Breaking Through Denial
Denial is one of the most frustrating symptoms of addiction. When you're addicted to a drug, there are many changes to the way your brain works. These changes can affect your behavior and thought patterns in many ways. One of the most common ways that your mind copes with the changes brought on by addiction is denial. Your mind will make excuses for your behavior to preserve your ego, blaming everything except the substances you're using.
Are you or a loved one in denial?
Denial can be incredibly frustrating, but it’s a common symptom of addiction. It happens when a person refuses to look at a painful truth or reality. Instead of looking at facts, there are often excuses that can even border on delusion. For example, a person who has a drinking problem may say that the police were “out to get them” when they get a DUI, even if it isn’t their first infraction.
Facts go a long way with confronting denial. But they may be painful to admit. Try to be honest with yourself. Here are some things to think about:
- Have you lost work or income because of your substance abuse? Maybe your late night partying made you late too many times. Or maybe you were just too hung over to go to work one day, so they let you go.
- Have you been arrested? Disturbing the peace, drunk in public, DUIs and other infractions are common among those with a substance use disorder. You may also have been caught with drugs or committing crimes to get them.
- Have you experienced a medical emergency while using drugs or alcohol? Overdoses and alcohol poisoning can be terrifying, but it’s important to look at the big picture. You don’t want to go through that again.
- Have you lost relationships due to using? Losing people can be painful, and it’s important to realize that it can be a result of your substance abuse. Addiction can push people away for many reasons.
- Are you blacking out? Do people tell you stories of things you’ve done, but you don’t remember?
The first step to recovering is admitting you have a problem. It’s sometimes the toughest step there is. Some people don’t think that they have a problem, because they haven’t lost enough yet. There is a myth out there that you have to “hit a deep bottom” before you’re able to recover truly. This is a myth and only a myth. If you’ve lost anything due to your substance abuse, and you’re hurting, that’s enough to help you get clean. Admitting that you’re in pain, and you need help, can be scary, but it’s worth it.
Are you or somebody you love tired of living in denial? There’s a lot of help out there at your disposal. We can help you find the answers you need about addiction, recovery and treatment options. Please give us a call at (619) 363-4767.