ADDICTION AND DENIAL

Fr Jim Cogley



Denial is interwoven into the very nature of addiction. All addicts swim daily in the river of ‘de-Nile’. There are few who are not pathological liars and who even believe their own lies. Even when a smoker says how many cigarettes a day he or she smokes it’s usually not quite the truth. The odd glass of wine usually means the entire bottle! When an addict makes promises to reduce their intake they are made to be broken and mean absolutely nothing. The fact of the addiction is usually obvious in that person’s conversation where in the space of the first few sentences some reference will be made inadvertently to the alcohol or whatever is the nature of the addiction. To move from the place of saying ‘I go on the odd binge’ or ‘I drink a lot but can give it up whenever I want’ to standing up in an AA meeting and saying ‘My name is…. and I am an alcoholic’ is a major step forward out of denial and into the truth that alone can bring freedom.