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"The Power of Overcoming Addiction"

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

My Encounter with James and His Battle against Alcoholism

Hello everyone! I'm Ivan, born and raised in the beautiful northern region of Tenerife, which has allowed me to enjoy a peaceful childhood and life on this paradise island. A few months ago, I met James, my neighbor, and I was fascinated by his story of overcoming addiction. His courageous battle against alcoholism deeply inspired me and led me to reflect on human resilience and the power to confront our darkest challenges.

Fortunately, I haven't personally experienced alcoholism in my own life. However, I have witnessed its presence in society and in other countries outside of Spain, whether through family members or friends. In general, I perceive that the idea of consuming alcohol, both in social gatherings and in everyday life (when done irresponsibly), has become highly normalized. It is often portrayed as something "cool," especially among young people. Unlike tobacco or other drugs, which have been more stigmatized, the long-term effects of alcohol consumption are also significant, although they may not be as immediately harmful as some other substances.

The general and objective idea is that of a chronic disease characterized by alcohol dependence and excessive consumption, which can have negative effects on a person's physical, mental, and social health.

However, each person has their own perception and experience with it, thus their own definition of it. James briefly told me that his dependence on alcohol was very strong, as he used to drink alcohol daily from 1994 to 2020, except during a 5-day trip to Saudi Arabia, where it is illegal. Consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol for 9,485 days, even during periods of illness, remarkably had no permanent damage to his kidneys and liver when tested on admittance to a private rehabilitation.

Addiction is a complex and multifaceted issue that has been recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization. However, there are numerous misconceptions and a significant amount of stigma surrounding addiction. In James' opinion, this stigma often hinders progress in understanding and addressing the challenges faced by individuals struggling with addiction. It is important to recognize that addiction can affect anyone, regardless of their background, socioeconomic status, or personal circumstances. By removing the stigma associated with addiction, we can encourage individuals to seek help and support without fear of judgment or discrimination.

James is aware of individuals who have successfully achieved sobriety from alcohol addiction without seeking professional assistance. However, it is important to acknowledge that each person's journey to recovery is unique, and what may work for one individual may not necessarily work for another. In his case, James felt that he would be better equipped and have a higher likelihood of success by seeking medical attention and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to address his specific needs. He was correct, as he remains sober and on a positive recovery journey.

I, Ivan, am excited to participate in this project and contribute to its development. Despite lacking personal experience or direct contact with alcoholism, I am eager to understand and empathize with people who struggle with this addiction in their daily lives. By being part of this project, I can play a role in supporting those facing this challenge and feel fulfilled knowing that my work has a positive impact, accompanied by the great empathic work that James has on addiction and once having overcome it, he fights for others to achieve it as he did. I look forward to learning and growing in this process, and to working alongside others to foster a deeper understanding and empathetic attitude toward those battling alcohol addiction.

To continue following my journey as an intern, I will be posting on Instagram.

Written by Ivan 22nd, week 2 of internship at Dry Holidays | Tenerife | Canaries | Spain.


Jun 25, 2023



May 23, 2023

Congratulations on your first blog, Ivan 👏

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