Accepting an unpleasant truth is never easy. Whether you are trying to accept something about yourself or information about a loved one, facing facts that are not ideal can be tough. Substance use and addiction are among the topics that can fit into this category. Many often remain in denial about their addiction for quite a while before actually coming to terms with the reality and severity of the issue. Men, specifically, can struggle to accept their addiction.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the issue of denial. This is a common coping strategy that many use to avoid facing a reality they do not want to face. Denial can present itself in many different ways. If you suspect you are living in denial about your addiction, consider some of the following signs and symptoms.
Refusing to Discuss the Problem
Refusal to talk about things is usually a way to avoid feeling guilty, ashamed, or even sad. If you are struggling with substance abuse and in denial about your problem, you might aim to dodge discussion about it. This could lead to being less social or avoiding spending time with loved ones.
Those closest to you are the ones most likely to sense that there is a problem and, thus, will be the most likely to ask you about it. If you are struggling to accept that you have a problem, talking about it can make things feel too real.
You probably know people who seem to have an excuse for everything. No matter what they are faced with or are asked about, they have an answer or a rebuttal to justify whatever may be in question.
If you are trying to cope with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may find yourself making excuses. Substances can make you behave and respond in ways you would not normally behave or respond. This being the case, you probably face more conflict as a result of these changes. Making excuses for your irritability, absence, or odd behavior can become second nature.
It can be common to place blame on other people or circumstances when you are battling addiction. In an effort to avoid taking responsibility for your actions, you might try to blame others who have hurt you. For example, you might use the loss of a job or other unfortunate circumstances as the reason for your substance use.
Blaming takes responsibility away from you and places it on something or someone else. Assuming responsibility would mean accepting that you have a problem and are in need of change. If you are in denial and struggling to accept your addiction, this is the last thing you want to do.
Suppressing Thoughts and Emotions
Maintaining denial requires a specific mindset. To continue to avoid facing the facts, you have to keep yourself from thinking about the issue. While addiction is typically very mentally consuming, you might be trying to prevent yourself from considering it a problem.
For example, thinking about using substances is likely unavoidable. However, thinking about how your decisions are affecting you and those you love is something you might stay away from.
The Struggle to Accept Addiction
While men and women can both find themselves struggling to accept that they have a problem, men seem to have a more difficult time. There are many reasons for this. One reason is that men, in general, seem to be more reluctant to ask for help. As a result, you can rarely tackle addiction on your own, and it can take a lot of courage to seek treatment.
Additionally, men often feel the need to carry on with their responsibilities despite their struggles. For example, some may have a family to take care of or may worry about missing work to receive treatment.
For the reasons listed and many more, men can struggle to accept that they have a problem and instead choose to deny it. But, unfortunately, denying yourself help for substance abuse will only make things worse.
Treatment for Men
Accepting that you have a problem is the first step toward a better life. By engaging in programs designed for men, you can learn strategies for healing and coping with life in treatment, with the support of others who can relate. You will feel a sense of community through men’s groups and form bonds that will last beyond treatment. Choosing to seek help for your addiction is never easy, but the life waiting for you in recovery is well worth working through your hesitation and denial.
Acceptance can be difficult. When it comes to substance abuse, facing the reality that you have an addiction and need help can be tough. The great news is that Renaissance Ranch offers a safe, non-judgemental program that will meet you where you are and work to develop a treatment plan that will help you succeed. We conduct a thorough assessment at intake to ensure we offer the best treatment options for you and your situation. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to hear from you. To learn more about our programs, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898.