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Downplaying Our Addictions Out of Defensiveness

We Develop Defense Mechanisms

Our addictions can cause us to develop some very problematic defense mechanisms. These mechanisms are supposed to help us cope with problems and feel better. Unfortunately, addiction turns these natural psychological defenses against us. As addicts, we tend to downplay what we’re going through. Instead of opening up, we get defensive. When loved ones confront us, for example, we trivialize how much we use and how bad things have gotten for us. We minimize our addictions altogether. A favorite line is that we’re not really addicts and that we can quit any time we want. We convince ourselves that because we’ve gotten sober before, we can do it again whenever we choose to. The truth is, however, that these periods of sobriety are only temporary remissions. The root causes of our addiction remain untouched, yet we tell ourselves that our problems are solved. 

We’re Not Honest With Ourselves

When we downplay the severity of our addictions, we’re not being honest with ourselves or the other people in our lives. We’re living in denial. Secrecy, avoidance, and emotional suppression are the chief coping mechanisms of addicted people. Subconsciously we might believe we have to do these things to protect ourselves. Honestly facing our emotions and addictions can be so overwhelming that we’re trying to spare ourselves the stress and difficulty. We’re avoiding the tough work of confronting ourselves because we think it’s the safest path through life. After all, the alternative is to put ourselves through the grueling recovery process. When faced with long-suppressed emotions and unresolved issues, substance abuse is an easier option.

Recovery Means Owning Up to All of It

Recovering from our addictions means finally being honest with ourselves, facing the consequences of our choices, and confronting our problems. This process requires us to accept the full weight of everything we’ve been through, rather than trying to resist it. Healing ourselves means we take ownership of the mistakes we’ve made. We will also have to take accountability for our choices and assume responsibility for our lives. The more we defend our addictions and our pain, the more we postpone our recovery. 

Facing a life of sobriety can be a daunting prospect. There are a lot of considerations and challenges to overcome in recovery, but you don’t have to do it alone. At The Guest House Ocala, you will be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.