Why are alcoholics so unlikely to acknowledge and act on their own problems? The short answer is that theyíre in denial. To understand how denial works, we must first look at fear in this context. After drinking your problems away for years and drowning your sorrows in a glass, you reach a point when you canít imagine life without alcohol. Even though you know you have to do something about it, the petrifying fear of the unknown will usually stop you dead in your tracks.
Today, I can say for a fact that if you want to address your drinking problem and recover from alcohol addiction, you have plenty of treatment options at your disposal. Unfortunately, in order to get well you first need to admit you have a problem. Regardless of whether you consider yourself a social drinker or you resort to drinking some wine in order to sleep better, these are just typical excuses suggesting you donít really want to change.
Denial is the biggest obstacle you have to overcome
Alcoholics and particularly functioning alcoholics Ė like I used to be Ė will resort to all sorts of excuses to justify their actions and avoid facing the harsh reality. The common lie I used to tell myself was that I needed a bit of relief after a hard day at work.
In my mind, I was the victim of very unfair circumstances. Seeing my boss in a position for which he wasnít really qualified and having to smile while he was blabbering on and on about how heís better than anyone else in the company really got to me.
Alcohol was the only thing that gave me some reprieve in a world full of unfairness. You can imagine that I wasnít about to let anyone or anything take away my only comfort. Every time my parents, my wife, or one of my friends made a comment about how I should stop drinking, my immediate reaction was indignation.
Back then, I used to perceive the people around me as clueless. They were simply ignorant and couldnít understand this was just a means of relaxation. I even attempted to show my accusers that I donít drink more than them and besides, it helps me forget all about my unreasonable boss.
All that pestering could lead to a result
Now I realize that I was blind and that the alcohol addiction was a big part of my misery. It was unfair of me to resent the person who brought up the topic and answer him or her in a rather aggressive matter.
If you have a friend or spouse who has a drinking problem, donít confront him/her directly. No person in denial will instantly turn their life around when struck by the hammer of rationality, especially under the influence. Understand that these things take time.
Thankfully, my family and friends didnít give up on me and always found new ways to bring this topic into our discussions. They managed to plant the seed in my head and after a while, I was forced to reexamine my life and realize I have a problem. Even though this wonít work for everyone, it doesnít hurt to try.