Denial, lies and dishonesty appear to go hand in hand with alcoholism. The family, friends and work associates of an alcoholic, when asked about their experience of involvement with alcoholism will invariably make reference to “the lies”.
Are all alcoholics pathological liars? Do people with alcoholism suffer from a fundamental flaw in their character that means they can’t help lying.
Is the dishonesty of alcoholics caused by their alcoholism.
Or is the dishonesty of alcoholics a myth – are alcoholic’s simply misunderstood.
It could be said that the alcoholic means no harm, is full of good intentions. – that despite their best endeavors – their good intentions very often fail to materialize.
Alcoholics say mean things, are abusive to other people – is this not just their way of making themselves feel better.
Does an alcoholic in fact have control or choice where his behavior is concerned.
Perhaps it would be as well to consider what goes on for an alcoholic – to see where the lies come in, see what function or purpose telling a lie might serve, and what possible benefit lies might be to an alcoholic.
Take the alcohol drinking itself. People drink to get merry. The purpose of alcohol drinking is to create an aura of pleasant feelings and satisfaction, whatever our current reality.
Alcohol drinking enhances our experience of pleasure, and is a defense against painful feelings such as guilt or shame, futility and frustration, insignificance, isolation and inadequacy. Alcohol drinking creates an illusion of competence, and control.
Alcohol intoxication creates an illusion, the alcoholic is effectively living a lie. Abuse of alcohol covers up problems. People without the benefit of professional insight and assistance can rarely understand, much less be able to acknowledge, the precise area of difficulty, the reasons for the “triggers” for alcohol abuse.
That is in fact the nub of the problem with all and any drug use. The person who makes drug use their choice lacks the necessary life skills and discipline to achieve a more natural and healthy solution. A person will use alcohol if it answers to a need.
The resolution of alcoholism is in reworking and resolving some fundamental attitudes and approaches to life. Until that help is obtained, the person who has found alcohol to be a “resolution” will continue to live the lie.
A person will defend the grand illusion that their alcohol abuse creates – it is indeed their life raft in a stormy sea. Many chronic users of alcohol increasingly prioritizes alcohol use – as other support systems fail.
The more a person uses alcohol in preference to other relationships, the more he tends to alienate himself.
The more introverted and attached to the bottle an alcoholic becomes, the more he is likely to be socially outcast and rejected, lose his employment, become homeless and discarded.
The alcoholic will construct a fabric of lies that will enable him to keep using alcohol despite the fact that it is causing him social harm. Anyone in close proximity to or relationship with the alcoholic will be touched and tainted by their malaise.
The extent to which we as a society and as individuals co-operate with, excuse and permit the alcoholic fantasy – makes us all to some degree co-dependents, and enablers of alcoholism in the community. It is for each and everyone in society to take a more rigorous stand and approach to the issues of alcoholism.
Too often we turn a blind eye, make a joke of it, see alcohol abuse and social issues as simply being too hard for us as individuals to do anything about. We use alcohol ourselves, although we are fortunate to have the integrity to keep it under control. We look towards the alcoholic with a mixture of pity and revulsion – we can handle our lives, our alcohol drinking – why cannot they do the same.
Studies show that alcohol abuse is often related to early trauma – people are stuck with issues from their past that are inhibiting their capacity to develop as fully independent and autonomous individuals. Dysfunctional patterns of behavior are present not only in alcoholics. There will have been problems in the previous, parental generation.
There will be problems for the adult child of the alcoholic. The lies and deception that maintain the fantasy that alcoholism is empowering continue down through the generations - to an extent that alcoholism has been thought of as being genetic by many, or else a chronic disease.
Comprehensive alcohol and drug addiction recovery centers enable alcoholics, in complete emotional safety, and with comprehensive support to bring out and examine the issues that make them turn to alcohol use.
When you have skeletons in the closet – why feel shame and disgrace. The best thing to do with old skeletons is to make them get up and dance, acknowledge the past as having no “hold” on us – and move on to a better life.
Alcoholism is very much a resolution of old issues by an inappropriate means. Alcoholics need to return to past issues and resolve them now, in a more positive way.
Comprehensive alcohol and drug recovery programs understand – are ready and able to help alcoholics and their families along the road to full recovery and health.