Alcoholic Personality?

Image of man with the text, "My alcoholism is not determined by my personality."

I hear a lot at meetings about how non-alcoholics are considered “normies”. The takeaway is that, as an alcoholic, therefore, I’m somehow permanently damaged and deranged–a demented outcast best suited for a leper colony or something. It’s an “us-versus-them” mentality with respect to the rest of humanity.

Don’t know about that.

Listen, I’ve got some neighbors who I assume are not alcoholics. They’re at least as nutty as I am. I’d describe one couple as being overly rigid and starchy. Another pair tend to exaggerate stuff all the time. Then, next door there’s the duo who are always bad-mouthing each other behind each others’ backs. “Normies”? Hardly!

Yeah, I know I’m being judgmental. Why not? I’m entitled to my defects of character too. Right?

Fact is, my alcoholism is not determined by my personality. There is no such thing as an “alcoholic personality”. We all know that even within the program, there’s a wide diversity of…well…characters.

My alcoholism is of purely genetic origin.

Lemme give you another example–my mother-In-law. Here’s someone who is the most narcissistic, manipulative, self-absorbed person I’ve ever encountered—maybe even worse than me! So the theory goes that she has all the “isms” and therefore must be an alcoholic. Wrong! She rarely touches the stuff. Kind of wish she would sometimes.

Fact is, that as an alcoholic, my shortcomings, defects, or whatever else you want to call my flaws, if not held in check, will proliferate to the extent that I will go back to drinking and all of its negative consequences. Ka-Boom! Just like that!

One purpose of the AA program is to help me keep my demons at a manageable level to forestall such a tragedy. To the extent this process is successful, I’m probably as “normal” as these so-called “normies” in that greater society that exists outside of AA.

Brian K.