I used to get really angry with the alcoholics who relapsed. I'd see them shirking their responsibilities just as my father had shirked his. But, as I got older, I began to see that no shirking was really involved. Alcoholism is a powerful foe.
What's actually going on in the mind of an alcoholic as he or she goes through the process of recovery? What are the cognitive mechanics underlying the initial, angry rebelliousness and, later, the genuine commitment to a sober life?