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When We Refuse to Self-Identify as Addicts

For many of us struggling with addiction, our denial is so persistent and so deep that we refuse to look at ourselves honestly. We keep the truth of our addictions hidden from the outside world, and just as importantly from ourselves. We don’t want to self-identify as addicts because we’ve internalized all of the cultural stereotypes around addiction that we see perpetuated around us, and we don’t want to associate ourselves with them. Many of us have family members who are addicts, and we don’t want to lump ourselves in with them. We’re embarrassed and ashamed of their addictions, and we don’t want to view ourselves the same way. We don’t want to believe that we’ve succumbed to the same illness that has taken so many of our loved ones.

Maintain a Sense of Urgency 

Our refusal to believe we’re addicts can cause us to use our denial as a coping mechanism and avoid the idea of recovery altogether. We don’t understand just how problematic our self-destruction has become, and we feel no sense of urgency to get sober. We assume other people need help, but we don’t. We convince ourselves we can get sober on our own, or we tell ourselves we don’t need to get sober at all, we can just learn to practice moderation and get our excessive drinking or drug use under control. Many of us might coast along like this, refusing to believe we have a problem and being able to maintain functionality. Eventually, however, many of us aren’t able to keep it together, and for one reason or another, we can no longer deny our addictions. We see that we haven’t actually been functioning, we’ve been making due. We haven’t been thriving, we’ve been getting by.

It can hit us that we’re in fact addicts when we’re unable to quit on our own, no matter how many times we try. Or when we have a moment of clarity and see just how much mental and emotional pain we’ve been in all these years. We learn that our refusal to self-identify as addicts has prevented us from being able to be honest with ourselves, a necessary first step in the self-awareness that leads to recovery.

The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.