Reasoning Our Way Out of the Hole We Have Created

April 5, 2017

Captain Michael Morse

Those of us who drink alcoholically are well aware of the dishonesty that it takes to maintain an alcoholic lifestyle. We begin by lying to ourselves;

-I’ll just have one

-I’ll stop at eleven

-I won’t drive

-I won’t drive drunk

-I won’t drive too drunk

From there the lying not only gets easier, it becomes habitual. We start to lie to the people we care about. It begins innocently enough; nobody wants to let people down, and nobody is better at letting people down than an active alcoholic. The lies roll off our tongues with ease;

-I haven’t been drinking much, I’m just tired

-I only had one

-Just a few

-Somebody must have hit my car when it was parked

-I don’t know where the money goes

Honesty is a quality that most people admire in others. Without it, we cannot trust. Without trust, we cannot love. Without love, we cannot live the life we dream of. Very few alcoholics live an honest life. The few that do, do so by themselves. Without other people in their lives, it is easy to never have to lie, but why bother? What good is it to live without knowing the joy, comfort and companionship that comes from people other than ourselves?

The lies catch up with us eventually. Once the truth concerning our drinking is exposed to those closest to us, nothing we say is ever considered the truth. Every word we utter is analyzed, disseminated and judged. We think we are getting away with our lies for a little while, but eventually realize that we have been lying to ourselves.
Worst part is we are decent, honest people who ARE truthful. The lies we tell are forged by desperation. While in the thick of our disease, those lies become like oxygen; we simply cannot live without them. Once our addicted minds give in to our drug or behavior of choice we surrender our will to that which destroys our credibility; and nothing is more important to a firefighter than his honor.

Without credibility, there is no honor. Without honesty, there can be no credibility.


The Addiction CycleWithout lying, we cannot drink the way we need to. Without drinking the way we need to, we do not need to lie. When we do not need to lie, we don’t. When we don’t lie, self-respect comes back, trust is rebuilt and credibility returns.

Inside the mind of the active alcoholic there is no peace. There is no comfort. There is no hope. We know that our behavior is killing us, but simply cannot stop. We exist is a perpetual state of betrayal. We have a secret, and think that nobody can ever know just how miserable that little secret makes us.

Well, I have a little secret of my own;

I am an inactive alcoholic.

The beauty of being an inactive alcoholic lies in the honesty of the statement itself. I have admitted my inability to drink modestly to myself, my family and everybody around me who cares. Once I came clean, I no longer had to lie. I can’t drink either, but the freedom from the misery that accompanied my drunken state of mind when I was fooling myself more than makes up for the temporary euphoria that alcoholic beverages brought me.
Had I kept my secret to myself I never would have rationalized my way out of the hole my drinking had dug. I was in deep, and needed somebody to throw me a ladder so I could climb my way out. The ladder of sobriety is simply a tool provided by a person I trusted. Without taking a chance on myself, and admitting to another person the depth I had sunk to, that ladder would never have appeared, and the hole would only have gotten deeper.
active firefighters and first respondersBeing a firefighter I pride myself on having the ability and training to rescue others. I wasted a lot of time forgetting that the skills I had acquired could be used to rescue myself;

-there is strength in numbers

-use the available tools to get the job done

-honesty is the best policy

-there are people in this world worthy of rescue

-I am one of those people

If you have to lie about your drinking habits, it is time to start thinking your way out. Thinking about it honestly will inevitably lead to sharing those thoughts, and then the healing can begin.

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