3 Lies Addicts Tell Themselves
Posted Jun 4, 2022
Addiction and dishonesty go hand in hand.
As addiction grips our lives, we abandon our morals. When this happens, honesty is usually the first to go.
I had no problem lying to loved ones, strangers, or cops; it didn't matter. If I thought that I could benefit from a lie, I would tell it.
However, some of the most damaging lies I told during my addiction were to myself.
Here are 3 common lies that addicts tell themselves...
Lie 1. I don't have a problem.
- A common lie that we tell to justify our drug use.
- Becomes harder to justify as addiction progresses.
- Eventually abandoned.
This is a lie that I told myself a lot when I first started using heroin.
When I first started using drugs, my life seemed to be going well. I was still healthy, able to hold down a job, and my friends and family didn't suspect anything.
It was easy for me to justify my drug use as not being a big deal during this time. I was able to get high without experiencing any consequences. I didn't have a problem...
As time went on, it became more apparent that I had a drug issue.
I began to withdraw socially. I'd spend most days locked in my room getting high. My friends and family started to notice a change in my behavior but still didn't know what I was doing.
My job had taken a back seat to my addiction. I called in sick a lot. When I did show up to work, I was a terrible employee. My managers were suspicious and just looking for an opportunity to fire me.
My whole life was burning down around me. But, with enough denial and dope, I convinced myself that everything was still okay.
After a few years, I stopped trying to convince myself I didn't have a problem.
I had moved out of my family's house and resorted to living in my car. My family discovered what I had been doing and were devastated. They just wanted to help me, but I didn't want to hear it.
By this time, I had lost my job. I got fired when I showed up in a Xanax blackout and almost poked my manager with a syringe.
You can read the full story of The Most Humiliating Moment of My Drug Addiction here.
Without a job, I resorted to crime to fund my habit.
It's awfully hard to convince yourself you don’t have a drug problem when your shoplifting Tide Pods and other random crap every day to support your habit.
When you reach a point like this in drug addiction, the lie of I don't have a problem becomes exactly that, a lie.
I could see what addiction had done to my life. I had lost my friends, my family, and my dignity. I was no longer in control of my situation.
I definitely had a problem. And I knew it...
Problem was, I was so sick that I just didn’t care.
Lie 2. I can't be happy without drugs.
- A common lie that medium to long-term addicts tell themselves.
- Can prevent an addict from ever trying to get clean.
- Recovery disproves.
As time went on, I started believing that I needed drugs to be happy.
It wasn’t until I had used heroin for about six months that this thought started to creep into my head.
Could I be happy without drugs?
My addiction was in full force, and I thought the answer was no. My life was hard enough. Imagining a life without drugs seemed impossible.
It is easy for an addict to feel this way. Drugs can seem like the only means of escape from a life of chaos and misery.
We are willing to be homeless, commit crimes, and risk jail to satisfy our habits. We often abandon our families and live in isolation.
If we can’t get high, then what is the point?
I thought if I stopped using, I would be miserable.
For years I was convinced that I would never stop using drugs. I figured that if I was going to be miserable anyway, I might as well go through life high.
We become so accustomed to the misery that we assume that's just the way life is.
It is hard for an addict to imagine life without drugs. Let alone imagine being happy. Most addicts don’t even remember what real happiness feels like.
When we are using, we equate being high with being happy.
This is a big reason why so many addicts never even attempt to quit using.
Once I was able to stay clean for a while, I realized that I could be happy without drugs.
Not only that, but I started to remember how happiness feels. Without the stress of drug addiction, I began to enjoy my life again.
I found joy in simple things that you don't experience when you're using, like being out in nature and enjoying a home-cooked meal.
I also realized that I never was happy when I used drugs. Even the “good times” in my addiction seem shallow and depressing when I think back on them.
Sure, there were some fun times when I thought I was happy.
But once sober for a while, you start to understand that drugs never made you happy. You had just forgotten what happiness was.
Lie 3. I can manage my addiction.
- A lie we tell throughout our addiction.
- Becomes harder to manage as time goes on.
- We need to accept that this isn’t true before we can begin to recover.
I tried telling myself that I could make it work. That I could find a way.
When I first started using heroin, I was able to work a job, keep up appearances, and get high all at the same time.
Things didn't stay that way for long. As my disease progressed, I started losing control over my drug use.
No matter how bad things got, I still thought that I could find a way to make things work. Maybe if I tried hard enough, I could manage my addiction as I had in the beginning.
The longer I used, the harder it was to manage.
As our disease progresses, it wreaks havoc on our lives. The consequences of drug use become so overwhelming that we can no longer manage them.
Towards the end of my drug use, I had lost everything. I had no money, felony convictions, and nowhere to go. Yet, I still thought I could find a way to manage my addiction.
Addicts like to think that they are in control of their drug use. The truth is, I was never in control. Drugs were in charge of me as soon as I started using them.
I had to be honest with myself. I couldn’t manage my addiction.
During my first couple of times in rehab, I was still holding onto the hope of controlling my addiction.
I still didn't think that drugs were my problem. I blamed circumstance and other things out of my control for how bad things had gotten.
As soon as I left treatment, I was right back on the street, getting high. It didn't matter what I did, I couldn't manage my life anymore. I needed to accept the truth.
Until an addict can accept that drugs have made their life unmanageable, they won’t be ready to get clean. They will always hold out hope that they can somehow make it work.
Addicts lie all the time. It's just a part of addiction that we deal with. Some of the more dangerous lies an addict tells are to themselves.
These lies work to keep us trapped in addiction. They make us scared of change and give us false hope that everything will be okay.
Before we can recover, we need to accept that these things aren't true. Only then do we have a chance to change our lives.
Eric Anderson is a web developer and recovering drug addict. By sharing his experience in drug addiction and recovery, he hopes to help families who have been impacted by this disease.Learn more about Eric