Over many years, I have had men and women consult me who battled alcoholism but not successfully. They have participated in outpatient substance abuse programs, residential programs, A.A. and, in some instances, a combination of all three. After periods of sobriety, they return to the bottle. The problem, I find, is that abstaining from alcohol is essential, but it is not enough. This is because the person's thinking has not changed. Although he is not drinking, he remains a controlling, self-absorbed individual who has not learned to see things from the point of view of others. He has been his own worst enemy with his family, at work, with friends, and in other areas of life. His intentions are often good. But he alienates other people, then is puzzled and often angry about the outcome.
Most alcoholics are controlling of other people. Even though they have "surrendered" with respect to alcohol, they still are intent upon trying to impose their will on others. And they may resort to lying, intimidation, even brute force. In other words, although they have given up drinking (for whatever the time period is), their personalities are unaltered.
Among the "thinking errors" that alcoholics must identify in themselves, become fed up with, and correct are the following:
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