Denial is something that can not just stifle the development of new sober practices but also compromise one’s sense of self-worth, leading one to unnecessarily belittle themselves — even in the face of progress. Addressing denial in recovery is a topic that will come up throughout one’s journey, but it won’t always present itself in the same way. Denial can be both the denial of one’s use of an addictive substance and how it has affected one’s life, as well as the denial of one’s self or their ability to explore one’s sober identity.
Denial of Use
Denial of one’s use of an addictive substance is often the first form of denial that an individual will face. This often appears before an individual has even realized their need for recovery or taken a step into a recovery facility. However, it is also possible that an individual may still be struggling with this kind of denial even while in professional care if they feel as if they are attending recovery at the behest of loved ones, family members, or a legal obligation. This kind of denial can shut down many other facets of recovery as an individual tells themselves that this can’t apply to them because they, themselves, are not addicted.
However, addiction can take many forms, and what may be an addiction for one person may look very different than another’s. Simply because an individual isn’t passing out drunk every day doesn’t mean that there isn’t an unhealthy, dangerous relationship with alcohol going on. Taking sips throughout the day or being unable to limit oneself when drinking can all be forms of dangerous substance use.
Denial of Self
Denial of one’s self begins with an individual admitting that they indeed have a problem that they need to work out. However, because they identify negative aspects within themselves, they may conclude that even if they are suffering from addiction, they do not deserve happiness somehow or that recovery is a “lost cause” on them. These feelings can be extraordinarily difficult to overcome as it involves addressing one’s use of an addictive substance and one’s view of their self-worth, requiring an overhaul of one’s entire world view and mental framework.
However, recovery is still possible, and outlining the positive steps that one has objectively already taken in their journey can become a powerful view into seeing one’s self as a catalyst for their success.
Denial is a major obstacle in the recovery process, but it isn’t necessarily the same thing for each person. At Valiant Living, we understand that identifying denial and getting to the underlying roots of one’s denial is essential in creating an effective, personalized recovery plan. We will work with you to find your own set of best practices during your time with us. Our men’s facility champions the idea of community and support, with peers and professionals alike working with you to acknowledge denial to work towards effective goals. To learn more, call to speak to us today at (303) 952-5035.