The Alcoholic And Sanity

The Alcoholic And Sanity by Mrs. Marty Mann, Executive Director, National Council on Alcoholism, New York via Silkworth

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

To return to this attitude business, I think it is crucial, if you are going
to reach the alcoholic. I have often said that alcoholics are like children
and dogs. They feel what you feel. They don’t hear what you say. You can
approach an alcoholic with an absolutely correct textbook speech. Everything
you say will be exactly right, right down the line, but what the alcoholic is
listening for is how you feel toward him. Is there a hint of hostility, a hint
of contempt? Remember, most alcoholics have had considerable rejection in
their lives, considerable misunderstanding around them. They feel rejected.
Usually by the time they get to you who are counseling them, they feel
rejected indeed. They are looking for more rejection in you, and you can’t
conceal it if it is there somewhere. You may not know it yourself, but the
alcoholics will know it. They will pick it up every time, and they just won’t
be back. You will have lost them. This may set them back years, because if
they have arrived at the point of going to see anyone, particularly their
pastor, this is a big step forward. It can be a tremendously important thing
that they should make such an effort, that they should make such a contact,
that they should go to somebody, even though they may be bringing you a lot of

The Alcoholic and Sanity

Support Our Site

Now is your chance to support Gospel News Network.

We love helping others and believe that’s one of the reasons we are chosen as Ambassadors of the Kingdom, to serve God’s children. We look to the Greatest Commandment as our Powering force.

Personal Info

Donation Total: $100.00

Here again I think we need a little correction of some of our thinking on
this. In the first place, I don’t think the alcoholic tells lies for anybody
else. I think the alcoholic tells lies for his own sake. I think that deep in
the heart of the person who has lost control over drinking, however early it
is, there is a real terror that he has lost his mind, that he is truly insane.
And I don’t mean in the temporary sense that occurs with deep intoxication,
which all of us who are alcoholics know all too well. No, I think here they
are so terrified that they have really lost their minds that they try to
explain to themselves why this keeps happening. They will go to incredible
lengths to make an explanation.

I think that the lies are more of an explanation. I don’t like the word
“rationalization” because that implies a willful and deliberate thing, and I
don’t really believe that it is often that. It is a frantic effort to reassure

Obviously if they can get other people to believe it, this bolsters their own
belief that they are all right, that this terrible thing is not happening to
them, that it isn’t that bad.

I also think that on certain occasions they tell lies because other people
expect them to, and I believe most people do expect this.

We had our annual meeting in New York last week, and a research project was
reported on. It was a follow-up study of alcoholics from the State Hospital in
Maryland. They wanted to know, among other things, whether the histories the
alcoholics gave of themselves when they came in – they weren’t all voluntary;
some were committed – bore any relation to the truth. And they found to their
amazement that the alcoholics were highly reliable, that in most cases what
they told about themselves and their past and what had happened to them, was
right; they had told the truth.

Continue Reading / pdf Top of page 15 / Silkworth >>>

Related posts