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The Storm of Life

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The Storm of Life

Among the homeless alcoholism is much widespread. Surely the number of people who drink wine and get drunk is very high.

It is not always easy to define the human paths of these alcoholics but certainly the condition of being homeless represents a multiplier of this habit, born on the street or before.

What does let these people drinking so much wine to such a point that they are almost always drunk?

The reason why they begun to drink is sometimes accidental or far-off. Other times it is a stage in a complex and long way of social outcasting. However the knowledge of the beginning grounds, useful in order to define the human paths of these alcoholics, is not sufficient to allow a recovery. So the self-consciousness of the beginning grounds is not sufficient alone to help them to stop drinking. On the contrary, the so-called secondary grounds connected to life on the street are much stronger, and they are not few.

Cold inside and outside

First of all the cold: sometimes on the street the rigours of winter are intolerable and the homeless often are not sufficiently covered to defend themselves. To drink become half a necessity even if the initially sensation of hot is an illusion: so we can explain the deaths from frostbite that unfortunately verify each year during winter. Not rarely we encounter homeless alcoholics seriously undernourished, hardly able to stand, not only because they are drunk, but also because they are weak: in fact, the more they drink the less they eat and the less they have desire to eat.

The night is endless

For the homeless sleeping is not easy: the places where they protect during the night, besides being lacking of any comforts, are very noisy. After a drunk, sleep becomes so deep that they do not hear either cold or uncomfortable position or confusion around.

Loneliness is an enemy

The biggest enemy for people living on the street is loneliness: whole days spent around the city, among hundreds people but alone. In loneliness the weight of memories, the troubles for the present and for the future become heavier: the only way to escape is to drink to take the mind off things, hoping to forget. The shame for one's conditions often adds to cold, hunger and loneliness.

Alcohol transforms the life of these people, not only objectively, but also it transforms their character, their mood and it conditions their actions to such a point to let them appearing owner of themselves anymore. This makes them suffering, because it is a vicious circle which feeds itself.

They often are people young anymore, who went through a crisis moment in their life, maybe surmountable with the necessary sustain, which became the beginning of a gradual yet irreversible route of social exclusion. No-one can become alcoholic in a day and the more the habit to drink continues during the time, the more it is difficult to stop it.

Living for who?

The burning desire for a "normal life" always remains, but their conditions make this just an unobtainable dream. Their existences often swing between the desire to change life and the fear of a failure of a new life.

Why to stop in drinking if, after this, life goes on like before, homeless, unemployed? Why to begin again? Maybe we can ask: why and for who to stop? Not for the family, sometimes absent or in which an incurable break-up verified. Not for the friends, that they do not have. Not for one's professional knowledge, often lost together with the health, or never owned. The most the motivations to stop are lacking, but the desire to do it remains.

This problem is deeply connected to the quality of alcoholics life: they often need all in. Home, possibility to regain regular rhythm and habit, to find a stability and a material safety in everyday life are necessary presupposition for a possible rehabilitation. But quality of life is made up of human and social relationships, interests, expectations too. This "human fabric" represents the reinstatement in social life. For the homeless this often has been completely destroyed during years of isolation and social outcasting. It is not possible to speak of recovery without rebuilding this interlacement.

Life hanging by a thread

Moreover the life of these people is hanging by a thread: in fact alcoholism, together with the consequential illnesses and with the accidents provoked when drunk, is one of the most frequent cause of death among the homeless.


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