An Alcoholic in Denial

“Don’t worry about me…I’m fine!”  “It is really not a problem at all.”  “Stop making such a big deal out of this!”  “Would you just leave me alone?” Sound familiar? If there is an active alcoholic in denial in your life, then I am sure you are nodding your head. Denial – the action of declaring something to be untrue. Have we all used denial at some point in our lives? Have there been times in our life that it seems as though others are seeing something we simply cannot or will not see? We kind of push that little voice of reason and truth to the side and go ahead with the behavior anyway? Sure for some denial is a defense mechanism that serves a very important purpose, it protects them perhaps from what they are not ready to see. In the grieving process, denial is the first stage for some. This defense needs to be there in order for that person to function. The problem for many is that there comes a point where the defense mechanism of denial no longer protects the individual from harm, but rather healing. For addicts and alcoholics much of the drive to drink stems from the feelings they are experiencing in the moment or the anxiety created by anticipation of the feelings they are trying desperately to avoid. Many of the alcoholics and addicts that I treat are intellectually intelligent people. They appear to have the ability to understand things, to make sense of things…as long as those things are not about their drinking or the impact their drinking has on...

The Other Victims of Addiction

Addiction is a chronic and if not treated, fatal disease. It captures the addict, imprisons the addict and hangs on with claws that have a grip tighter and more powerful than any animal you will ever encounter. The addicted individual suffers greatly and often finds themselves in the depths of despair they never knew could be possible. However, there are other victims of this awful disease and they often lose the most in this horrific battle……..they are the children. Children who grow up in alcoholic families are often the most damaged by the disease – unlike the addict, they have little escape. They are confused, they are frightened and more often than not, they blame themselves for the chaos that is going on in the household. Addiction is a selfish disease and without some kind of treatment or self-help the addicted individual is self-absorbed, cruel and thinks nothing of what their actions are doing to those who love them most – their kids. Take a moment and place yourself in the body of a 3, 4, 5 or even 10, 11, 12 year old. Look at the addicted parent through their eyes – they see their hero, their mother or their father acting in a way that is confusing, frightening and they know that something is “wrong”. It has been said many times that if you want the truth you ask a kid, that is because children are more perceptive and observant than most adults. Children have not yet been exposed to all the distractions of adulthood. They continue to believe that the adults in their world will protect...