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Denial is the Lynchpin of the Addictive System

BALM | November 12, 2014

Denial is the lynchpin of the addictive system. Here’s how it works:

A user needs to lie to his family member in order to lie to himself.

A family member often feels the need to accept the lie on some level just to stay calm or feel secure.

Once the family member begins to believe what they are seeing and hearing with their own eyes and ears, instead of the lies and accusations of ‘your’re crazy’ that their loved one spouts, the family member lets go of the need to agree and simply shares what they see and hear without needed agreement from their using loved one. It can look like this:

DAD:(completely calm, no emotion, no accusation, just quietly stating the facts) Sam when you came home last night you were slurring your words and swaying. As you walked across the room, you slammed into an expensive vase and it broke.

SAM: Dad, that’s nuts. I was not slurring or swaying. And anyone can break a vase. Come on. Can’t you tell that you are seeing things?

DAD: Sam, this is not an argument or a dialogue really. I’m just sharing with you what I saw and heard. I’m concerned about your drinking and its effect on you, our family and our home. I love you Sam.

SAM: Dad, you just don’t get it. I’m fine and you are overly concerned.

DAD: I love you son. I saw what I saw. (dad hugs son and moves on to his next activity)

SAM: Dad, I…

DAD: Bye Sam!


At that point, the conversation ends. Having a BALM® conversation like the one above as needed can be challenging because it involves staying with one’s own truth without being unkind, accusatory, or mean spirited AND without folding.

Denial is the lynchpin of the addictive system. It keeps addiction in place and as the denial of family members dissipates it becomes easier for family members to share what they are seeing and hearing with their loved one.

>>>>BALM® is a peaceful method to do so. To learn more, click here.<<<<

Hope this has been helpful. Of course there is much more to a conversation about how to converse with and help a loved one who is struggling.