Many of us began our addictions out of curiosity. But if we truly look at it with honesty we can find a way to recover. Some of us became involved because of a justifiable need for a prescription drug (such as my story) or as an act of deliberate rebellion. Many began this path when barely older than children. Whatever our motive for starting and our circumstances, we soon discovered that the addiction relieved more than just physical pain. Our drug of choice provided stimulation or numbed painful feelings or moods. It helped us avoid the problems we faced— or so we thought.
For a while, we felt free of fear, worry, loneliness, discouragement, regret, or boredom. But because life is full of the conditions that prompt these kinds of feelings, we resorted to our addictions more and more often. Still, most of us failed to recognize or admit that we had lost the ability to resist and abstain on our own.
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Rarely do people caught in addictive behaviours admit to being addicted, this is the very nature of the disease of addiction. It tells us we can handle it. To deny the seriousness of our condition and to avoid detection and the consequences of our choices, we tried to minimize or hide our behaviours. We did not realize that by deceiving others and ourselves, we slipped deeper into our addictions. As our powerlessness over addiction increased, many of us found fault with family, friends, and even God. We plunge into greater and greater isolation, separating ourselves from others, especially from our loved ones.
When we, as addicts, resorted to lies and secrecy, hoping to excuse ourselves or blame others, we probably became isolated physically and emotionally from those who could not understand us. With each act of dishonesty, we fell deeper into the depths of our addiction, using more to hide our feelings. Then a time came when we were brought face to face with reality. We could no longer hide our addictions by telling one more lie or by saying, “It’s not that bad!”. We call this our bottom and it is a place where we feel totally alone, helpless, hopeless and useless. A loved one, a close friend, a doctor, a judge, or someone else we trust may have told us the truth we could no longer deny. That addiction was destroying our lives.
Honesty with ourselves first
When we honestly looked at the past, we admitted that nothing we had tried on our own had worked. We acknowledged that the addiction had only gotten worse. We realized how much our addictions had damaged relationships and robbed us of any sense of self-worth. At this point, we took the first step toward freedom and recovery by finding courage to admit that we were not just dealing with a problem or a bad habit. We finally admitted the truth that our lives had become unmanageable and that we needed help to overcome our addictions. We found the courage to ask for help. The amazing thing about this honest realization of defeat was that recovery finally began.
Honesty with ourselves is possibly the hardest thing. It may be because we can and do get away with lying to everyone else. But we always know our truths.
Am I completely ready to be honest with myself to the very best of my ability!