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August 2004

The Body Knows

Even when the mind is gone, the disease lives on

My father was my first example of active alcoholism, recovery a day at a time, and powerlessness over alcohol. In his later years, my dad developed Alzheimer's and eventually did not know who anyone was. He wanted to know who the woman was who lived with him, nor realizing that she was his wife of fifty-plus years. He believed that the people on television were really there in his house and wanted them to leave. I could give you further examples, but I list these so you will understand that he had lost the ability to make conscious, rational choices. What happened showed me that acceptance of powerlessness is the beginning of the answer to alcoholism.


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