One of the most popular and cliché sayings regarding addiction is that the first step to getting better is admitting the problem. This holds more truth than a lot of people seem to realize because one of the most significant complications surrounding addiction is denial. Denial always seems to play an impactful role in a person’s addiction development. It allows the addiction to strengthen and makes quitting a substance that much more challenging. Those who struggle in silence with a substance abuse disorder often wait until they’ve reached an unthinkable low before even considering that their habits are a serious problem. What those in addiction don’t realize is how much not being honest about their addiction can cost them. This is why the first step of a successful recovery is admitting that the addiction is there.
The Drawbacks of Denial
Denial is informally defined as a willful refusal to accept or acknowledge the truth about something. This kind of mindset feeds into the power of your addiction because the only way for you to get sober is to accept that you need to at all. Essentially, if you continue to be in denial about your addiction, then your addiction wins. On the other hand, admitting that you’re struggling with addiction can also feel like you are admitting defeat. Still, it is a step in the right direction.
The Importance of Choosing Admission Over Denial
Admitting the problem of struggling with a substance abuse disorder is no easy feat. Many people with substance abuse disorders don’t tell their loved ones purely because they’re ashamed to admit the problem. The stigma surrounding substance addiction is undoubtedly a reason for this. If we treated addiction like any other disease, we would be more honest about it. Still, there are many reasons why admission is such a vital part of the addiction recovery process. The best reason is also the simplest: being honest with your loved ones will help you be more honest with yourself.
Being Honest With Yourself During Addiction Recovery
Being honest with yourself when it comes to a substance abuse disorder goes beyond merely recognizing the problem. Realizing something and accepting it are two entirely different things. When you accept that your substance abuse is a problem, you’re also admitting— to others and yourself— that letting it continue would put your health and safety at risk. This is especially true if you have already tried and failed to stop your substance use on your own. So, admitting the problem will ultimately allow you to receive help from others who support you. It will also give you the courage to reach out for professional help.
Admitting the Problem to Others
Telling others about your substance abuse problem won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll probably be the most emotionally impactful part of the recovery process, but it’s a necessary step. Admitting that you have a substance abuse problem requires a sense of accountability that most people lack during active addiction. Also, coming forward for help might feel unnatural since your addiction has rewired your brain into wanting to protect it. However, it’s important to get past this before going to others for help if you can.
Facing Current Consequences and Recognizing Potential Ones
It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease that compromises your ability to think and behave sensibly. A major part of getting past the hurdle of denial and being entirely honest with yourself (and others) about your situation involves:
1) recognizing the consequences of what has already happened, and
2) what might happen because of your substance abuse.
Facing the consequences of your substance-fueled actions is a significant part of admitting the problem. By doing so, you’ll be showing your loved ones that you feel remorse for the poor decisions you’ve made during your active addiction. Doing this will help your loved ones keep an open mind about your recovery and be more inclined to help you when you enter treatment later on.
Once you’ve moved past the point of being able to justify your substance abuse and your actions surrounding it, you’ll experience a much-needed moment of clarity. You’ll also have more motivation to move forward in your addiction recovery if you allow yourself to recognize what the future has in store for your health, your relationships, and your life if you don’t admit to needing help.
The Worst Possible Outcome of Inaction
There is more danger in denial than most would care to admit when it comes to addiction. With the rate at which overdose deaths have been increasing in recent years, you owe it to yourself and to your loved ones to get sober as soon and as safely as possible. If you’re stuck in denial, then you can’t do that.
This is why admitting addiction carries more weight than you might have thought before. It really is the first step to a long-lasting recovery and, ultimately, lifelong sobriety.
Consider Residential Addiction Treatment: Start Your Journey with TTC Care
In The Treatment Center’s Recovery Alphabet, “A” stands for “admission.” As the saying goes, admitting the problem is the first step to solving it. If you are struggling with a substance abuse disorder that you can’t handle on your own, consider the TTC Residential Addiction Care facility. Our personalized addiction treatment plans are tailored to your individual needs, and our residential center will provide you with safe, comfortable accommodations while you focus on your recovery. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a counselor about the admissions process, please call us at (844) 201-3136. All calls are confidential.