DENIAL … the alcoholic’s crutch
I don’t think I’ve ever met an alcoholic who didn’t go through denial before finally giving in and admitting that they had a problem with alcohol. It’s a very difficult thing to admit that we are powerless over alcohol and that our lives are a mess, but that’s what it takes for many of us before we can get (and STAY) sober.
Over the years I’ve heard many variations on this denial theme, but my favorite is the one that I will relate here. It is a true story and happened to a friend of mine.
Back in the late 1980’s our man was working for a company that regularly sent him on long sales missions. He was a very heavy drinker but also cognizant of the fact that his company did not condone drinking and he was careful to hide it from them.
One Monday morning he awoke in his hotel room with a roaring hangover. He had kept himself secreted there over the weekend while he drank so he wasn’t too worried that his boss would find out. However he had a meeting with a new client at noon and he knew that he’d have to shape up and be on his best behavior for that meeting.
He shaved and showered and stood before the mirror to see how he looked. “Not too bad", he thought, and, after downing a vodka “pick me up” his shakes were under control. “I can do this”, he said to himself.
He knew he was too hung over to contemplate eating breakfast but he thought that the hotel pharmacist could recommend something for this “flu” feeling that he had. He gave his hair one last comb-through and headed out.
In the elevator he ran into a little old lady who seemed to be fascinated by him. She finally got up the nerve to speak and she said, “Pardon me young man, but are you Richard Burton?” He was immediately pumped up. Now he knew that he could handle anything that came his way ... he'd pulled it off ... to her he was handsome, famous and definitely in control.
As humbly as he could he replied, “No, maam, but thank you for the compliment.” At which point she snuggled in close to him and whispered in his ear, “He was a drunk, too, you know!”