What Is the Difference Between Delusion and Denial?

What Is the Difference Between Delusion and Denial?

What Is the Difference Between Delusion and Denial?

By Rick W.

I was sitting in a meeting last night and we were having healthy discussion on the topic, “what I wish someone had told me when I was a newcomer that I know now” (one of those, “I wish I’d known then what I know now” kinda things). One of the women shared that she wished she had been taught the difference between “delusion” and “denial.” She struggled with that for a long time. As she was sharing, I found her statement very interesting and had to ask myself if I knew the difference. So, I went to the dictionary as I often do to find the definitions of the two and shared them with the room. The conversation went on and some really great discussion occurred.

After the meeting, I was left wanting more of that conversation as a teachable moment for myself, so I reached out to a handful of people in my A.A. network to see what their experience (not opinion, but experience) was on the topic. The linked document below represents a collective sampling of the responses I got from a variety of folks (all who have varying levels of time [some 30+ years] in the Fellowship – and who have varying levels of service, both at the group level and below the group level [in the General Service structure all the way down to the Board of Trustees]).

I hope you find it as interesting as I did as you begin to ask yourself the title question of this writing.

(Heads Up: There are some “outside issues” used herein by one person as they shared their experience.)


Gentle Reminder: To honor our 12 Traditions and the spirit of anonymity in which our program is founded upon, if you choose to share this post, we encourage you to only share it within your A.A. network or in secret/private sections of social media outlets accessible only to A.A. members.  God bless.


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