A common belief in Alcoholics Anonymous is that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery. And for any addiction, not just alcoholism, this belief rings true. Sometimes a person who has developed a problem with alcohol or drugs won’t admit that the use has crossed the line to addiction. One of the reasons may be that it’s admitting that one has a serious problem that needs to be addressed with professional treatment. Another reason could be that the person doesn’t want to seem weak and unable to control a habit. But, in reality, one of the bravest and most courageous things a person can do is admit to having a problem.
Pretending To Be Ok Causes More Harm
Anyone who has a problem with addiction needs to realize that by denying you have a problem results in causing more long-term harm. Substance abuse issues, like most other problems, are easier to fix the sooner they are seriously addressed. The longer a person waits, the more entrenched and persistent the problems become, and harder for the person to recover from. Weakness is hiding these problems so that a person doesn’t have to face the process of recovery, which is something a person will have to change one’s entire life to overcome. It takes strength to be willing to address a problem and then go forward with obtaining treatment for it. Signs that a person may be suffering from an addiction includes:
- Hiding usage from close friends and families
- Missing work or school due to the addiction
- Isolating oneself
- Lack of appetite
Don’t Make Excuses
The process of admitting one has developed a problem with substance abuse can take a long time, even years. This is due to a person slowly letting bad habits slip out of control. It doesn’t happen overnight, but when it finally reaches that point where a person isn’t able to live a normal life, then the problem finally needs to be acknowledged. However, even after someone admits one has a problem, getting treatment can still be delayed. The addict will keep putting off getting treatment until the next day and always have an excuse. This is almost as bad as not admitting one has a problem in the first place, and the best and bravest thing they can do at this point is to take action.
One of the biggest benefits of admitting a problem is that you will finally have access to a support system that you have been previously pushing away while in denial. Contrary to what many people may think, there will be many people close to them relieved and ready to help in any way they can. And the addict will realize that one doesn’t have to be alone when trying to overcome an addiction. Support comes from family members, friends, and eventually other members of the addiction community who can offer guidance and support.
Experience Can Help Others
Eventually, once you admit that you need help and have summoned the courage to take the necessary steps to lead a better life, you can eventually use your journey to help others. People who have lived through the indecision and stress of trying to face a growing problem are in a unique position to be able to pass their wisdom onto others. You can take a very difficult period in your life and empower yourself to help others so that they can also admit they have a problem and start taking their next steps towards sobriety. One of the big lessons to learn from recovery is that a person has to be honest with oneself about the addiction, and only then can recovery be achieved.