Games alcoholics play

By the Programme Director, Stepping Stones Addiction Centre Kommetjie Bar ===============

Again I was reminded of the games alcoholics play. There's the blame game, the "I'm the victim" game, the self-pity game, the "minimisation, justification and rationalisation" game. There's the "manipulation, hostage taking, control" game, there's the "indecision of whether I want to live or die" game, there's the "broken promise" game, there's the "merry-go-round of denial" game. There's the outsmarting game of getting alcohol, hiding alcohol and drinking on the sly, there's the "making them believe it's all their fault" game. There's also the "me" game, the "I am the centre of the universe" game, the expectation game. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you've got the picture. And just to crown it all there's the "I'll kill myself" game.

So how does this happen? How does one go from having everything to having nothing? Not even an iota of self-esteem or self-respect. How do you and those around you get to the point of exhaustion?

It happens if you are born with the predisposition of alcoholism. Of course we don't know that we are born this way. All we can be sure of is that if there is an addiction of any sort in our family and we pick up that first drink, we have a more than average chance of becoming an alcoholic. Unfortunate life events do not cause alcoholism, but they can speed up the process. This is a progressive disease, which shows signs of increased tolerance, loss of control, preoccupation and continuing despite the negative consequences.

Sadly we all start playing similar games, because alcoholism is a family sickness. Each family member is affected in a unique way. Some of the roles the family members take on are the enabler, he scapegoat, the lost child, the mascot and the hero.

Excerpt from "Alcoholism The insane and irrational disease"

Bar ===============

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