An Alcoholic Rhinoceros in the Sitting Room

January 21st, 2011

The beginning of alcoholism recovery is the acknowledgment of a problem.  Two people are sitting in the living room with a rhinoceros. They both stare at the huge beast. The one guy turns to the other and says, “Sshhhh, don’t tell. This is our secret. There’s a rhino in our sitting room but if we pretend it’s not here, then it won’t really be a rhino.”  The second guy looks horrified, “But it’s huge and smelly and scary!”  “Ignore it and it’ll go away.”

This is the most ridiculous scenario. It would be absolutely impossible to overlook a rhino in your home, let alone the sitting room. A rhino would overwhelm the room and take over. Nobody would be able to see the TV or to look out of the window at the view. Nobody would even be able to look at each other and chat. Imagine the mess it would make in the room and how it would clumsily knock over all of the knick-knacks and ornaments. And we’ve not even begun to consider what would happen if the rhino felt angry or threatened! What could you do with a rhino rampaging through your house? Alcoholic 2 1 242x300 - An Alcoholic Rhinoceros in the Sitting Room

The rhino would become all consuming. With a rhinoceros in the sitting room, how can anything else be considered? Your mind would be filled with thoughts of cleaning up the mess, hiding it when visitors arrive, placating and keeping the peace as an angry rhino is even more unmanageable and how to convince the family and your friends, as well as yourself, that there really isn’t a rhino in the sitting room. Nobody in their right mind would have a rhino in their sitting room.

However, living with alcoholism in the home is much the same as having a rhino in the sitting room.  There is no way that anybody could ever ignore a rhinoceros in the house. You could not ignore the continual mess. You could not ignore its overwhelming and dominating presence in the house. No matter how much you tried to ignore it, the rhino would drive you and everyone else mad.

The rhinoceros will not disappear because you pretend that it is not there. It’s there and it is not going away. So it is pointless to try to keep it a secret. Alcoholism already messes up family life and has an effect on the children. Lying about it does not help. It only makes matters worse. Sometimes alcoholic families are in as much denial as the actual patient is. Beginning to consider the severity of a loved ones drinking and how to choose the best alcohol rehab centre can seem a mammoth task.

Acknowledging that the rhino is present is a good beginning towards awakening from denial. Admitting that alcohol has a grip on your life and that you are helpless in its grip is the start of recovery.

Admitting that there is an alcoholic rhinoceros present in your living room can be the beginning of a new life. The funny thing is that when you finally admit it, you will find that most people already knew. Contact WeDoRecover for expert, professional advice on how to choose the best alcohol rehabilitation centre for you.

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