Sarcasm is perhaps one of the most seemingly common ways that people have of relating to each other in an alcoholic situation.
Whilst not confined to alcoholics and their families, sarcasm as a way of relating to people becomes more and more natural for an alcoholic the longer they drink.
At first glance sarcasm might seem to have little to do with alcoholism, but in fact it has an awful lot to do with it.
A rehab/treatment center will begin the process of getting an alcoholic sober, and once sober an alcoholic will begin to realise that their real problem is how do they live with themselves sober.
A rehab will very tentatively begin to pick the various emotional and mental coping mechanisms that an alcoholic has developed over the years as a way of holding themselves together, and in some way be able to function in a world that they do not feel very safe in, however old they are
One of the chief virtues of a rehab is that it should feel a safe place, almost a bit of a bubble, where an alcoholic can begin to address some of these issues.
A rehab is not going to cure or change an alcoholic overnight, but it will hopefully give them an awareness of some of the emotional drives that fuel their alcoholism.
The rehab will be very aware that most if not all alcoholics once they get sober are extremely angry.
They may be angry for a whole ton of reasons, including the fact that they cannot drink any more, and sarcasm will be one of their chief ways of expressing their anger, often aimed at staff employed in a rehab.
Sarcasm is particularly cruel, not least because in a very subtle way it uses an element of truth about a situation to really judge and put down another person.
However it is often the anger behind the sarcasm that is the real danger for the alcoholic and a rehab will use a number of therapeutic approaches to make the alcoholic realise this.
It is quite likely that when admitted to a rehab/treatment center it is the first time an alcoholic has ever begun the process of owning their own attitudes or behaviour, or ever begun the process of looking internally as being the solution to their life.
Most people, and certainly most alcoholics have a tendency to blame other people, institutions and the world for everything that happens to them, especially ending up in a rehab and not be able to drink any more.
Turning the process around so that an alcoholic realises their predicament is a combination of both what has happened to them and how they have reacted to it or dealt with it is an important part of the recovery programme in a rehab/treatment center.
This can take a long time and may well take much longer than the few weeks spent on treatment. However the seeds can be sown quite early on.
It is then up to the alcoholic whether they want to own their emotional state or not. The level of sarcasm that is fuelled by the anger will in the end destroy the alcoholic themselves and this is a lesson a rehab/treatment center will instill in them early on.