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Old 11-14-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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What is it that makes some alcoholics willing to admit and accept that they have a problem and get help, while other alcoholics live and eventually die in denial?
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
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The former just can't take it any more.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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What about people in the hospital for serious conditions induced by alcoholism, who are told by doctors that they will die if they don't stop drinking...and yet they continue drinking anyway?
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
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Alcohol is a really powerful substance that feeds upon itself, making the user actually feel better, for a while, thus the thinking (stinkin thinking) is that "it can't be bad for me". Alot has to do with early family values, I believe, that deny anything that is wrong. I think there just has to be real trust in something else (a higher being, power, person, etc.) in order to leave the old way of thinking and accept the new, which says, "I will conquer this thing before it conquers me. " Very very difficult to do. JMHO
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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My boyfriend's alcoholic paternal grandfather died in denial. He was hospitalized and the doctors told him he had five months to live. He didn't believe them and was determined to "beat the doctors" at their own game. He died four months later, at age 56.
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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Alcoholics have to hit bottom before they attempt recovery. Everyone has different bottoms. Some never reach theirs before the disease ends their life.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
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You have to truly want to quit in order to stop. People say they really want to quit all the time, that they hope they can do it, will really try, will do this, this, and this but the bottom line is if you deep-down want to quit, you will. And that goes for anything. Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, overeating. I'm not saying it is easy but having to want to quit is the first step. The other people give lip service and spend all their time formulating a plan to start up again. Or like the grandfather, they say to heck with it and keep on drinking.

Ultimately we are the captain of our own ship and we do what we want. I think the biggest bottom line is how much we value ourselves and our health. A heck of a lot of people don't.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3divina View Post
What is it that makes some alcoholics willing to admit and accept that they have a problem and get help, while other alcoholics live and eventually die in denial?
Denial and hopelessness are pretty strong parts of human nature, unfortunately. Some people are naturally optimistic and positive, but others have a darker or weaker nature.

I've seen people who have lost their voice boxes due to cancer who still smoke. Why does a person who weighs 300 pounds not go on a diet? Why are people told everyday by their spouses, "I'm leaving if you don't stop doing ___." And the person doesn't stop even though they may love their family. Why does a kid who's already on probation do another stupid, bad thing that will send him to prison?

My personal thought about it is: life can be hard. For many people the daily grind, the lack of hope that bad things will improve, the inability to imagine how to get out of a hole, the natural resistance to change, the uncomfortableness of asking for help, keep many of us stuck. Others engage in the magical thinking that things will get better when they've done nothing to work toward change.

What's the natural inclination when we feel horrible? Reach for whatever thing makes us feel safe and comfortable and enables us to stop thinking about our problems. Perhaps it's something fairly innocuous like shopping, computer surfng, golfing, watching TV. It can also be something that causes more problems to society and more damage to the individual like alcohol, drugs, compulsive overeating, risky sex. In any case, when we feel bad most of the time, and time and again reach for the same crutch, it becomes an obsession. One might even have an obsession that could lead to fame or fortune, like shooting hoops, writing, or working on a business 24/7. But those are the lucky and the few.

In any case, the inner compulsion that drives the action is the same. Only the degree of the compulsion and the means by which it is acted out differ.

My late father used to play the lottery every day of his life. He absolutely believed he was one ticket away from a million dollars. When he was totally bereaved by his brother's death, he stopped on his way to the funeral and bought his lottery tickets. It was crazy how much he spent. My mother would just shrug and say, "At least he doesn't drink. He's home every night and he talks to me. That's more than some women have."

I'm not saying that's good but it's life for maybe the majority of people. Yes, we should address our shortcomings and change. But so few of us possess the tools to do it. I think that's why the people who are most successful at overcoming a dangerous compulsion got help from outside themselves. An anonymous group, a great therapist, even replacing a negative compulsion with a more positive one. They recognized a cycle and broke it.

Hope for betterment is an important part of life and one younger people often take for granted. But for many what Thoreau wrote is true: Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.[LEFT]
That doesn't HAVE to be true, but it takes self-understanding, desire, determination, and follow-through to make major changes. Or as they say in AA, you have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired.

[/LEFT]
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:33 AM
 
Location: The 719
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I don't think some alcoholics are in denial. Denial to me is a treatment center term. Some alcoholics know full-well their condition. Some may be in some kind of denial in that they think they can beat the game.

Some alcoholics drink because it feels good and solves all their problems. Then they arise remorseful and sick and vow to never drink again. To them, they are telling the truth to the best of their ability.

But as time goes on, they heal up and they're back at it... with the idea that they can control it this time.

Some are given the gift of clarity and see that they cannot control the amount once they start, nor can they stay stopped for any length of time. So, if they really own this... this inability to stay stopped AND the inability to control it once they start, then the obvious solution would seem to be to just quit for good and all.

But, is that so easy? No. Why? Because once the alcoholic puts down the booze, their problems really start. They need to find a sufficient substitute to the booze.

If one could measure the state of consciousness that a drunk gets from booze, you might better understand. It takes them up to a state of bliss that's hard to achieve on this here world. That natural high is there, but very elusive and hard to obtain, much less hold onto.

This is why A.A. stresses getting a person into steps that sets out to rid them of their guilt and resentments towards the world so they can clean out what's inside of them and blocking them from a useful and happy life. Once the steps are completed or even near completion, the alcoholic does not even want to drink. Their problem is solved, and they have the ability to enjoy life and even contribute to life in an unselfish way.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3divina View Post
What is it that makes some alcoholics willing to admit and accept that they have a problem and get help, while other alcoholics live and eventually die in denial?
Some people get to a point where they realize they just can't live with their illness anymore and decide to change. This may or may not come after job loss, end of a relationship, or other problems due to their illness.
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