People dealing with addiction often view sobriety as unnecessary. They don’t see a reason to change their behavior. It’s okay to accept that you might need help. Once that’s out of the way, recovery is possible. With the right treatment and support, a lasting change can be made. It’s important to remember that the journey is never easy. Still, recognizing your problem is step one. Feeling uncertain or scared is normal. In the end, facing the truth will make you stronger.
What Is Denial?
Experts consider denial to be a kind of defense mechanism. It happens when someone refuses to accept something they don’t like. They may not even realize they’re doing this. Addicts are often very out of touch with themselves due to denial. Most members of the population experience this on some level. However, addicts are known to be especially stubborn. It’s common for them to completely believe their own excuses.
People in denial are often surrounded by chaos. Usually, they will point to others as the cause. In many cases they won’t even consider being at fault. The blame always lies with someone else. In order to get sober, this has to change. Otherwise, attempting recovery is pointless. To be successful, one has to truly want to get better. Approval from others shouldn’t be the reason.
Are You Struggling with Addiction?
Substance abuse can lead to an addiction. As a result, the body may develop a physical dependence. Because of this, cravings for a substance or activity cannot be controlled. Users will feed their habit despite negative consequences. The signs and symptoms of addiction vary from person to person. They depend on the object of addiction, family history, and individual situations.
Signs and symptoms of addiction can include:
- Not being able to stop doing something even if you want to. This applies to all kinds of activities, not just substance abuse. In many cases, there may be a history of trying to stop. Unfortunately, the attempt or attempts were not successful.
- Feeling signs of withdrawal when your body doesn’t have a certain amount of something. Without enough drugs or alcohol in your system, you begin to feel sick. Physical and mood-related symptoms can occur. These include cravings, moodiness, anger, trouble focusing, depression, and resentment. Increased appetite and insomnia are also common. Withdrawal can cause violence, seizures, hallucinations, and more.
- Refusing to quit an activity despite health problems is another sign of addiction. If you have an illness that is linked to substance abuse, stopping is crucial. Living in denial could put your life at risk. Continuing to smoke in spite of a lung condition is one example.
- Losing interest in your favorite hobbies and activities is another symptom of a serious addiction. Many times, addicts will avoid situations where they can’t get drunk or high. They may begin to isolate themselves from friends and loved ones. Sometimes, old friend are replaced by new, toxic friends.
- Maintaining a steady supply of your substance of choice is top priority. Having enough of it is a constant worry. Addicts will often take desperate measures when low on money. Funds may be taken out of the family budget. Stealing, cheating, or trading sex are also possible methods.
- You can’t cope without it. Avoiding problems becomes much easier with an addiction to fall back on. It offers an opportunity to escape the reality of life. This can lead to dangerous risk taking. Users may continue to take larger doses for more intense effects. As a result, blackouts (losing chunks of time) and permanent damage can occur.
- Lying to yourself and others is another sign. This is where denial plays a large part. Telling other people lies is one thing. What should really scare you is when you start to believe them. Hiding or ignoring the truth does nobody any favors in the end. Displaying secretive behavior is telling, as well. So is spending most of your time alone.
- Getting a stash together is also common addict behavior. Doing this might make you feel safe or secure. Having plenty of drugs or alcohol could be the only thing that makes you feel relaxed. A stash can be kept in multiple, carefully chosen hiding places.
- Desperation to feel intoxicated can cause addicts to take very large initial doses. This is especially common with alcoholics. Big amounts may be consumed over short periods of time. Usually, this is done out of impatience to feel good.
- Trouble with the law can happen as a result of some addictions. This could be because of lowered inhibitions due to substance abuse. Under the influence, some addicts take dangerous risks. Driving too fast is one example. Breaking the law in order to support your habit is a sure sign of addiction.
- Financial difficulties are common among addicts as well. In the case of an expensive habit, this can lead to very poor decisions. Addicts may go without food or basic necessities just to save money. They then spend this money on drugs, alcohol, or other bad choices. Even cigarette smokers could spend thousands of dollars per year.
- Relationship problems are another consequence of addiction. Often, addicts will form codependent attachments. This means that they rely on others for far too much. In some cases, they have trouble getting close to people.
Own Your Truth and Make a Change
The choice to fight an addiction is a serious commitment. Sobriety should be something you want to champion for the rest of your life. Deciding to stop living in denial is just the beginning. Still, it can’t be said enough how important this is. It’s truly impossible to succeed without the drive to do so. Don’t worry if you aren’t completely confident. That’s okay! Your first changes can start out small. It’s important to consider new perspectives on:
- The methods you use to handle stress
- Who you allow to be part of your life
- How you decide to spend your free time
- Your thoughts and how you view yourself
Find the Motivation to Do Your Best
Feeling conflicted about starting your journey is nothing to be ashamed of. Recovery requires major dedication. Consider trying a few small things to start seeing things differently. .
- Try keeping track of your drug use. This will highlight just how much addiction affects your life.
- Make a pros and cons list of getting sober. Be sure to consider the costs of continuing your habit.
- Think about what matters to you. How are these things affected by your addiction?
- Ask yourself what’s stopping you from changing.
- Listening to someone else’s opinion could help. Talking to a person you trust about your addiction can be useful.
- Did anything work during a previous attempt at recovery? What didn’t?
- Set specific goals for yourself. Using precise dates is a good idea. It’s okay to start small.
- Remove triggers from your home and workplace. A safe environment should be a priority.
- Tell your loved ones that their support is welcome. Any bad influences should be cut out.
Consider Your Treatment Options
Keep in mind that everyone is different. Nothing works all the time. It all depends on your individual needs. Addiction treatment should fit with what’s right for you. You’ll explore the reasons why your addiction formed in the first place. Patients can learn ways of coping without turning to harmful activities. They’ll be taught better methods for managing stress.
Following through is the most important thing. There are many options to consider. The amount of care needed can depend on many things. Doing plenty of research is a good idea before making a decision. Level of treatment should depend on age, addiction history, and medical conditions. Deep stages of addiction can require intense treatment. Plenty of facilities offer extended stays to ensure a full recovery.