Alcoholism Psychology is complex and I don't think that the psychiatrists working in the field of addiction are doing that good a job. Jane is seeing a psychiatrist at the moment and for the life of me I don't know what is happening as she won't tell me. It was my idea that she saw one to deal with the complex underlying reasons for her drinking which are in my humble opinion primarily her low self esteem, which results in depression.
I am convinced that she was neglected as a child by her parents. Her parents, I believe criticized her too much (her mother mainly). Jane heard too many arguments between her parents. This taught her to be argumentative. The excessive criticism of her caused her to believe that she was no good. It also made her defensive. She thinks that she was the cause of the parental arguments because she was no good.
Jane dislikes the world (so do I as it happens, but I love the natural world i.e. nature). This is not surprising as it has been hard for her carrying her burden. On our first date, she got drunk unknown to me (I couldn't tell) and said that if there was path that forked in front of her, one going to death and the other to life, she would choose the path to death (first date!).
I can't talk to her about the most important thing in her life by far - her alcoholism. This is because she becomes too defensive. She is still, to certain extent, in denial despite going to AA regularly at the moment. She drinks secretively, she drinks in the street and comes home with no evidence (meaning a bottle hidden in a bag). She knows that I have become good at finding bottles of booze.
Alcoholics Anon works by putting some discipline into a alcoholics life and some purpose combined with the support of others. It also gives a sense of making progress and doing something about the problem. That is the psychology of AA.
When there is an underlying problem that causes pain it will be expressed in some way (if it is not in drinking). If one took away the possibility of drinking the pain would be expressed in another way. Internal pain (meaning emotional and mental pain) has to be expressed.
Jane also takes laxatives as a kind of mindless crutch I suppose to look help her look thin and attractive. This is one small expression of internal pain. It is all rather mixed up.
Photo (modified as allowed under CC) copyright larryosan