
someone you love is suffering with alcoholism addiction or life in general
I post videos about addiction recovery everything in between right here on this
channel weekly feel free to subscribe and hit the bell for notifications like
and share to get this out there scroll all the way down to comment and explore
resources in the drop down description I posted my story about a year ago and
started this channel and since then it has grown into a community of recovering
addicts and alcoholics so thank you for your subscriptions and thank you for
everything now this year I’m gonna talk about my earlier years drinking and
using drugs yes but beforehand as well and what it has to do with the disease
of alcoholism my story does involve a horrible car crash followed by a coma an
alcoholic seizure and has and all the goodies that come along with with all
that I’ll post those stories in these cards and at the end of that video so
feel free to check those out my addiction and my alcoholism has taken me
to jails institutions and damn near dead and I tell those stories in over 60
videos now I have but today I’m going to talk about my early years because they
have relevance I think to the condition and the personality disorder part of
addiction and alcoholism and I’m hoping you can relate now these past four years
of getting sober and getting to know myself I look back on my life and I
realize my addiction manifested in ways long before I drank or use or discovered
anything like that I love Who I am now and I am relatively happy most of the
time and sobriety has taught me how to love myself love others and relinquish
some of my fear and guilt but even when I was a kid I never really felt like I
fit in I never really felt comfortable I never
felt at home in my own skin as early as preschool I was chasing trouble making
cookie taking always will be boys kind of boy I was chasing girls spitting spit
balls I was doing anything and everything to the extreme trouble and
being a class clown was my drug grade school middle school high school I never
fit in and I don’t fit in now but I’m okay with that now but back then before
I understood addiction and my condition I didn’t I didn’t get why I felt so
uncomfortable I never got why I didn’t fit in I didn’t get why I couldn’t find
my place in the world I would get in trouble for scrawl scrawling curse words
on the wall diagnoses were thrown at me like ADHD and learning disorders because
I wouldn’t be able to sit still and you know what that is common in people and
so is addiction and I realize now that for lack of a better overall diagnosis
of a very complex condition that is the human personality we’re gonna call this
condition alcoholism I did drugs various drugs everything from opiates to
hallucinogens but alcohol has always been my drug of choice and even before I
discovered getting high or getting drunk alcoholism was a condition that affected
my life as annex and alcoholics we find our drug of choice and that always ends
up being what releases the most amount of serotonin and oxytocin endorphins and
all of that so if cocaine does it your drug of
choice is cocaine if alcohol does it your drug of choice is alcohol it’s
different for every addict but before I discovered any of that or had access to
it I would seek out trouble I got high off of trouble rebelling in hindsight I
recognized that now as searching for gratification instant gratification some
sort of high some sort of serotonin boost no before
you jump into that kid needs a spanking my misbehavior wasn’t due to a lack of
discipline or guidance from my parents my old man an ex-marine with a huge
heart cares for family very sentimental and has a fondness for life lesson
teaching moments and my mother was equally as loving caring and a huge
caring heart as well but after that their commonalities just faded they
separated when I was two and my dad remarried and I saw my mother every
other weekend and I spent the majority of the time with my new family step
family you know there is the question is addiction and alcoholism genetic nurture
or nature and you know what it’s both I did a video on that you can check it out
it’s nature and nurture I had alcoholism and addiction in my
blood let’s face it it’s a hard world no matter where who you are what you grow
up in it’s a hard world and if you have the predisposition to addiction in you
it’s it’s likely now the reason I’m telling this part of my story is because
it may help you out there if you’re struggling to know that this is a
disease and it is genetic if you’re struggling or if you have recognized and
admitted that you have a problem with addiction or alcohol I’d venture a bet
to say that people in your family do as well if they don’t there’s all these
exceptions to the rule but let me tell you a little something about my mother
my mother unfortunately passed away September 15 2016 from lung cancer she
smoked her entire life as did her father her mother her sister and her brother
all of which except her brother died of the disease lung cancer or my
grandmother died of cirrhosis of the liver now these are weak people her
brother is alive and well having found sobriety over 10 years ago now I’m
telling you this because this is extremely relevant to the fact that
addiction and alcoholism is a disease while intellectual juggernauts are
arguing on Facebook about whether or not it’s a disease people are dying
whole bloodlines are dying so let me just save you the trouble and I’ll read
the definition of disease a particular quality habit or disposition regarded as
adversely affecting a person or group of people so I have no doubt I have no
doubt and never have it is a disease a disorder a condition whatever you want
to call it it’s a thing that’s more powerful than us and we have to address
it it’s not my family’s fault if they had the information and the resources
that we have today they could have had a fighting chance my uncle did and I did
as well were lucky and you can be lucky as well fortunate now me I remember
swearing off drugs and alcohol in science class in the sixth grade I my
teacher was talking about chemical addiction cocaine or something and I
said to myself I’ll never give drugs and alcohol and I meant it
little did I know that as soon as like the next year I would be I would
discover that huffing rubber cement glue will get you a nice warm fuzzy feeling
and then I would go on to explore more vast ways to do the same thing for the
next 20 years cunning baffling and powerful
I once got called to the principal’s office because there was a wave of
middle school children passing out under their own free will by breathing hard
and cutting off the circulation to their brain and well guess who was the
ringleader I had discovered that you can pass out and feel warm and fuzzy for a
matter of seconds when you wake up and begin to pass out this knowledge to my
classmates and it’s bread I became obsessed with getting an altered mental
state a warm and fuzzy feeling so around one the age of 14 I had gotten into
playing guitar and being in bands and idolizing cats like Kurt Cobain and I
went to my first parties and one of which I had my first beer it was a
Foster’s beer and I had to oh and I remember they were cold and huge I had
my first sips and the warm fuzzy feeling went to my stomach
and to my brain and I immediately felt delivered from being uncomfortable in my
own skin to feeling you know normal and comfortable my first order of business
was flirting there was the sexy high school girl here was my first beer gone
I was on my second beer and here come my stellar jokes and before I do it I was
in one of my first sexual experiences and it was great and the very next
morning I woke up and I wanted to do it again and I was chasing it every day
since then for 20 years the rest of middle school was a blur and booze
wasn’t always available so at one point I discovered drinking the DXM and
robitussin will put you on a trip for about six to eight
hours I had already started surrounding myself
with like-minded people people that kids who wanted to experiment and explore
stuff like getting high and rebelling and stuff like that so it’s important to
note that I was I was seeking this something before I discovered booze and
anything that got me high or altered but around late middle school early high
school I had been sneaking out of my parents house and doing things that made
me feel high whether it was substances booze which
were not attainable all the time so in the early years I would do stuff like
vandalize break the law I would this kind of stuff was like doing drugs to me
so I would repel and and sneak out and I then me and a friend vandalized a public
elementary school and got caught for it and I went to juvie and I’m not really
clear on when this was whether it was middle school or high school but I know
it was before I was heavy into drugs and alcohol and I’m saying that because it
illustrates my point this disease this condition is present before the addict
and alcoholic starts using the behavior patterns are there and they were in me
so by 1415 I had already been to juvie I had already been through the system to
court to juvie and my parents did the best they could know I lived with my dad
and my stepmom and my stepsisters and my mother lived elsewhere and I hadn’t seen
her for 10 years my dad did the best he could
with my condition I also had a another family member that was struggling with
addiction and that put stress on the family I had already been to juvie
juvenile hall detention center I had showed up drunk to school one morning I
would I would raid my parents liquor cap and I would just I would top it off with
water one morning I drank a whole pint of rum
at that age you don’t know what amount of alcohol does what so I just drank it
and went to the bus stop by the time I had hit the bus stop I was sloshed drunk
and by the time I was on the bus on the way to school I was just hurling
throwing up everywhere and the bus driver ended up getting the principal I
holed up in the bathroom they got my my step mom came and I got
expelled so all kinds of school trouble in that reject school after being
expelled the school of other kids that were getting expelled
I discovered weed and I smoked weed for the first time booze and weed wasn’t
always attainable so I would just do anything and everything that got me high
I would steal robitussin and pass it out to my other derelict kids I was always
the ringleader of the getting high crew and I would drink robitussin for the DXM
I ended up you know stealing alcohol we would I would just I would go into a
grocery store and just grab two of the biggest cases of beer I could find and
run out I of course was labeled I was I already had a target on my back because
I’m one of those kids and the principal called me into his office
one day and this was around ninth grade and searched my backpack found weed and
called my dad my dad being the do the right thing kind of teaching life lesson
moment allowed them to take me out of the school in handcuffs and spend some
time in the jail my dad was always trying to do right by me and this is by
for all you parents out there that are struggling with whether or not your kid
you’ve done wrong by your kid because of their using drugs and alcohol it’s not
your fault it wasn’t my dad’s fault it wasn’t my
mom’s fault this is a disease and it affects families and everybody it
doesn’t discriminate so anyway my dad did the best by me and it got to where I
was being such a Hellion that the stress on the family was getting too much and I
was approaching the age 17 18 where I had started to talk about going to live
with my mother now I wanted to go live with my mother because there was it was
a more lenient environment whenever I spent time at my mother’s earlier in my
childhood I got to do whatever I wanted and then my dad was more strict rules
are oriented and it was two different environments and the way I was acting
down with my dad he played basketball with me out back he wanted me to be on
the football team I later after school one day before football practice went to
my friend’s house and we raided his parents liquor cabinet drank way too
much liquor and I showed up for football practice drunk blackout drunk throwing
up somehow slept in the locker room during practice somehow didn’t get in
trouble that time but when my dad picked me up from practice that they smelled it
him he my stepmom at dinner smelled it and I was nodding and all that and I was
drunk again I was constantly drunk or messed
up or in trouble at school I was constantly
dysfunctional because of this disease it is a debilitating condition of the mind
body and spirit there is no disputing that
I knew that early on and that is what later contributed to my recovery
so around 17 I decided to go live with my mom because there was a more lenient
atmosphere there was way too much pressure on my dad he tried everything
and I was just I was gonna go my way because this thing I had no control over
I’ve done videos on the powerlessness that an addict experiences over their
addiction and their their addictive behaviors well early this is a
demonstration that my story is a demonstration of it I have no control my
dad couldn’t control it I couldn’t control it
that was the early years and I couldn’t control that I was way out of control
whether it was behavior or or using and drinking I was way out of control so I
went to move back in with my mother and she was ecstatic and I was ecstatic like
I said it was a more lenient atmosphere the first night I got there I’m my
mother asked me if I smoked and I said yes I’m 17 and she was going to the
store and bought me a pack of Marlboros and I smoked and then later that night
went to a college cake party and I thought I had really arrived because
doing this kind of stuff in the environment that I lived in with
my father and stepmother we required sneaking around and some like covert ops
so when I moved back in with my mom and started to go into high school in my
hometown I started letting loose and I got into heavier and heavier drugs acid
ecstasy pills more and more booze more and more crime so at this point I had
already been to juvenile hall twice one for vandalizing in elementary school and
and another time for getting caught with drugs at school and then
that Paul ran its course and I moved to another high school this is my third
high school now and my health this time with my hometown I ended up repeating
11th grade because of drugs and alcohol and and then stuck it out and graduated
finally but high school what involved getting drunk getting high having
extreme trouble fitting in I wasn’t a part of anything that didn’t have
anything to do with drugs and alcohol after graduating high school I worked as
a restaurants for about five years where drugs and alcohol are very prevalent in
the restaurant industry I had been getting in trouble with the law
there’s shoplifting whether it was stealing whippets whipped cream cans
that have nitrous oxide in it you can get high off of that laughing gas or
stealing booze or alcohol or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time
always involving alcohol driving drunk trespassing
resisting arrest stuff like that years upon years that was it
and then I joined the Navy and in the Navy it was drinking of course I had to
kind of maintain but in your early 20s and late teens in your early drinking
activities and using activities you have relative control and it is still fun I
did too but I was always always pushing the
limit and blacking out and getting injured and getting arrested and getting
in fights I Lou I would lose I almost got kicked out of the Navy I got a DUI
and went to captain’s mass and spent 45 days in restriction over I was supposed
to be going home for the holidays but I spent 45 days in restriction on a naval
base when I got out of the Navy I was in and out of jail for various charges
all in all total having been throughout the jail system
I’ve spent close to two years incarcerated in my life
drugs and alcohol and trouble with the law go hand in hand so my entire life
I’ve been uncomfortable and affected by my addiction whether I was using or not
even earlier and even these days I am still affected by my alcoholism by my
addiction this is a disease it’s a condition of the psyche and emotional
and the spirit as well I find my solution I found in a when I was 18 I took a look at my family history and
addiction and I had heard about AAA and I knew when I was 18 that I was going to
quit some day I had to I knew I was an alcoholic I was 18 I was drinking every
weekend and I knew I was an alcoholic I told myself I’d quit by the time I was
25 before I wound up under a bridge so 25 came around and I was still in the
Navy and still having a good time and not it under any bridges so I said I
quit when I’m 30 when 30 came around I got in an accident
and when I was 27 drunk driving and in a coma had to learn how to walk and talk
again that video story is up here but by the time 30 came around I was nowhere
near quitting and I couldn’t quit I had started going to I’ve started
experimenting with meetings but not I wasn’t beat up enough believe it or not
I had already been to jail I had been to rehab twice at this point and I had been
in a bad bad near-death accident and coma
and I still wasn’t beat up enough they say that every drunk and every rock
bottom you hit is needed before you get sober whether it’s one or whether it’s
twenty will I hit a bunch of rock bottoms and my final one was a little
over four years ago and I got to the point to where I was hallucinating
alcoholic hallucinosis having delirium tremens years before that I had a
delirium tremens grand mal seizure that story I also made a video about you can
find that in my videos but around four years ago I was experiencing the third
stages of withdrawal hallucinosis just relapse and the consequences would
happen almost immediately after beginning to drink I’d been to the
hospital a couple times just bad bad stuff was happening so I finally threw
up my hands went to rehab I discovered some tools and Rehab including how to
balance various areas of your life independence and something to wake up
for something to do so when I got out of rehab I got a job and I started looking
to move out of my dad’s house this all of this part of my story is in in my
other story video the bottom line is this is a condition that is beyond our
control and we need to employ a Power greater than ourselves to solve it I am
agnostic I have videos about that as well I use Alcoholics Anonymous as my
higher power it is and always has been I have recognized it to be a Power greater
than me and Power greater than alcohol because it gets and has been getting
alcoholics and addicts sober for 80 years
this condition is treatable it is not curable yet science is working on it but
there are some medications that address certain things including antidepressants
anti-anxiety it is suggested that we are doing nothing but self-medicating by
drinking and music drugs which is very makes complete sense but science hasn’t
gotten ahold of it yet and until they do it’s treatable by spiritual solutions
twelve steps of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics
Anonymous also outside therapy working with others being of assistance to your
fellow man if this is a powerful disease and I hope you find what you need on
this channel in the big book of AAA or other places reach out to me in the
comments or on my Facebook or Instagram I still go to AAA I have a home group I
have a sponsor and every day if every day that I need to every time that I
need to I practice the first step of a which is I realize and admit and accept
that I’m powerless over alcohol no matter what and that my life will become
unmanageable as soon as I take a drink or a mind-altering substance of any kind
I’m powerless over that until science figures it out which they may never but
they have not until then I’m gonna stay away from it and maintain sobriety
through Alcoholics Anonymous and that’s how I do it they have they have
something and I have yet to figure it out totally and I may never but I don’t
need to it works it has worked for four years and it will continue working I do
it through service work making coffee chairing meetings doing stuff like these
videos I sponsor other alcoholics and addicts and I just try to be a good
person he has taught me how to live my life free of guilt free of fear I hope
you found something from this video I hope you find something from my
channel remember to scroll all the way down to the bottom and share with us
your strengths experience and hope in the comments and subscribe and hit that
Bell I’m doing live streams now every week so until my next video just keep it
clean keep it real and just keep doing a damn thing peace


  1. The story of my life! at least part of it! I believe addiction and alcoholism is a disease. Disagree? I don't really care, I know it is from personal experience so peace! lol enjoy!

  2. Awesome video our bottoms were pretty Similar. I spent probably close to two years incarcerated on the
    Installment plan. I was homeless And in and out of treatment centers for a couple of decades. Thank God for the program of AA it definitely saved my life and has given me a great life. Congratulations on four years

  3. 21 days sober. I’m halfway to my record of 42, but this time I am doing it for myself and not for an ex. Take care and thanks for the video.

  4. Hi James!😊❤👍 really pleased you did this video! Always wanted to know the you from back in the day! Just to make the comparison really. Wow you've been through so much! I have so much respect for you! Funny how some behaviour as a kid is deemed as wrong as in like too hyper! Yet to others like you said it's just the ' boys will be boys ' normal part of growing up and discovering who you are and where you fit in! Or not! As the case may be.

  5. holy shit your story is exactly the same as mine. Literally you are me.
    Nirvana…expelled from school…joined the Navy. Fuck man. We have the same damn story. Headed to level 3 navy rehab soon, 3 weeks sober. Be well dude and thanks for your channel.

  6. First off James,
    Congrats and thank you

    There is a disease called alcoholism ( regardless of what the DSM says now) that runs in the family

    There are also many people who abuse alcohol and drugs the way we do . One area of concern for me is how the fellowship of AA relies much on self-diagnosis
    In many ways so does the treatment industry ( under the standard criteria almost everyone has a problem)

    The program ( not the fellowship) does have a very simple diagnosis which can be found in the opening paragraph of we agnostics ( page 43 of the Big Book)

    Many of the self described characteristics we label alcoholic are the same as characteristics of many other people, even normal people. ( There is no specific kinda thing called alcoholic or addict thinking)
    The big thing is that we drink. And no matter what the outer appearances are, we drink when we shouldn't , we can't stop ( even if we can stop sometimes, if we cannot stop EVERYTIME we may be suffering from an illness that only a spiritual experience will change…

    The big book of AA never calls alcoholism a disease
    Bill Wilson even gave a talk to a group of Doctor's explaining that AA never called alcoholism a disease
    It is important to acknowledge that historical event
    Because regardless of what the book says or what Bill says, members say different
    AA members all over call it a disease and the AMA recognized it. But the DSM ( the diagnostic Bible) does not label alcoholic or addict as a disease.
    This probably adds to any of the stupid Fakebook arguments you see
    Screw em….
    Too many people in recovery forget their PHD stands for public highschool diploma and not a Doctorate degree( including me on occasion)

    'Pushing the Limit" Dude that describes everyone in Naval Aviation!!!!
    Even sober and old and disabled I love to push the limit

    I love how you made bargains with yourself
    Booze simply made me re-negotiate my life
    I became my lower companion's lower companion
    And still didn't see
    Logic has little to do with how we operate, but you do a decent job of conveying the message

  7. Thank you so much for your story James… especially the details.. I don’t hear these things where I go – and I identify with your childhood ‘personality disorder’. Alcoholism/ addiction was in my blood, long before a drink or drug was and I was pure trouble from 12 years old. I could not speak in company without a fix of some kind. I would not go to school much but would use anything that changed the way I felt… sniff glue etc … had lots of diagnoses when it was ‘just’ my ‘ism’. I felt like I did not belong anywhere. I was prescribed high doses of tranquillisers at 12 to help me to cope. Then alcohol at 14 I though was the answer to all my problems.. But ..Blackouts, Jails, institutions, and so much more devastation. I really appreciate what you are putting into this. It is such a gift… there is a lot more that I identify with. I’m so grateful to know I’m powerless over all mood changing substances and to have a program. That’s taught me it is not my fault – and that there is an answer. That I found in 1979.
    People like us rarely live to tell our story…
    Thank you again, your videos are brilliant

  8. Good evening James. Thank you for taking the time to prepare and produce this video. I've come to be grateful for your mission to support the recovering alcoholic. I find myself fearful of expecting and doing too much too fast. My core groans with the constant changes is my thinking and my actions since becoming sober. My sordid past quivers as it knows I'm will be coming for it. I am in AA and starting the programme with my sponsor. I have also been offered a 12 week non-residential rehab programme to. You mentioned rehab as part of your recovery. Keep doing the work you are doing and forgive my ramblings as I identify and respond to your message.

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