Addiction and Denial – Constitutionally Incapable of Being Honest

Edited by Living Sober

Last updated January 4, 2009

Denial can be a powerful force in alcoholism and drug addiction.  Often alcoholics and drug addicts feel they need to lie to others because they cannot face the truth about their situations themselves.  Alcoholics Anonymous says that it is important that a person be rigorously honest with themselves.  Alcoholics Anonymous also says that there are some who may be “constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.”  I have only come across a few people in my many years of working with alcoholics and addicts in addiction treatment who I actually felt were constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.  Their level of denial is so extreme, so ingrained into their being, that it is virtually impossible for them to see the reality of their situation.  These people usually end up relapsing shortly after getting sober and often die from alcoholism and drug addiction.  What appears to happen with these people is that they have lied to others and particularly themselves for so long that they have begun to believe their own lies.  As they began to believe their own lies, their true self (i.e., the part of themselves that knew who they are and what they are), or their soul, becomes worn so thin that it is almost impossible for them to face the truth about themselves without a complete mental breakdown.  When people get to this stage of their alcoholism and drug addiction, there is no hope for them at all, except help come from God.

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