Only when addicts and their families break the cycle of denial and face reality will successful recovery take place.
Alcoholics and drug addicts become obsessed with their substance of choice. They spend a majority of their time thinking about alcohol or drugs, actually drinking or using, and then recovering from the substance abuse. As the problem continues to progress, the obsession grows stronger.
The result is a system of lies and deceitful behavior that affects not only the addict, but the addict’s family, as well.
Irrational Alcoholic Thinking
Alcoholics and drug addicts believe they are exceptions.
They convince themselves that they are entitled to abuse alcohol and drugs because they are different from other people. They think their problems are more difficult, their circumstances more stressful, and their lives generally more unfair than those of other people. They also try – and fail – to prove that they can drink or use in a socially acceptable manner. This personal obsession leads to irrational thinking and lies.
They say one thing and do another. They create elaborate stories – sometimes when they are actually under the influence of drugs or alcohol – about their behavior. They make promises to “quit for good this time,” and they break the promises over and over again. This deceit places a tremendous strain on relationships, and the family often becomes involved in their own obsessions.
Family members who are caught in the web of deceit and chaos created by an addict end up becoming obsessed themselves. They spend a majority of their time wondering what the addicts are doing, worrying about their safety and devising ways to convince them to stop drinking or using. They count the number of drinks the alcoholic is having; they search the rooms of the addict for hidden drugs. They monitor phone calls and text messages, and they telephone friends and employers to find out the substance abuser’s whereabouts. This obsession leads to a different set of lies. The family covers up the addicts’ behavior by making excuses for them. They pretend nothing is wrong when everything is wrong.