The Dark Corridors of the Human Soul: Is Alcoholism Connected to a Loss of Free Will?

There are many misconceptions regarding alcoholism’s role in losing free will. What individuals need to be aware of is that alcoholism is a disease. The disease of being an alcoholic directly preys on an individual’s free will because they are unable to control their urges when it comes to having one more alcoholic beverage. When alcoholics enter into rehabilitative programs, there are mixed messages about free will and ultimately, many individuals end up having a relapse.

Alcoholics currently undergoing treatment or who are considering undergoing treatment, need to really face their lack of free will and build on this during their rehabilitative programs. If they do so, they will be able to have more successful recoveries and not relapse. In order to learn more about the loss of free will and alcoholism, review the information below:

The Role of Free Will in Alcoholism


Treatment programs aimed at rehabilitating patients suffering from alcoholism will many times have courses related to mindfulness, meditation, and coping exercises to regain control to one’s free will and learn how to eliminate consuming alcoholic beverages from the equation. The first issue that an alcoholic must face during their treatment program is that they have a disease and that disease makes it difficult for them to say no to alcoholic beverages. The loss of free will that takes place can happen if the alcoholic is surrounded by individuals they formally consumed alcohol with or triggered by tragic events that take place in their lives.

There is a great deal of debate about how to classify alcoholism when considering whether alcoholism is a medical disease or a failure of self-control that is due to acting irresponsibly. One can absolutely make the argument that alcoholism is a combination of both of these theories in that individuals do have a disease where they are addicted to alcohol and they also have to overcome barriers to not put themselves in irresponsible environments where they may have a relapse. The allure of a nice dinner or party with friends can be tempting, but the most successful patients from treatment programs are best off starting an entirely new phase of their lives in order to remain sober.

How to Gain Back Control of Your Free Will

a-midsection-view-of-homeless-beggar-man-sittingIndividuals who are recently out of treatment centres have an uphill battle ahead of them. It is important to be realistic about this so that the individual has the best possible chance at success in the future. From day one, it is vital to set out a strategy of rehabilitation and setting boundaries for a new chapter of life. For example, old bars, restaurants, groups of friends, should be analyzed carefully. Therapists should be hired to guide the individual in the right direction and support groups should we attended to facilitate a successful transition. Incentives should also be considered so that the individual has something to strive for.

Remember, that getting away from an addictive substance such as alcohol can cause a person to be depressed, gain weight, and take their emotions out on those that are close to them. This has to do with that lack of balance with their free will to just eliminate alcohol entirely. Having incentives and events for the individual to look forward to is a wonderful way to not miss the former lifestyle as much once they have been released from rehabilitative programs. For example, even having special concert tickets, new clothing or trips to celebrate sobriety can make the person look forward to the other joys that life can bring and motivate their tendency to relapse. If the individual lives with a large family, then the entire family needs to meet with therapists to clearly discuss rules and boundaries to be sure that the individual has the best possible support they can in order to remain sober successfully. The sooner that the family lets go of their anger and acts as a pillar of support, the better off the individual will be as they attempt to control their free will once again, addiction free.

Ways You Can Get Additional Support

glass-of-alcoholThe importance of having followed up treatment is vital to an individual’s success in gaining control over alcoholism. Each week should be planned perfectly with support there if needed and a long-term strategy should be put in place to continue that support if it is necessary. Each day should be taken as a step-by-step process towards recovery. Families and individuals should not feel that their recovery will be instant because it will not. It will take time to heal and it is those that do not give the proper time that will have relapses in the future. Family members also need to consider getting additional support so that they can work through their own issues and then be more supportive to the individual that is trying to remain sober. Many times, anger from close family members can be a negative environment that causes the individual suffering from alcoholism to relapse because they don’t’ have that strong pillar of support that they truly need at home.

Stressful events happen in life. It is important for individuals to have a contingency plan in place if a stressful event does happen to them. The idea here is to be sure support is available if they have a stressful time at work, financial issues or a death in the family. These events can be triggers for relapses and a former alcoholic will be at their absolute lowest during these times. Support group meetings, daily therapy, and support from family members are essential during these times to ensure the best possible coping mechanism that does not include turning to alcohol. Be sure that the individual is sharing openly with close family members or friends about events happening in their life. This way be a good way to see whether the person is doing well or whether they are going through a stressful situation where they are going to need double the support in order to avoid being at risk of relapsing.

Useful Activities to Enjoy Now That You are Sober

glass-of-alcoholRealizing that there is more to life than drinking is another way of taking control of one’s free will. Alcoholics that did not go to the gym previously, should absolutely try yoga classes or spinning classes. Whatever kind of workout is interesting to the individual should be a new routine for them to enjoy. Exercise is an important element to a recently recovered alcoholic’s success because it not only heals the body, but it also heals the mind, which has a great deal of healing to do. Finding a way to have balanced workouts is best. For example, traditional cardio or working with a personal trainer once per week. Then, it could be wise to integrate yoga or strength conditioning classes including kickboxing to add variety. What these workouts essentially do is to provide a routine that the individual can look forward to and feel even better physically, mentally, and spiritually as a result.

If mindfulness classes are helpful in addition to the gym or finding new hobbies such as cooking classes, these activities should absolutely be included in the person’s schedule. Having a new purpose in life and finding new passions is a way to put one’s past of alcoholism in a locked away corner and hopefully, not return there. If an individual is struggling to find what they are interested in, then it is best to try as many new hobbies as possible and see which ones are the most interesting. Upon deciding which hobbies are ideal, then it will be possible for individuals to have something to look forward to that goes beyond traditional therapy and support group meetings.

Final Remarks

Obtaining one’s free will back is no easy feat. The hardest step is accepting that alcoholism is something that takes so much from those that suffer from it, this includes family, friends, and loved ones as well. Accepting that the individual is fragile is the key to recovery. Moving too quickly back into old habits without proper support is one of the primary causes of relapse. The goal should be to heal gradually and take control of one’s free will with time. This can occur through participating in support groups and traditional therapy sessions. This can also occur through finding new passions in life that do not include consuming alcohol. Once the individual has the ability to see that there is so much more to see and do that does not involve alcohol, then they will truly be able to maintain long-term sobriety because they will have taken back control of their free will and will flourish as a result. So long as an individual has love and support around them, it is absolutely possible that they will be able to overcome their alcoholism and life a happy and peaceful life for many years to come.