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“I’m Not That Bad Yet”

These words come out of the mouths of so many people struggling with addiction that they’re practically a cliche. We may deny our problems with addiction and justify our behavior in an attempt to save ourselves from confronting our demons, but in the end, all we end up doing is prolonging the inevitable fall. 

Denial Isn’t Just a River in Egypt

Admitting that you have a problem is one of the first hard truths that all who suffer from addiction must face. As long as you can stay in denial, you can keep on living your life. Once you admit that you have a problem, you’re in the uncomfortable position of having to do something to change it. It’s no wonder why people may be tempted to put off acknowledging their issue for as long as possible.

We can be surprisingly good at rationalizing even our most destructive behaviors: “It was just one mistake”; “I was just in a bad mood ”; “someone else pressured me to do that, but I don’t usually spend time with them.” The list goes on and on. It’s not until we confront the true nature of our problems that we’ll ever be able to change our lives for the better.

Hitting Rock-Bottom

Many stories of addiction and recovery include someone hitting rock-bottom. This refers to the darkest point in a person’s life when the consequences of their destructive behavior and negative influences culminate in a sort of anti-epiphany. Unlike a psychological breakthrough, though, a person’s rock-bottom may pass by unaccompanied by any sort of realization at all. It might not be until much later when you’re looking back upon your life from the vantage point of sobriety and time, that you’re able to identify a certain moment or period as your rock-bottom.

It is a common justification among people battling addiction that until they’ve reached rock-bottom, or until they realize that their life has fallen into a downward spiral, their problem isn’t “bad enough” to warrant treatment. This is a dangerously misguided idea. Once you’ve begun to sink into addiction, it is never too early to get help. In fact, the sooner you treat your problems at the source, the sooner you’ll be able to return to a peaceful, positive life. Delaying getting treatment because you’re managing “as is” only prolongs your ultimate suffering by giving your addiction more time to take root in your brain and body.

Addiction Wears Many Faces

Addiction looks different in different people. While some people might take it to rockstar levels of excess and indulgence before finally admitting to needing help, not everyone needs to let their problems go unaddressed for that long. No matter how entertainment media portrays addiction, winding up on skid row is not a requirement for getting treatment.

For some, yes, the warning signs will be glaringly obvious: missing work, lashing out at loved ones, pawning precious heirlooms, and even turning to crime. For others, well, if you find yourself having the “I’m not that bad” conversation frequently, it may be a sign that the people in your life are onto something.

Pay Attention to What You Hear

Addiction thrives in isolation. When you’re struggling with such an intense disorder, you may be tempted to withdraw from the people around you. You may feel like they couldn’t possibly understand what you’re going through. In truth, even though they might not understand what’s going on inside you, the people who know you and love you tend to have your best interests at heart. When your close friends and family tell you that something is wrong, you should listen to them. Their perspectives are based on the version of you that they’ve always known; if something seems to have changed, they may be able to pick up on it even more clearly than you can see yourself.

Don’t Wait to Get Help

We do a lot of damage to ourselves by denying painful truths. If you’re having that conversation to begin with, chances are it’s worth doing some honest soul-searching to see if the time for treatment has already come.

Don’t take your chances by waiting until it’s too late to break free. Get help for addiction now. Turn to the people you trust, make a plan of action, reach out to a treatment center or recovery program, and stop your addiction in its tracks before it can get worse. Your future health and happiness are on the line–don’t give addiction the chance to get worse before you get better.

Addiction doesn’t go away on its own, and until you tackle it head-on, you’re only making it harder on yourself and the people around you. Regardless of what you think you’re capable of handling on your own, it is never too early to seek help for addiction. Treatment programs don’t want you to wait until you’ve lost everything to be eligible for recovery; on the contrary, the sooner you start your recovery, the sooner you’ll be back to the life you want to live. At Cornerstone Healing Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, we know that getting help can never come too early. Whether you’re just beginning to realize that you may have a problem or you’ve been trying to break free of addiction for some time, we’re here to help you make the changes you need to get sober and stay sober. Call (800) 643-2108 to learn more.

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