They live at the extremes of all or nothing. There is no moderation, no middle ground, no compromise, and no gray area in their worldview. To varying degrees, alcoholics live in denial of their destructiveness (self and others) and this further distorts what they are able to make sense of.

“It Isn’t That Bad”

When people’s alcoholism reaches its worst, it is often called “bottom”. Those in recovery often joke that a bottom is never down far enough. The alcoholic thinking process is plagued by the insatiable ideal of more. On the one hand, the alcoholic brain becomes consumed with a chemically dependent need to obtain as much alcohol as possible. Having become reliant upon the production of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, the brain feels as though it must be in a constant state of pleasure. Intermittently developing thresholds of tolerance, the brain has difficulty achieving that goal, which results in a chronic need for more alcohol. On the other hand, there is always more that could happen, more that could get worse, and more that could go wrong. Delusional and disordered, the thinking process of the alcoholic is unable to see the devastation alcohol is causing in their lives and that the source of the problem is in fact alcohol.

“I’ll Only Have One”

One is too many and a thousand is never enough. This is a sentiment commonly expressed in recovery regarding the addicted and alcoholic thinking process in regards to drugs and alcohol. Alcoholism isn’t defined by the last drink one has but the first because the alcoholic thinking process is incapable of rationalizing just one, despite best efforts. One tends to turn into another one and so forth, with a justification and reason with each drink.

“I Have It Under Control”

The alcoholic thinking process is jaded by a constant consumption of alcohol at an abusive level. Entitlement, stubbornness, and control are common characteristics of the alcoholic mind which prevent them from recognizing the reality of their situation. Maintaining the illusion that one who has developed alcoholism might be a drinker like normal people is the reality which has to be “smashed” according to 12 step doctrine. Alcoholism is only truly under “control” when alcohol has been taken out of the picture.


Confronting problematic thinking and addictive behaviors is part of the therapeutic process which takes place at Cypress Lake Recovery. Our integrative programs bring restoration and balance back to life in mind, body, and spirit. For more information on our treatment programs and services, call us today at 1-866-217-2636.