I don’t know who coined the phrase “functioning alcoholic” (probably the same who coined “co-dependent” and “enabler”) but frankly it’s, well bull shit.
“Functioning alcoholic” is suppose to distinguish the falling-down-drunk, smelly, dirty alcoholics who pass out in the back alley while drinking cheap gin out of a brown paper bag from, you know..
The nice alcoholics.
The ones with jobs and cars and a house on a cul-de-sac.
The ones who sip their alcohol from a glass while sitting in front of their kazillion-inch big screen tv.
The ones who pass out in the den or family room or living room.
The ones who shower and wear nice clothes and don’t have to dig for change in order to buy a “tall boy.”
Yes, we need to make sure to not mix up the “functioning” alcoholics with the “real” alcoholics.
The ones who destroy their lives.
And the lives of everyone around them.
The ones who choose booze over family.
The ones who’d rather drink then engage in intrapersonal relationships.
The ones who make up excuses for their drinking, deny the pain of their drinking and vow they could stop drinking “tomorrow” if they wanted to.
They just don’t want to.
Funny, when you describe the alcoholic that way, it’s hard to tell the “real” one from the “functioning” one.