I Only Had The One – Yeah, Right

Singleton Claire, 32, in Manchester, is a lovely girl but she drinks a lot. She is clever, funny, brilliant at her job, and is rarely absent from work, but she also tells a lot of fibs about how much she drinks.

Mates and work colleagues of unattached Londoner, Paul, 34, describe him as “a great guy”, “a winner” and “a true friend”; but when it comes to the booze, he is a bare-faced liar. In fact, Paul’s pants are so on fire, even the combined efforts of every fire fighter in (ahem) The Smoke couldn’t extinguish the flames.

Wouldn’t Claire and Paul make a great couple!

Well, in their search for the perfect mate, Claire and Paul shouldn’t be too hasty – based on what we know about them so far, there are loads of potential suitors out there for both of them.

All Claire and Paul would have to do is register with a dating website for single people who are alcoholics but are in denial (‘Just-the-one.com’?), add a profile and photo, and then wait for their e-mail inbox to positively bulge like Mr Fezziwig’s waistline after Christmas dinner.

But joking apart…

Denial of alcohol addiction is one of the most perilous and common symptoms of alcoholism. Why is it dangerous? Well, when it comes to listing just a few ‘dangers of denial’, how’s this for starters: organ damage, cognitive impairment and alcohol dependence.

Then again, people like Claire and Paul have got everything under control, haven’t they? At least they seem to have, judging by their reactions to gently put questions from well meaning family members, friends or work colleagues about how much they drink:

Claire:“That’s my business, isn’t it?”

Paul: “Why are you asking? It’s not like I’m a druggie or something.”

Claire: “Are you a qualified doctor, then?”

Paul: “I drink a hell of a lot less than loads of other people – so what’s the problem?”

Claire: “Me? I haven’t touched a drop all week, to be honest.”

Paul: “If my old man was still alive, it would be him who’d need a talking to. I don’t drink anywhere near as much as he did.”

Claire: “I think I know my body and myself better than anyone, to be honest. Don’t you?”

Paul: “It doesn’t matter how little or how much I drink, I could stop at any time.”

Claire: “My drinking isn’t hurting anyone else; so why are you asking?”

Paul: “What law am I breaking, then? Go on, answer me that!”

Based on these responses, it would appear that most alcoholics in denial aren’t saying they never drink (but secretly do); they are economical with the truth when it comes to admitting how much they drink and to what extent their alcohol consumption is increasing.

They hide and lie. They deny and dismiss. They refute and reject. Their drinking is simply not up for discussion. But their attitude is a short-sighted one that could actually result in their death.

Are you worried about your increasing alcohol consumption?

Do you find that, the more you drink, the more you can drink because your tolerance level simply rises in tandem? Are you truthful with others (people who care about you) about how much you drink? You are? Great. Because on the long path the alcoholic takes toward mental, physical and moral decline, usually the first thing to go is honesty.

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