A loved one who claims to enjoy alcohol and other substances socially, despite contrary evidence, can pose a real challenge for concerned families. “Lighten up, you take everything so seriously!” Or, “I’m fine, I was just having fun—its no big deal!” exemplify the myriad ways active addiction deflects, distracts, denies and defends their use.
When it comes to drinking, alcoholism has a huge ally in advertising and social norms. With over two billion spent annually, liquor companies ensure adults, teens, tweens are inundated with imagery glamorizing cocktail culture. Thus, the normalization of drinking embeds itself into the American psyche, providing alcoholism with a strong shield to imbibe excessively. So when it comes time to intervene you may start by asking your loved one if they ever worry about drinkIng too much. If it’s a more intentional intervention, the person of concern has plenty of socially acceptable fodder to deny any problem with alcohol whatsoever.
This may sound hopeless. However we encourage families to consider the overall impact of the abuse. The consequences often occur in the aftermath. For example:
- Sick Mondays
- Responsibilities falling through the cracks
- Irritable and quick to anger
- Rationalization and justification
- Depression and anxiety
- Change in personality
Those suffering from the illness are experts in convincing themselves and others that you’re not seeing what you’re seeing, you’re not hearing what you’re hearing, you’re not feeling what you’re feeling, and that there is no problem. If you are experiencing the invalidation of your reality, please let us help.