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Overcoming Self-Deception to Begin Recovering

Recognizing that we have a problem with drugs and alcohol is the first step toward successful recovery from addiction and alcoholism. However, admitting the one suffers from addiction can be a difficult step. Through various forms of self-deception, someone suffering from addiction will be unwilling to seek help because they are unable to see the truth of their problem. By overcoming self-deception, we can make the decision to seek the help we so desperately need and begin to recover.

Overcoming self-deception requires us to humble ourselves to the notion that we do not have the power to stop using drugs and alcohol and they have become a problem in our lives. Peg O’Connor, in a 2017 Psychology Today article entitled Addiction and Self-Deception, explains, “In the case of the person struggling with an addiction, he may be motivated to see his drinking as regular or normal. It isn’t even a problem so it certainly is not an addiction. He has a stake in seeing himself in a certain way. He may assemble evidence for his belief about not having a problem by pointing to others in his circle of acquaintances (people ready at hand) who consume more than he or who have experienced significant loses as a consequence of use. He may point to the fact that he has stopped for some periods of time as evidence against his having an addiction (confirmation bias). He may not recognize that some of his friends who drank just like him have quit because that might challenge his belief. The addict’s self-deception is fueled by the motivated false belief that he does not have a problem.” To recover, we must recognize that the problem exists and that we need help if we are to overcome it.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes that self-deception can be a major impediment to one’s ability to begin a process of recovery. The Big Book states: “Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule and therefore nonalcoholic.” Those suffering from addiction will often try a variety of methods to prove to themselves that they do not have a problem. Whether it be attempting to regulate their use or discontinuing their use altogether, they will often find some reason why they do not require help. Through countless form of justification, such as claiming that their drug use is a response to stress or turmoil, an individual will attempt to downplay the significance of the problem.

Recovery is possible. Once we concede to the fact that our addiction is a problem and we require help to overcome it, we can begin the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help clients develop all the necessary tools to achieve a fulfilling life in sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431