Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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!”


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It must be very hard, so great credit to those, like you, who find a way to climb out.

8:34 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Ah--out of the mouths not of babes.

AS they say, denial is more than a river in Egypt.

8:52 PM  
Blogger azahar said...

Alcohol consumption is bad, no matter how we look at it.

Some say wine is medicinal. Come on, who are we going to fool...no one except ourselves?

Avoid alcohol consumption at any cost.

We will not die without consuming alcohol! In fact we will be much healthier without it.

9:17 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

What a great story!! It proves we never see the truth when we look in the mirror.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Ginnie, this kind of story could also be used in many different contexts, not just that if an alcoholic, but many otherforms of denial that people go through.
I love that you share these life stories with us here. It does help gain insight into how people portray themselves, and how people are portrayed to others. Fundamentaly, we are all human, we all have feelings, we all breather the same air..and we will all die sometime.
Ginnie, you are certainly doing so very well, and I am proud to have you as a blog buddy :)

4:48 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I like that. There is a book out called Hellraisers: The Inebriated Life and Times of Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, Richard Harris & Oliver Reed. It should be an interesting read.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are similarities with addicts which is one of the ways AA works so well. I found your blog because I was interested in Lillian Roth, whom I'd never heard of before watching "I'll Cry Tomorrow" last night. She said things that I've heard others say in AA meetings which gives you that "aha!" feeling.

7:36 AM  

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