Imagine for a minute if you will, having spent the last couple of years ruining all of your relationships, dodging the police, stealing money from your loved ones, lying constantly, and being driven to do terrible things in order to get what you need. No this is not the tag line of some new crime movie, but it is the daily life of many people in active addiction.
Addiction affects those who are afflicted with it in profound ways that are beyond the comprehension of the normal citizen. Addicts are driven to do ever increasingly risky behaviors in order to satisfy their urge and what’s more is that many people who suffer from addiction do not actually believe they are addicted.
This is one of the most baffling things about addiction. The fact that in the face of growing evidence to the contrary, many addicts do not believe they suffer from the illness until the 11th hour, when all of the chips are down and all excuses have been exhausted.
It is as if a mental veil is placed over them and the insanity of denial completely envelops the mind. Trying to get an addict to see that they have a problem before they are ready is almost impossible and many people have tried to do so with maddening effect.
What is it about addiction that causes such overwhelming denial? Why is it that everyone else can see the problem and not the person with the addiction? I don’t really have an answer for this, but regardless let’s take a first-hand look at what the insanity of denial is like during active addiction.
A friend of mine during his active addiction was arrested a total of 7 times between the ages of 14 and 18. For those of you counting that is more than 1 and a half arrests a year. Yet during all of this, he truly believed that the problem he had was not with the drugs, but was rather with the drug laws in this country. He believed that if drugs were legal all of his problems would go away and his life would be fine. This, however, proved to not be true and for the last 4 years of his active addiction he managed to not get arrested at all, but yet his life spiraled out of control. He became aware at some point in those last four years that he was addicted to the drugs. He knew this because he would go through withdrawals if he didn’t have his substance of choice, but yet every time that he quit, he would inevitably go back, thinking that this time he could manage and control his using.
Even though all of the evidence in his life showed that he was never able to control his using in the past, each time he believed wholeheartedly that this time would be different. He was always baffled when a few weeks in he was using every day again and he couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t stop. My friend suffered from the delusion that he was like “normal people.” He desired this so badly because above everything else he loved drugs. He wanted to be able to use them like his other friends and this desire of his overrode every piece of evidence showing that he could not.
Eventually, he hit rock bottom and was able to finally see that no matter how hard he wished it to be true, he could not use like normal people and with this final crushing blow, the insanity of denial left him, as for the first time in years he was able to accurately see his predicament.
This is not a unique story among people who are addicted to drugs, in fact, every single person who eventually gets sober tells the same tale, an inability to see the true from the false. They were for so many years unable to see that the drugs were the problem and their families, jobs, or society were not causing the damage that was being done to them. Yet to tell someone this who is in active addiction is the same as speaking another language to them, they will just not be able to hear it.
It is as if addiction uses denial as a defense mechanism so that it is not detected. It is impossible to fight an enemy that you are not aware exists and so it goes with addiction. By not knowing that you are an addict, you can’t hope to get help for it.
This is what makes combatting addiction so difficult because without the acceptance of it as a part of who you are, you cannot hope to get clean. If there is still some bit of you that denies the addiction then more than likely the addiction will rebuild itself and force you back out again. It is insidious if you really think about it— a malfunction of the brain that seeks its own destruction, in plain sight yet hidden.
This is what is so baffling and heartbreaking to many people who are close to addicts. They see them destroying themselves and yet they are unable to reach them because the addiction is too strong. It will not let the person be reached because if they are, then the addiction will cease to exist.
I know I make it sound like addiction is a living breathing entity that uses covert operations in order to infiltrate your mind and keep you oblivious to its goals and to a certain degree it is. A person who is in active addiction is not themselves. They are driven by something much stronger than their willpower can handle and the insanity of denial allows this to continue until the person finally sees the light.
Break The Insanity Of Denial By Getting Help
It is hard to say what it will take for a person to finally get sober. Some people have to be homeless before their denial is broken, while others do not have to reach that far down. Whatever the case may be, you can get off the rollercoaster at any point if you so choose and have an ounce of willingness to change. If you think that you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol then call the professionals at Dream Center for Recovery today at, 1-877-978-3148. Stop denying and start living today.