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About a year after I left the country, I learnt that Mark had died of organ failure due to his alcoholism. I remembered how I had secretly purposed to change his life for the better if I ever made it in life, maybe even do a music album with him as my pianist, but that was now gone. My daughter had wondered how in the world, the poor man could have ended up at our door, leaving all the other houses along the way.

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Mark had left an indelible mark in our lives, but what pained me more was that he had died alone, after being rejected, ridiculed and mistreated by his family and friends. Being unable to take care of himself, he was eventually left with no choice but to find his place among the homeless on the streets. He ended up in the local hospital where he died, taking with him his precious music gift to the world. I think the most important thing to note is that Alcoholism is a disease, and victims need love and compassion, just like victims of other diseases.

Understanding that this is a disease makes it easier for close family and friends to be able to accommodate the victims, and therefore makes it easier for both parties.

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Contrary to what most believe, alcoholism is not a social weakness that can easily be overcome by moral strength or sheer will power. I seriously believe that this concept in itself is what makes it extremely hard to combat this disease. It is said that most victims have an underlying problem, and that the alcoholism is only a projection of what truly ails them. Someone called it the disease of the talented and smart, because most alcoholics exhibit high intellect or talent traits like my cousin Mark or the scientists, professors, artists, and doctors we all know to be victims, and the list goes on.

I tend to agree, to some extent, but anyone can be a victim. Interesting to note is that most victims are usually extremely friendly, want no squabbles with anyone and want everyone around them to be happy and peaceful. Victims start to exhibit problems in various areas of their lives like having dysfunctional relationships, failing to perform at full potential, poor hygiene, poor nutrition, isolating themselves, poor concentration and decision making, among many others.

An individual who is dependent on alcohol will continue to drink despite the negative impact that it is having on his or her life. Understanding the problem is the first step towards overcoming it, and either cutting back to healthy levels or quitting altogether may be necessary. Effects of alcohol dependency vary from person to person, and because this a very common habit in many cultures, it can become hard to realize if one is having a problem, but if one: Feels guilty or ashamed about drinking; lies or hides about the drinking habits; needs to drink in order to relax or feel better; has urgent, uncontrollable desire to drink; blacks out or forgets what they did while they were drinking; regularly drinks more than they intended to or is unable to stop drinking despite the detrimental effects the habit is causing in their lives, they are most likely having a drinking problem.

This can then lead to cause the person to unconsciously ignore the repercussions of his or her actions, and therefore they do not recognize it as being a disease. The good news is that, no matter the length of addiction, recovery is very possible with the right support, the help of a quality alcohol addiction treatment center or hospital, and the victim can overcome the problem and revert to a life of sobriety, but it can be a long process and loving support throughout his or her journey is a great necessity.

Since it can be very difficult for the victims to understand and accept they have a problem and they need help, this can make trying to approach them so as to seek treatment a bit intimidating, but it is important to focus on doing what is best for them, even if it means putting aside our own concerns. A few things to keep in mind when dealing with, or approaching a loved one about addiction treatment: Refrain from judging and accusing; be specific about the behaviors causing you concern; lecturing or arguing to prove a point will most likely result in a defensive move; do not make excuses for the victim — it is important to understand that they have to understand and accept responsibility of their predicament.

Throwing out alcohol from the victim may cause unnecessary aggression and worsen the problem, because they are not ready to stop it yet — they will still get it anyway. Since it is their solution we are seeking, involving them in researching treatment options or centers for alcohol abuse includes them at the beginning of their healing journey and can even lead to their owning the process. Shattered Dreams: An Alcoholic's Journey. Whit's End: The Biography of a Breakdown.

Replaced with Grace. When You Love a Functional Alcoholic. Faith Has No Feelings. Denial Ain't the Answer to My Problems.

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Ask us here. Ask a Question What would you like to know about this product? Mozart, just over a dozen years older than Beethoven and well established by this time in Vienna, cast a long shadow over the younger composer and musical performer. Finally, when he was only 16, Ludwig was permitted by his father to travel to Vienna on his own.

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Now he could pursue his own career plans, separate from his father, even though he felt the tug of his responsibilities to his dear mother and brothers. Despite those family considerations, he set out on his much anticipated trip to the musical capital of the continent. As it happened, his visit was cut dramatically short by news of his mother having taken ill.

Ludwig was deeply aware of his family duty, as many children of alcoholics are, and he returned to Bonn without delay.

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Just think of what might have been! Tragically, when Beethoven could return to Vienna, five years later, Mozart had already died. The sad transition in the Beethoven family order caused the year-old to redouble his efforts to supplant his errant father, whose drinking took a turn for the worse after his wife died. Johann, whose grasp of family finances was, even during the best times, unsteady, lost his ability to keep the family afloat. Teaching became his sole source of income. It would be another three years, when Beethoven turned 21, until he was able to return to Vienna and settle in.

Pressure and isolation, for his social life had been stunted by his father, and he now had the responsibility to look after the whole family — including his needy and dissolute father. Beethoven always felt the weight of this responsibility. Maybe this explains, in part at least, why he never married, despite his evident wish for female companions. One thing we do know is that adults from alcoholic families carry through their lives the trauma of their childhood. This frequently leads to difficulties in forming healthy relationships; higher rates of anxiety and depression; excessive feelings of responsibility; and, as one might guess, an increased susceptibility to alcoholism later in life.

Though Beethoven never found a life partner, he frequently became infatuated with women he came to know. One legend is that no woman could live up to his idealistic quest for ultimate beauty. Whatever the reason, Beethoven was filled with longing, regret, and a deep desire that was expressed in the powerful emotion of his music, particularly such beloved Romantic anthems as the Moonlight sonata and the Appassionata.

Beethoven had a reputation for being disagreeable, often antisocial, and even overbearing, not unlike his father. Like Johann, he drank to excess and was sometimes found drunk and surly by visitors both in the daytime and at night. In fact, he often felt a need to apologize for his behavior, though he insisted that it was all in service of his muse.