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How much can alcoholics blame their behaviour on being an alcoholic?

Old 07-09-2013, 12:34 AM
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How much can alcoholics blame their behaviour on being an alcoholic?

I appreciate that the tendency to need a drink may come from the fact they have arrived at a point where they are dependent on it.

What about lying about things that appear to have no relation to needing a drink. Do they get so use to lying to protect their addiction that they need to do it in all/most aspects of life?

Do they like seeing others unhappy or suffering with problems as it takes their focus away from themselves or makes them feel better about themselves?

What about the abusive text messages/phone calls that seem intent on sabotaging a friendship. They don't begin the friendship in this way obviously, despite the drinking problem still being their, yet they gradually make the concious decision to do this...do they?

Why do they force people out of their life's, yet pin the blame for it on that person?

These are situations that have occurred in my particular case and my AF puts it down to the disease in most cases. She did even admit that she knew she was confusing me, but didn't really elaborate much further, and didn't stop until she pushed me away, saying it was what I wanted (it wasn't at the time).

I understand getting rational/logical answers from an alcoholic is rarely going to happen, but it would be nice to hear opinions from others to things like this.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:23 AM
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"Why do they force people out of their lives, yet pin the blame for it on that person?"

My theory, because it protects the addiction. We start to get to close to it. We figure it out. They don't like being confronted, They want to stay in denial, having us around eventually forces them to face the truth. If a person is not interested in recovery, then it seems the smartest way out without the guilty conscience. Makes a lot of logical sense when you step outside of the emotion.

But knowing this, for me, well, doesn't really make it any easier. It all hurts just the same. Addiction or no addiction. Being rejected sucks!!

Finding a way to face the truth and move past it on to something better in life. That is where our focus needs to be and seems to be the biggest challenge. I am ever hopeful!
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:40 AM
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How much can alcoholics blame their behaviour on being an alcoholic?

I think that's a million dollar question that may never be answered

I used to try and rationalise why an alcoholic said/did certain things, but it drove me insane. And then one day, it dawned on me: alcoholism affects a person's brain, their emotions, their actions and every fibre of their being. It's a drug that pervades every aspect of their lives.

In light of that, I realised that there's simply no way I can understand what they say and do. It's more confusing, more indescribable and more frustrating than what it's worth. And I have enough going on in my own life and in this world without trying to understand what caused each action, each word, each response.

Life is too short and too precious to waste precious time, effort and energy on such an indescribable concept. And while that doesn't give me answers, it gives me knowledge and comfort in the fact that the answers lie deep in the alcoholic's brain that isn't working normally, so why try and understand it in the first place?
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:17 AM
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Thanks for this post and the replies, I too am working my way thru just this type of thing with an alcoholic friend. He really does baffle and confuse me. I've had to step away from this toxic friendship, which is hard to do, but liberating in the end.

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Old 07-09-2013, 06:17 AM
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funky, Alcohol may well be the CAUSE but is not an acceptable excuse. To excuse something is to pass over it as in not placing any blame. At least, this is how I look at it.

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Old 07-09-2013, 06:24 AM
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Alcoholics can blame their behavior on almost anything, you, the booze, the cat, the kids, the fact that the name of today ends in y. Doesn't really matter. I could never understand the behavior of my AW. Of course there were plenty of times where I couldn't understand my own behavior either.

Your friend,
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:28 AM
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This is always an eye opener........

What Addicts do..

I'm an addict, and this is what addicts do. You cannot nor will not change my behavior.

You cannot make me treat you better, let alone with any respect. All I care about, all I think about, are my needs and how to go about fufilling them. You are a tool to me, something to use. When I say I love you I am lying through my teeth, because love is impossible for someone in active addiction. I wouldn't be using if I loved myself, and since I don't, I cannot love you.

My feelings are so pushed down and numbed by my drugs that I could be considered sociopathic. I have no empathy for you or anyone else. It doesn't faze me that I hurt you, leave you hungry, lie to you, cheat on you and steal from you.

My behavior cannot and will not change until I make a decison to stop using/drinking and then follow it up with a plan of action.

And until I make that decsion, I will hurt you again and again and again.

Stop being surprised.

I am an addict. And that's what addicts do.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:29 AM
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And No unacceptable behavior is always unacceptable behavior, drink or drugs are never an excuse.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:36 AM
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No it is not acceptable, that's why I have stopped contact with this person, it was wearing me down and stressing me out. Enough is enough.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:56 AM
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[QUOTE=unindated;4059128]
What about lying about things that appear to have no relation to needing a drink. Do they get so use to lying to protect their addiction that they need to do it in all/most aspects of life?
When one is lying first and foremost to themselves, all other lies unrelated to the addiction are much easier to roll of one's tongue.

Do they like seeing others unhappy or suffering with problems as it takes their focus away from themselves or makes them feel better about themselves?
Maybe some do - but I don't think this is a trait common to addicts. My XAH was truly stumped as to why I was so unhappy. He couldn't see the connections. He was also unable to have empathy, being his own emotions were blotted out by a substance.

What about the abusive text messages/phone calls that seem intent on sabotaging a friendship. They don't begin the friendship in this way obviously, despite the drinking problem still being their, yet they gradually make the concious decision to do this...do they?
Conscious? That may be a stretch...to us it may seem deliberate but to most addicts, it is an emotionally immature way of coping...lashing out and throwing tantrums like a 5 year old. Often, this kind of behavior gets people "off their back" for a while, so they can continue on their path of self destruction in peace and quiet.

Why do they force people out of their life's, yet pin the blame for it on that person?
Well...if they had to take responsibility for their own behavior, they'd be in a position to have to do something about it, right? So as long as they blame others, there is never any reason to reflect and change themselves. It's a classic psychological tactic of avoidance...its not ME, its YOU!


A great book to read that explains the physiology of alcoholism/addictions is Under the Influence. The brain changes as the addiction progresses, which makes living life as a normal, non-addicted person would nearly impossible. It's one of the reasons why addictions are considered mental illnesses.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:45 AM
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Cool

I've said it before, and I'll say it again........alcohol/drugs do NOT cause bad behavior. Bad behavior is bad behavior, and there's no excuse for it. Liars lie; thieves steal; abusers abuse.....etc. Some may be alcoholic/addict; some may not; makes no difference.

I've read many times in threads here that alcoholics/addicts lie. Well, those with a predisposition to lie do, but I've known quite a number of alcoholics and addicts who, even in their active addictions did not lie (except the big one.....about not having a problem).......

(o:
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:54 AM
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Actually, alcohol and drugs do cause bad behavior. It removes inhibitions, creates very bad judgment, and disrupts the brain's ability to function properly.

Drugs can make people very dangerous, be it directly psychotic (see stories of people on the new synthetic drugs) or indirectly dangerous (getting behind a wheel). Alcohol is the root of many domestic violence situations.

I do think it makes a big difference, and here's why. Using drugs/alcohol is a choice. Sure, it becomes a disease when the body becomes addicted to the substance. But the choice to stop is always there. And I've met many recovering alcoholics and addicts who's "bad behaviors" ended with a solid recovery program and commitment to sobriety.

JMHO.
~T
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:37 PM
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alcohol/drugs do NOT cause bad behavior. Bad behavior is bad behavior, and there's no excuse for it. Liars lie; thieves steal; abusers abuse.....etc. Some may be alcoholic/addict; some may not; makes no difference.
Ditto Tuffgirl -- alcohol abuse actually causes changes in the frontal lobe of the alcoholic (old link here: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...onder-why.html) which is the area where judgments, pros and cons, and sound decision-making happens. So it DOES change behaviors.

Does it matter? I guess it depends. If you're talking about "am I doing something wrong in leaving this dude when he's really only suffering from a disease and he really didn't try to kill me?" -- no. It wouldn't matter if he had a brain tumor and tried to kill you. You have every right, regardless of reason, to remove yourself from any situation you don't like. Even if he's not physically abusive but just a pain to be around.

Does it matter if you're wondering if you should allow a solidly recovering addict back in your life? It might. I mean, some of our most solidly wise people here at SR were once actively drinking and (according to their own testimony) lying and being mean.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by unindated View Post
i appreciate that the tendency to need a drink may come from the fact they have arrived at a point where they are dependent on it.

What about lying about things that appear to have no relation to needing a drink. Do they get so use to lying to protect their addiction that they need to do it in all/most aspects of life?

Do they like seeing others unhappy or suffering with problems as it takes their focus away from themselves or makes them feel better about themselves?

What about the abusive text messages/phone calls that seem intent on sabotaging a friendship. They don't begin the friendship in this way obviously, despite the drinking problem still being their, yet they gradually make the concious decision to do this...do they?

Why do they force people out of their life's, yet pin the blame for it on that person?

These are situations that have occurred in my particular case and my af puts it down to the disease in most cases. She did even admit that she knew she was confusing me, but didn't really elaborate much further, and didn't stop until she pushed me away, saying it was what i wanted (it wasn't at the time).

I understand getting rational/logical answers from an alcoholic is rarely going to happen, but it would be nice to hear opinions from others to things like this.
my husband says he needs alcohol for his"nerves". He goes to mental health drs and get prescriptions for nerve meds, but will not take the meds they prescribe. Alcohol is an excuse. And of course he blames his bad nerves on me even though he's been treated for it for years. Long before he met me. They blame everyone and everything but themselves. And their reasons are just excuses to try and justify their alcoholism. I have learned this the hard way. Experience!
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