A common saying in recovery groups is that the first step to quitting an addiction is admitting you have a problem. Even though it is only the first step in a long journey, it is often one of the hardest things for people to do. Identifying yourself as an addict can feel shameful and even frightening because of the possible consequences.
The social stigma surrounding addiction and even an addict’s own power of denial and self-deception can keep them from admitting to their problem for years. However, it is only through identifying as an addict that a person can finally begin the process of recovery and move on from their cycle of substance abuse.
Recognizing The Signs
After so much time believing that they can quit whenever they want or that they just drink or use drugs for fun, there comes a point when an addict will have to start recognizing the signs of their addiction. It can be hard for addicts to really make the effort to examine their behavior but it can help them get through the denial phase.
Knowing the signs of addiction like preoccupation with the drug, difficulty cutting back, withdrawal and tolerance can help to solidify in your mind that you truly need help. Whenever you see that your own behavior is just like any typical addict it can be easier to stop and realize that you are actually suffering from an addiction.
Admitting To Yourself And Others
Once you see that you are showing obvious signs of addiction, the next step is to admit to yourself that you are an addict. Letting this sink in before telling anyone else can help you get comfortable with the realization. Saying to yourself that you are an addict and making that connection in your mind can help you prepare to move on.
After coming to terms for yourself that you have an addiction, it is important to admit your problem to friends and family. This can be the hardest step in the process because of the fear of judgment or rejection. A lot of things can change when you open up about a substance abuse problem so it takes a lot of courage to talk about it with others.
To make it easier initially you can start with the person that you trust the most and move on from there. Telling someone you are an addict is incredibly difficult but it is a little easier when admitting it to the person you are closest to and you know will be there for you in times of need.
Focusing On Recovery
Once you have identified as an addict you then need to focus on the task of recovery. Be honest about your problem and reach out for help from people that will support you in your decision to quit. An addict can never quit alone or in secret.
Being open and honest about addiction while also relying on others for help can create a more successful recovery. Admitting you have a problem is never easy but it is a necessary step in ending addiction.