The Most Damaging Lies You Can Tell Yourself While Dealing With Addiction
Denial is the ultimate comfort zone. But, unfortunately, addiction attaches itself to your denial, and from that comes a web of twisted lies that makes reality even harder to reach. In addition to addiction’s physical, emotional, and psychological components, you may lie to yourself for various reasons. You may create these lies due to underlying emotions and issues such as:
- State of denial
As the disease progresses, you become less objective and unable to make good decisions. As a result, you don’t tend to see the destruction in your life. When you’re addicted, you may no longer be able to distinguish between the truth and the lies you’re telling yourself and others.
To maintain access to your drug of choice, you may find yourself doing and saying things you never thought you would – all as a means of keeping your habit. Staying high has become a matter of life and death in your brain.
To you, life may feel like a game of survival. A great deal of effort is put into avoiding withdrawal and hiding the outward signs of chemical dependency daily. Furthermore, feeding an addiction means developing psychological defense mechanisms. As a result, addicts must learn to shield themselves from the consequences of their behavior.
Whatever you call these defense mechanisms, they all serve the purpose of rationalizing the addiction. Lying to yourself is essentially the path of least resistance when you have tainted everything you once held dear, yet you continue to participate in that destructive pattern.
Here are some everyday things addicts say to justify and distort the truth. Are you telling yourself any of these lies?
Lie #1: My Addiction Doesn’t Affect Anyone Else.
This is probably the most universal lie among addicts. Even when loved ones are in pain or confused, it’s easier to deny that reality. In the meantime, you may see loved ones as enemies who want to dictate your path and may confuse concern with control, saying things like, “If I want to do drugs, then that’s what I’m going to do.”
As an addict, you rewire your brain to focus on getting the next hit, and you become distant from the outside world and isolated from other people. It’s almost as if as long as your addiction doesn’t affect anyone else, you’ll tell yourself it’s not a problem. Despite this, addiction affects those around you physically and emotionally much more than you may be aware of.
Mood swings and irritability are commonplace when someone is addicted to a substance. You may not be aware of your negative actions now, which is why you believe your addiction does not affect anyone except you. In separating yourself from family, friends, and partners, relationships can fall into disrepair. Addiction can lead to irreparable conflict, abuse, and distrust in relationships.
How Addiction Affects Friends and Family:
- A child with an addiction problem presents a unique set of challenges for parents. The child’s safety and well-being are constantly on their minds. There may be a sense of responsibility and a sense of wondering where they went wrong as a parent.
- As a parent, it is painful to watch your child suffer, and some parents take an overbearing and enabling role. As their children grow, the relationship becomes inappropriately dependent, such as supporting them financially, hoping they will turn their lives around.
- In some cases, addicts’ siblings are called “invisible victims.” They experience confusion, frustration, shame, resentment, and more because their sibling’s addiction problem consumes their parents. As a result of their ongoing and increasing issues, they are often left on the sidelines and neglected.
- Following their sibling’s footsteps, some turn to drugs or alcohol. Substances are either used as a way to escape pain or to attract some of a parent’s attention.
- It can cause trust issues. Having an addiction and being completely honest about it can be challenging. It is common for people to steal from loved ones to buy drugs or alcohol. Even in less extreme circumstances, dishonesty can cause stress and distance between loved ones.
- It can lead to confrontations. When dishonesty occurs, tensions run high. If you continue to abuse drugs, you will probably end up in heated discussions with friends and family members. A fight with a friend or family member, such as your siblings, parents, or children, can cause significant emotional stress for everyone involved.
Addiction cannot possibly affect just one person. Every parent, spouse, child, friend, and sibling is involved in some way. While powerless to stop you from falling further into a hole, they suffer. Even if you find relief telling yourself and others lies, you’ll have to face the pain and suffering of your loved ones eventually.
Lie #2: I’d Never Be Able to Manage My Problems Without Drugs/Alcohol.
Many addicts believe they can’t survive without their addictive substance and are barely holding their lives together. Some say they require drugs or alcohol to function successfully because they are stressed or have other problems. They don’t want to be pressured to change because they don’t know if they can cope without their drug of choice. As a result, lying becomes a matter of self-preservation and fear.
Your mind may be telling you that your use is necessary – that your addiction is the happy place while the real world is the dark place. Unfortunately, this is a fabricated reality you’re creating for yourself. The effects of drugs and alcohol create a false sense of happiness and a false sense of safety.
Sometimes, even the most minor life problems can become amplified. Even though everyone has issues, you may realize you are convincing yourself that self-medicating is the only way to resolve them.
There’s a feeling that the world is conspiring against you or that you are under more stress than everyone else. However, you don’t notice how much worse things get when alcohol or drugs are involved. Addiction is likely to be the cause of most of your problems.
Self-medication, such as drugs or alcohol, allows you to justify your behavior further. These are some of the most common excuses for self-medicating:
- “Drugs give me energy.”
- “They help me relax.”
- “I need them to overcome problems in my life.”
As a result of addiction, you are no longer able to experience happiness because your emotions have been numbed. The idea that giving up a drug means giving up fun is also absurd since addiction reduces opportunities in life. Thinking like this is just a form of denial of addiction.
By telling yourself these lies, you may feel that substance abuse is justified. It allows you to justify being stuck in a drug-fueled rut. Eventually, your judgment becomes clouded, and you don’t realize you would be able to resolve most of these life problems if you committed to a treatment and recovery plan.
Lie #3: I’m In Control of My Substance Abuse; I Can Stop Whenever I Want To.
If you’ve said this, chances are you’re addicted to whatever it is you think you can give up. However, if you cannot live without the substance, you’re most likely addicted or dependent on it.
Sometimes, people can convince themselves that they can handle substance abuse just fine and that others need help. They can accuse family or friends of controlling their lives or having unrealistic expectations of how they should behave. Often, they blame a loved one for not recognizing that they can control their drug or alcohol use.
Self-admission is difficult, especially when dealing with substance abuse. Denial is common among people with addictions because no one wants to feel powerless or out of control. When you ignore information or refuse to acknowledge reality, you engage in selective omission, as denial allows you to feel in charge, despite evidence that you’re not. This is a way to cope with what your family members are probably saying: You have a problem. Observe your life outside the addiction — if you have no outside life and your life revolves around getting and using the substance in question, you’re addicted. If you don’t want to stop, chances are you’re addicted. Recovery begins with acknowledging the addiction.
Most addicts like to feel in control because it makes them feel like they’re still in charge of their lives; they don’t want to admit they’re reliant on their drug of choice. Almost all addicts are searching for some justification deep down. By convincing yourself that drug and alcohol addiction is a personal choice, it feels like you have some power over your destiny. Almost.
Whenever you pour a drink or pick up a joint, you may tell yourself you’re doing this of your own volition, but it’s easy to become dependent on the drug instead of the truth. Drug abuse is a complex disease. No matter how strong your willpower is, drugs and alcohol change the chemistry of your brain and make it extremely hard to stop. Despite your best efforts, you may return to drugs without proper help due to powerful cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and other factors.
Do you know what, though? You can stop. Living a life free from drinking/using is achievable. You are in control, and you do have the power to prevent. You don’t want to stop, yet you do want to stop. While alcohol may stop the voices and create euphoria, you don’t like the consequences of drinking. You need help. People like you can and do take control and become healthy and happy. We’re not saying it’s easy; but it’s worth it.
Lie #4: I Don’t Care About My Life, and I Don’t Care If My Addiction Kills Me.
You can reach the lowest point of your life when you are so consumed by pain and grief that your depression seems to justify the rampant substance abuse. This is a vicious cycle: the more you use, the worse you feel. It makes no sense to seek out rehab or recovery when your life is devoid of joy and pleasure. Drug and alcohol addicts are prone to depression, and many use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate because they feel guilt, grief, and sadness. Addiction exacerbates mental illness symptoms, creating a vicious cycle of self-medicating for depression, even as the depression worsens due to self-medication.
This lie can be the most destructive of all. If your future or self-esteem is no longer important to you, you’re likely to increase your drug use until you put yourself in danger. If you believe this lie, you probably have deep-seated beliefs about yourself, such as “I’m a bad person, so I don’t deserve happiness.” If you have a negative image of yourself, you may benefit from therapy-based treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
In reality, addiction to drugs/alcohol is the most significant barrier to leading a productive and meaningful life. However, once clean and sober, you can focus and enjoy life again. Furthermore, you can reconnect with your family and friends and lead the authentic, meaningful life you’ve been missing.
Embrace the Truth
You have likely mastered the art of manipulating yourself so that you believe at least part of the above lies to maintain your addiction. Unfortunately, doing so permits you to do things you know are unhealthy and certainly don’t make you happy. If you’ve told yourself any of these things, you might consider seeking treatment in a drug rehab facility. When you attend a facility like Discovery Point Retreat for addiction treatment, you will face your denial and learn to steer your thoughts and beliefs in a positive direction.
The first step to recovery is the easiest. If you are suffering from active addiction, don’t hesitate to call for help. We can arrange detox and discuss the details with you at the addiction center. Our addiction treatment field is full of people in recovery themselves, so they know what you are going through and you will not be alone during your treatment. Even if it requires work on your part, complicated does not mean impossible. Thousands of people around the world have conquered addiction. The responsibility is ultimately on you to challenge and defeat your lies. Step back from your environment and surround yourself with caring staff and peers who understand what you’re going through to start removing your thought barriers.
Recovery is not a death sentence – addiction and denial are. Addiction can be overcome. There are plenty of people standing by to help make it happen. Every day is another chance for those in active addiction to start over… and do it right this time.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s never too late to get help. The path may feel impossible and intimidating, but it’s the only way to achieve what you deserve most: a fulfilled life. Call for a free consultation today at 855-306-8054, or see our website for more about our team, mission, and treatment.