…denial is not just some symptom of alcoholism but rather a very real and very human reluctance to admitting being in the wrong.
There are many myths and misunderstandings about the nature of alcohol problems and how it should be treated. Some of this is covered in more detail in the frequently asked questions however it is such an important issue that it is worth repeating here.
Perhaps the first issue is the use of the word alcoholism. Alcoholism for many people conjures up a picture of a hopeless drunk, who drinks 24 hours a day and is often homeless. Although these people certainly exist, they represent a tiny and extreme minority of the people who have alcohol problems. The majority of people who have alcohol or drinking problems look nothing like that, they generally look just like you and me. There is a saying that “If you can’t smell them, you can’t tell them” or to put it another way, if you can’t smell the alcohol and see that they are intoxicated, then you would not know that they have problem.
The Problem with the Term “Alcoholism”
One of the problems of using the word alcoholism to describe drinking problems is that people often think in an all or nothing way about alcohol problems. Thus many people do not seek help or attempt to change because they do not feel that they fit the description of the alcoholic. Let’s look at a list of reasons that people give for not being an ‘alcoholic’.
- I don’t drink every day
- I hold down a job
- I often drink without getting drunk
- I have never been hospitalized for drinking
- I have never been arrested for drinking
- I don’t drink any more than my friends
- I often don’t drink for days at a time
Anyone who is concerned about their drinking, or has been confronted by the family or friends, will probably have used one, or even all, of these lines at some stage and they are probably true. Most people in that situation will try and defend their drinking behavior, not because they are suffering from some kind of alcoholic denial but rather, because people are reluctant to change their behavior, any behavior. Look at how people regard themselves in other spheres for example, how many people do you know who would say I must go and get more driving lessons because I’m a terrible driver, or I’m really awful at my job. So denial is not just some symptom of alcoholism but rather a very real and very human reluctance to admitting being in the wrong.
Am I an Alcoholic?
A common question people ask, and indeed see you may have come here asking the same question, is am I an alcoholic? Perhaps a more sensible question is do I have a problem with my drinking? You can answer that one quite easily by yourself, you don’t need any questionnaires, diagnostic instruments or a doctor. If alcohol is causing you problems in your life, your health, your relationships, your finances, legally or in any other way then yes you do have a problem with your drink and yes you should change your drinking behavior.
Do I need to got to AA?
The other myth surrounding alcoholism is that you need to attend AA, a doctor or a rehab. If you want to do any or all of these things, that’s okay. However that is not compulsory and in most cases is not required. The latest research clearly shows that the majority of people who recover from alcohol problems do so without going to treatment or AA. Most of us have the ability and the resources to change our lives if we so desire. That includes being able to change addictive behavior, drugs, alcohol, smoking or any other unhealthy behaviors. If we want to change we can!!!
If you want to change if you want to explore you and your resources, if you want a new life then this site can certainly help you to do that. This site contains the tools that you need to change. This site contains directions for you to tap into you and our resources, to tap into the strength within you. This site is a gateway to a new life. Take the assessments and register for this site. You have nothing to lose but your problems.