When we’re struggling with addiction, the logical thing would be to want to get help for the illness that is destroying our lives. When we have a broken bone or any other medical issue, we get help. Why do we so often resist getting the help we need to kick our addictions? What is it about addiction that brings about so much resistance, that keeps us paralyzed, stuck in its debilitating cycles?
Addiction is a convincing liar, much like mental illness. It convinces us to be ashamed of our problem, to fear other people’s judgment, and to focus on our regret about the past rather than the possibilities for the future. Our fear, shame and regret keep us trapped. We get caught in endless cycles of feeling these overpowering emotions, trying to persuade ourselves to get help, and then falling back into the grips of our illness. We’re so afraid of what other people will think of us that we keep our problem to ourselves. We’re so afraid that people will reject us, shun us and look down on us. We live in a culture that stereotypes and stigmatizes both addiction as a whole and us as addicts. Many of us grew up in communities that looked down on addiction, even when it ran rampant in our families. We were taught to keep our illness a secret. We learned denial, secrecy and avoidance as coping mechanisms. We drown ourselves in shame and self-judgment, which keep us from asking for help when we need it most. We deprive ourselves of understanding and self-forgiveness. We refuse to accept ourselves, and we develop habits of mental and emotional self-disparagement that keep us down, preventing us from being able to rise up and make important changes for ourselves and our lives.
Another reason we resist getting help is because we’re not yet ready to face the truth of our dependence and give up the substances or behaviors we’re so attached to. Our addictions have convinced us that we need our drugs of choice to be happy, to cope with anxiety, to get through the day, to make it through life. We’re afraid of giving up the crutch we’ve become dependent upon. We’re afraid that we won’t be able to manage our thoughts and emotions. We’re afraid that our inner demons will get the better of us when we no longer have our go-to forms of self-medicating. We’re afraid to be alone with our painful thoughts and fears. We avoid getting help because we know that will put an end to our drug use, and we don’t feel ready to give it up yet.
When we’re finally ready to get help, making the choice to recover is the best thing we can possibly do for ourselves. It opens us up to finally be able to be happy. It enables us to finally live the lives we were meant to live.
Better lives begin with recovery. Let Bayview Recovery give you the support and care you need as you work to heal yourself. Call 888-570-7154 today.