Alcohol addiction: I am sober, very sober.

Person concerned: Grit Kern

Year of birth: 1964

Diagnosis: Alcohol addiction

Therapies: Self-help group

Resources: Interest in knowledge, ability to learn, self-help group, BKE


How and when did you find out about your illness?

Others told me and at some point I believed them.


Why did you decide to show your face now?

I’m not embarrassed to be ill.


How did those around you react when they found out about your illness and how would you like those around you (and society) to treat your illness?

Everyone knew, everyone saw how I drank. They didn’t say much about it then and they don’t say anything about it now. Alcoholism doesn’t seem to be that interesting. So I make it interesting for myself by thinking about it and talking about it.


What things have helped you the most to accept the disease?

The fact that it is unchangeable. The joy I have in life despite my alcoholism. The knowledge that I’m not alone.


What resources do you use in crisis situations?

My emergency kit, my self-help group, experience and confidence.


What advice would you like to give other sufferers?

It’s always worthwhile, at any time. It’s interesting to set out on the path and it’s fun to walk it. There are more people in this world who are similar, think similarly or live similarly to me for completely different reasons than I imagined. I want to find these people and I can find them. I can be wrong, but I can always reorient myself.


What advice would you like to give to other family members? How can they best help you (on the one hand) and themselves (on the other)?

Take care of yourselves and give me a friendly wave.

I ask when I need help and I say what I need it for.


What defines your character and what trait do you value most about yourself?

I’m friendly, a little conflict-averse, open and interested. I’m phlegmatic with a choleric streak, very quick on my feet and even quicker back down again. I value my principles, but rarely turn them into dogma (there is little room for negotiation with alcoholism, but more in life). I am enthusiastic, but I think carefully about whether the enthusiasm is worth it. I am never at a loss.