Many people who have struggled with alcohol or drugs or behaviors such as gambling often say they had a voice inside them whispering, “I have a problem.” The voice may get louder after a particularly epic blowout. It may get louder when a person feels a drabness or disappointment about the monotony of her daily use. Sometimes it is others who have expressed concern about our behaviors and health. We internalize those voices too.
Very few people easily and quickly accept the conclusion that they have a problem. To the contrary, many of us struggle mightily against it and craft a variety of arguments to demonstrate that we don’t have a problem. Many of these arguments rely on misdirection, moving the focus onto someone or something else. Here are six of the common arguments I’ve heard (and, okay, I’ve made some myself).