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The Justifications We Make

Those of us struggling with addiction can find ourselves perpetuating emotional and behavioral patterns that make it harder for us to heal. One of these patterns is called justification. While addiction is a profoundly unhealthy way of life, we have come to consider it normal. We rationalize our addictions and make excuses for ourselves and the harmful things we’re doing. As we’re working to recover, we start to look at ourselves and our addictions more honestly. Through the gift of clarity and objectivity, we begin to see through all the justifications we’ve made. Once we recognize them as defense mechanisms we’ve developed out of fear, we can begin to heal. 

Justifying Our Addictions

We justify our addictions by insisting that they are beyond our control and that there’s nothing we can do about them. Likewise, our continued substance abuse is justified by our belief that it helps us cope with our lives and our stress. These justifications can even extend to our behavioral addictions, sometimes called process addictions. We tell ourselves they’re harmless compared to substance addictions and justify our relapses with all kinds of excuses. We blame our surroundings, our neighborhoods, our families, and our partners. Addiction isn’t our fault, we’ll say, so we’re not responsible for our recovery. Addiction is a genetic illness that runs in our families, so we’re absolved from ever trying to get better. We come to believe these excuses after using them for so long. Hiding behind these justifications, we prevent ourselves from experiencing a full recovery.

Developing Defense Mechanisms

When we’re making these kinds of justifications, it is often because we’re consumed by fear. We’re afraid that we’re not strong enough to get sober, so we make up all kinds of excuses for why we shouldn’t even try. The hard work of recovery is daunting, so we find ways to avoid getting started. We’ve come to believe that we’re inadequate and unworthy, so we assume that we don’t deserve happiness. Our justifications become emotional defense mechanisms developed out of fear.

Seeing Through the Illusions of Our Fears

Recovery requires us to start being more courageous and honest with ourselves. We have to look at our fears and confront them head-on. Direct confrontation is the only way to see through the illusions we’ve created out of fear. Our limiting beliefs, excuses, and justifications do not hold up under scrutiny. If we’re diligent in questioning our long-held beliefs, we will find that they are far more flimsy than we once believed. We want to see through to the other side, to the fact that we are indeed deserving of health and happiness. More importantly, we are capable of recovering successfully and willing to do the work. 

A lot of justifications and defense mechanisms are deeply buried in our psyche. Let the staff at The Guest House Ocala help you get to the root of your addiction. We are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse and process addictions in a safe, comfortable, and confidential setting. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.