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5 Harmful Lies Alcoholics Tell Themselves
Addiction is a monstrous condition that can ravage the heart, soul, and mind. One of the reasons that it is considered to be so grave is that it truly can take away your autonomy, individuality, and sense of self without the person realizing it. The addict’s condition is painful and like many people who have placed themselves in highly difficult situations, the guilt, shame, and hopeless that ensues can give way to rationalizations about how they got there in the first place.
This is typically done through telling oneself lies throughout the process, lies that make it easier to use and more difficult to acknowledge the issue and seek out professional help. Here are 5 harmful lies that people struggling with addiction tell themselves to avoid dealing with the condition.
#1 – I’m Not Addicted
I don’t have an addiction, and I can stop any time I want to, are two sides of the same coin. Everyone can “stop any time they want to” when it comes to something that clearly is having a negative outcome on their life but they choose to indulge it any ways for short-term benefit.
But stopping is never easy. Not for ordinary bad habits, much less a substance use disorder.
The biggest barrier to treatment is almost always acknowledging the problem in the first place. Many times, this can require the help and push of good-intentioned family members, friends, or significant others who will help the person come to terms with their addiction and
#2 – I Don’t Drink THAT Much
Addiction is not a black and white issue where the person in question is either an addict or not. When at our addiction treatment programs in Nashville or Atlanta, Southeast Addiction operates on the belief that addiction has a wide spectrum of behavior with varying degrees of severity. The difference between someone who has a few drinks too many on the weekends as compared to an individual who is suffering from full-blown physical dependence is significant—but both individuals are suffering from the negative consequences of too much alcohol consumption.
However, since addiction lies on a spectrum, people who are suffering from substance use disorder have many fall back excuses.
Many times, the person actually believes what they tell themselves about their substance use. What was once an occasional binge drinking session has become more and more frequent, and so mentally the person believes their usage to be less than it actually is. Regardless, the needle is constantly moving. 4-5 drinks used to be a lot, now it’s standard. Then 5 or 6…6 or 7, etc.
#3 – My Drinking Doesn’t Affect My Work
While failure to appropriately handle daily obligations and priorities is a major sign of the progression of a substance use disorder, there are many people who are fit the description of a functional or high-functioning alcoholic. Picturing someone suffering from addiction, you would imagine that they are becoming estranged from their loved ones and having difficulties keeping up with their responsibilities.
The truth, however, is that many people have dependency issues on alcohol that DO harm their life, but in more roundabout ways. They can be perfectly functional at work, but are otherwise reliant on having a drink.
Alcohol.org has a great summary of professions that have the highest rates of alcohol abuse which was gathered from a SAMHSA report chronicling alcohol usage by industry.
Attorneys often require a high degree of competency and diligence, attorneys also have some of the highest rates of substance abuse, with the ABA—American Bar Association providing a directory of lawyer assistance programs.
#4 – Being Sober Will Be Boring
This point seems very silly to those who have managed a lengthy recovery.
However, those who are stuck in the grips of addiction can have a difficult time seeing outside of their current perspective—which is not just mental, but physiologically reinforced. When your body is craving alcohol, nothing else can seem as fulfilling or fun.
Using drugs or alcohol IS fun—it’s no controversy to state that. If it wasn’t fun, people wouldn’t become drawn to the lifestyle or become addicted to drugs and alcohol. It can be hard to imagine what your life would be like without this substance that you have been relying on.
The truth is, for many addicts or alcoholics, it stopped being fun a long time ago. Substance use is often characterized like a roller coaster. The highs are high and the lows are low. Eventually, the highs become less high and the lows stay just as low as intoxication becomes a normalized state that is punctuated by small windows of sobriety that are rife with craving and discomfort.
Southeast Addiction’s treatment plans aim to help our patients enter and maintain recovery. Sobriety benefits greatly from stability, and stability is freedom from those extreme highs and lows that addiction thrives on.
#5 – My Addiction Only Affects Me
In our addiction treatment programs in Nashville and Atlanta, we have heard many times from our clients during group therapy or counselling that they truly believe their addiction was their own problem to face, and that it didn’t affect anyone else, nor was it anyone else’s business.
Accountability is an important aspect of entering in and staying in recovery, however sometimes there is a bit too much accountability in the form of taking everything onto your shoulders.
Addiction is a disease that affects not just the individual, but the person’s family, friend group, and the greater community they are a part of.
Addiction Treatment Programs in Nashville TN
Southeast Addiction provides addiction treatment programs in Nashville TN and the greater metropolitan area, as well as Georgia in the greater Atlanta area.
Our staff is committed to offering the best addiction treatment programs possible to rid our communities of addiction and suffering.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact Southeast Addiction today to take the first crucial step.