Addiction causes people to tell lies––but not just to friends, family members, co-workers, and authority figures. Unfortunately, it is likely that you have lied to yourself in order to protect your addiction, but there is a way to stop.
1. It Makes You Believe You Are the Only One Affected
It is true that many addicts often act selfishly. This is partially because of the way that drugs can change the brain, causing voluntary abuse to become compulsive and anything that stands in the way of getting high suddenly unimportant (National Institute on Drug Abuse). But it may also make you think that you––and your needs––are the only one that matters. As such, it can cause you to avoid treatment because you think you are the only one affected by your substance abuse.
2. It Makes You Feel Like You Can’t Go on Without It
Another reason many people don’t seek treatment for addiction is because they start to believe that they won’t be able to do their jobs, handle their stresses, or essentially live their lives without substance abuse. It can be scary to imagine doing so, and instead, you may just convince yourself that it isn’t possible. However, the way to make a change is to realize that many people go through their lives without the use of substance abuse and that treatment will arm you with a number of new and healthier coping mechanisms.
3. It Makes You Compare Yourself to Others
Have you ever told yourself: “I’m not that bad off. So-and-so is doing a lot worse.” If you have, it is important to realize that this is an example of rationalizing your addiction, comparing yourself to another person so you don’t have to feel like you are the worst addict. While there will always be someone who is worse off than you, it is time to realize that, once your substance abuse starts causing problems in your life, it doesn’t matter how big or small these problems are. It is something you are doing that is harmful to you and others… and you are still struggling to stop (Health Direct).
4. It Makes You Think You Can Stop Whenever You Want
If you have told yourself this before, ask yourself now why you haven’t stopped. If it is because you don’t want to, it may be time to consider how much healthier your life and relationships would be if you did. But remember: once addiction sets in, it is extremely hard to stop under your own power, and asking for help is often the only way most people can.
5. It Convinces You That Life Without Drugs Is Boring
But, if you have been using consistently for a number of weeks or months, is your ability to compare really accurate? Try remembering the things you used to love to do. Now ask yourself if you have participated in any of these activities after you started using. In truth, life without drugs isn’t boring, and though you may experience interesting things while on drugs, are the consequences really worth it?
6. It Makes You Think that Drugs Make You Happy
Many people do believe that they are only happy when they are using. But if you think about all the consequences of your substance abuse––withdrawal symptoms, relationship problems, financial issues, job loss, etc.––you will realize that your addiction is actually causing you many of the problems from which you may be trying to escape.
Seeking help can allow you to look at your life objectively. You will begin to realize the ways in which your addiction was pulling the wool over your eyes and keeping you from seeing the truth of things. Because the real truth is you don’t need to live your life as an addict, but if you are struggling with an addiction, you will need to seek help in order to stop.