I took drinking pretty much to the end of the road. At the end of my drinking, my world had shrunk to my couch—the end with the stains and cigarette burns. I desperately wanted to quit, but never in a million years thought I could or even imagine life without alcohol. And in my head was a destructive thought pattern that kept me stuck for over twenty years.
In this article, I discuss FIVE lies of addiction that will most certainly derail anyone’s attempts to quit drinking, and then examine them for the truth. To be able to quit drinking and stay quit, it is essential to understand and address the lies that addiction tells us and the truth of addiction.
Which of the following can you relate to?
5 Truths about Addiction
Next, let’s take a closer look at each of the lies and examine what is happening under the surface.
1. It’s not that bad.
Addiction is like the proverbial frog in the pot of water, and things heat up really slow. Saying “it’s not that bad” is part of the denial of addiction. Alcohol is connected to at least seven types of cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems. Alcohol causes financial and job-related issues, impacts relationships, and changes brain chemistry leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. There is nothing about alcohol that enhances life.
2. No harm in having one.
Perhaps in the earlier stages of my drinking, I was able to have “just one.” But for the most part, I was not aware of the concept that the first drink was the one that got me into trouble. Once that first drink passed my lips, there was no predicting what would happen. So, a LOT of harm can happen from having “just one.”
3. You’d drink too if…
I had an endless list of excuses for drinking and had no problem blaming others. Hiding and lying about how much a person drinks is another form of denial. Blaming others and making excuses is a way of avoiding consequences and facing reality. It is difficult taking the blame for something when your mind believes the opposite. Admitting you have a problem with alcohol is a huge first step in breaking through this denial barrier.
4. This time will be different.
I tried all kinds of ways to control my drinking. I tried drinking only beer. Not mixing my cocktails. Only drinking on weekends. Not drinking alone. If I could think it, I tried it. For an alcoholic, trying to control their drinking is an all-time challenge. Fact: Alcohol is a progressive illness which means if you continue drinking, it will never get any better, only worse. Saying “this time will be different” is true, but not in a good way. The longer a person drinks, the more chances of harm and destruction.
5. It’s too hard to quit drinking.
First, how many times a day do you say things like this to yourself—it’s too hard, I can’t do it? I know that I was in a constant dialogue in my head about drinking and quitting drinking. Reality check-- that’s all it is. Dialogue. Words. Negative self-talk. And you can change this. The first step is becoming aware of how you are talking to yourself about quitting drinking, recognizing you are doing it, and changing it. Yes, quitting drinking is hard work, but drinking is hard work, too, and I didn't lament that for years on end. In the long run, sobriety is a much easier way to live.
Bottom line. Everything is the opposite of what I believed. The truth is, quitting drinking is the absolute best thing I have ever done. I don't even have to think twice about it. The lies of addiction kept me stuck in an endless, hopeless cycle for years. Breaking out of this cycle is the road to freedom!
Need help dealing with an addiction to alcohol or other drugs? I know that I couldn’t do it alone. My GendHer® program is created with you in mind!
If you are thinking about quitting and have been drinking large quantities of alcohol for a significant time, withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. Please talk to your doctor and seek medical care as you go through the detox process. It is important to note that addiction may also mask mental health disorders that someone is drinking to self-medicate, such as depression or anxiety.
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