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By Duane Mehl

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After proving they can manage, however, the majority then celebrate their abstinence by drinking out of control again. If you feel the desire to prove yourself non-alcoholic by abstaining for a little while, you have probably proved yourself alcoholic just by the thought and decision alone. How many normal drinkers you know decide they have to prove themselves normal by abstaining from alcohol? I've never met one. Whereas every alcoholic I have known has tried to abstain, done so successfully for a whilesometimes for monthsthen returned, only to discover that with the first drink or drug he or she has no more control than before.

Because the experience of addiction is so complex, it can and should be described in many different ways. Though all alcoholics and addicts experience loss of control over mood-altering substances, each addict experiences that loss uniquely. Age, gender, family ties, work, emotional stability, sexuality, self-image, and general life situation all shape the particular way in which the disease of addiction affects peoples' behavior and lives. With that in mind, the writers of The High Road have tried to address the needs of all alcoholics and those addicted to other drugs.

I regularly try to convince people that I have more power, influence, and appeal than I actually have. 2. In my work, school, or business, I pretend to successes and status which I do not have. 3. I make up or elaborate stories about people in order to get other people's attention. 4. When I lie outright and am caught, I usually "minimize" the lie. For example: Laughingly I say, "By a couple of beers, I really meant a couple of cases. Ha, ha," and so forth. 5. At the bar, I sometimes buy a round to pretend to other people that things are better in my life than they really are.

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