Denial ain’t just a river in EgyptPosted November 6, 2013 by Moragh Lippert
This quote by Mark Twain aptly describes what is happening right now with Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. The denial and absolute refusal to realize the truth is the typical response of someone who seems to be deeply suffering from addiction and/or alcoholism.
My denial started early. I was confronted as a teenager about my drinking. “Me a drunk? No way! I am just drinking to relax, to have fun.” Later when it was suggested to me by the father of my children that I go to Alcoholics Anonymous I defiantly stated “I’m not a drunk! I don’t have a problem with alcohol! I just have a problem with YOU and my LIFE. I’m drinking because it helps me to cope!”
Until I came to realize the truth, I adamantly refused to consider a treatment centre or the rooms of AA or Narcotics Anonymous. But I got there eventually. How did that happen? What makes an addict finally get honest?
I will write about what changes to make an addict realize the truth in a future blog post. For now, if you suspect you or someone you know has a problem with an addictive substance or behaviour, here are some of the signs common to addicts in the throes of denial:
- Broken promises such as “this is the last time”
- Increased lying and deceit especially to loved ones and close friends
- Escalating risky behaviour associated with obtaining or consuming their drug of choice
- Complete obsession about obtaining the next fix
- Decline in health; lack of self nurturing and self love
- Poor nutrition
- Massive egoic behaviour coupled with poor self esteem
- Victim mentality – an inability to take personal responsibility for their behaviour – addicts/alcoholics almost always blame someone/something or a situation for their behaviour
- Moral, spiritual, emotional, physical and mental bankruptcy
- Lack of maturity and stunted emotional intelligence
- Relationships and job performance decrease in importance and function
- Inappropriate and skewed thinking
- Poor impulse control and judgement
And the list goes on. It is important to remember that addiction is disease. This does not mean the person is not responsible for their actions but it is important to keep in mind that there are other factors involved including physiological and emotional imbalance, abuse, lack of nurturing and genetic tendencies.
As weird as it may seem, Mayor Rob Ford is doing us a service. He is our mirror to be mindful of our behaviour and integrity. He gives us the opportunity to can examine possible addictive tendencies that can also include shopping, internet, sex, food, etc. He reminds us of our own archetypes of denial, self sabotage and grandeur. Life is truly interconnected and the revelation of his secrets is the revelation of our culture’s secrets.
No one can get well unless they are ready to admit they have a problem. I went to rehab to accommodate my boss and my family but I did not truly believe I had a problem. I had not fully surrendered. So relapse is a big start of my story.
Denial can not end until we admit and accept who we truly are and have a radically honest desire to recover.
For more ideas on dealing with addiction, check out my program Nutritional Solution to Addiction and Mood Imbalance.