Originally Posted @ http://www.newbridgerecovery.com/addiction-denial/
The disease of addiction is a cunning and powerful force. It can hide in the shadows of other issues and problems, avoiding being singled out. It places the blame on situations or other people and refuses to be held accountable for its destruction. Often times someone struggling with addiction won’t realize what everyone around them sees; that addiction is ruining their life. Breaking free from the bondage of addiction requires a person to see through the disillusion of denial. If someone remains in denial, it is likely they will not grasp the reality of the situation until it is too late. Read about why denial is so common in the addicted person, and more importantly about how recovery starts when denial is overcome.
Roots of Denial
Since addiction is a relatively slow-progressing disease, problems and consequences of drinking or drugging may not appear until decades after it began. Most addicted people experienced some positive experiences using and drinking. Addiction can creep in slowly, like an assassin in the night, taking hold of a person’s life little by little. Often the person is not even aware of the dramatic changes taking place in their minds and bodies. Their families, friends, and co-workers sometimes notice the changes in their behavior and appearance. So if other people noticed the presence of a problem, why can’t the addicted person?
In the mind of an alcoholic or addict, they correlate positive emotions, feelings, and memories with their drinking/using. To them, alcohol/drugs are a ‘cure-all’ for the stresses or daily stresses of life. It’s a means to relax, to celebrate, to numb out, to escape, to be social, to manage pain, etc. All the negative aspects of their addiction, they minimize or attribute to ‘bad luck’ or someone else. Subconsciously, their addicted mind defends their actions by denying the reality of the situation. Slowly the morals, goals, and aspirations of the person are lowered until the addicted life feels like the only normal one. When someone tells them that they have a problem, they can get angry, aggressive, prone to avoidance, withdrawn, etc.