When it comes to overcoming addiction, denial really is the first and most difficult step. Although the recovery process can be a complex and trying journey, it can become much smoother and straightforward once that first step is conquered. But because denial itself can be such a deeply rooted coping mechanism, for some, it can be a major barrier to addiction recovery.
Denial as a Coping Mechanism
Although it’s not productive or healthy, denial does help many people simply get through their daily lives. In the short-term, denial can be helpful. It can give you time to readjust yourself after a particularly painful or stressful situation. But if used as a long-term coping mechanism for a deeper problem, denial can be very detrimental to your recovery and overall health.
Why Denial Is So Difficult
Denial is such a difficult obstacle to overcome because it is often so hardwired into our minds that it’s nearly impossible to see our situation objectively. Some people may have also been raised in an environment in which they’ve been taught that denial is the correct way to deal with emotional issues. To overcome denial later in life, that person will need to unlearn engrained behavior, which may take some time to accomplish.
Ways to Overcome Denial
While it’s often hard to do, denial can be overcome. Some people find themselves agreeing to seek professional help only to please their loved ones. If someone in your life asks you to seek addiction help, try to remain open to help and discussion. If you don’t think you’re suited for therapy or counseling, journaling privately and being honest with yourself about any bottled-up emotions can help you begin your recovery process.