“All Alcoholics Are Liars!”
We hear variations on the universal theme all the time, of course. The AA twist on this is that, if you have a problem with alcohol, then you are either “an admittedly powerless alcoholic or you are (a liar) in denial!”
This bit of nonsense suits the 12 step treatment industry since it absolves them from any responsibility for determining exactly where someone falls on the “alcohol abuse/alcohol dependent” spectrum.
Treatment programs do not provide a safe environment in which people can be honest, and then they say, “See! You’re lying!” Imagine that.
Frankly, when it comes to being “in denial” most rehab programs suffer from it far more than their clients do.
Exactly what do they deny?
They deny that what they do is effective – it isn’t; they deny that they want you to fail – they do; they deny that they are selling “the king’s new clothes” – they are; and so on.
Frankly, few of our clients have ever lied to themselves about their drinking. Virtually none lie to us, though they may to spouses, family members, employers, and judges because, after all, telling the truth may get them in far more trouble than telling lies, especially if they get away with the lies.
Why don’t they lie to us? Because we don’t punish them. We’re safe.
Want to hear lies? Call any of the well-known treatment programs, or click on and read Mary Ellen’s popular article:
Want to hear more lies? Go to any AA meeting and listen to the old drunks competing with each other as to who can fabricate the worst war stories.
Want to have a real solution? Then read
Not all of our clients are older, as this young man noted:
“…Also, my relationships have all improved, and as a result, I’ll be getting married in 2 weeks to C…, my long-time, on-again, off-again girlfriend that I spoke to you about. We were engaged in March of last year.
I’m constantly reminding myself that balance is of paramount priority, and have been doing pretty well with it. Of course, I’ve had a few slips here and there, but they’re fewer and farther between as time has progressed.
I’m no longer a night owl–I’m up at 5am each day, begin with a workout, and am usually in bed by 9:30pm; and I feel great. Weekends are no longer one long party, instead I look forward to the things that I can do spending time with fiancé, family, dog–anything I can do to enjoy the outdoors.
The time spent with you was extremely therapeutic, and life-changing for me–one of the best things I ever decided to do.” ~R.
Notice the emphasis – not on negatives. A slip is just a slip, nothing to be concerned about any more than gaining a pound is after a 40 lb weight loss. No counting days of not drinking, but instead celebrating positives and success!
How different is that from the 12 Step fixation on failure?
No labels, no meetings, no diseases, no losers. A real life.
It’s yours for the choosing, too.