The First Step is the Hardest

addiction first stepNo one wants to admit that they are an addict. Confronting that truth is scary and difficult, and it acknowledges the necessity of change in one’s life. It can also be wounding to the ego, because admitting that you are an addict means admitting that you are not in control of yourself. But rest assured, taking the first step of admitting to your addiction and reaching out for help is the hardest part. Changing the tides and direction of your life is jarring, and everything from there on in offers you increasing positivity and optimism.

Denial is the hallmark of addiction. A vast majority of addicts experience denial before they look to recover from their addiction. Denial sets in for a number of reasons. It may be part of a defense mode that the addict excerpts if they feel like their addictive tendencies are under attack. Or it may be a way for the addict to run and hide from the truth: that the addiction is consuming their life. Usually it is a combination of both. Denial can have a strong hold on a person, but when they are personally ready to change, denial will crumble like a house of cards.

There is nothing to fear in admitting to being an addict. Chances are your loved ones have been hoping you will admit to being an addict and seek treatment. A person’s addiction is very hard on the people who care about them, and it is highly likely that the addict’s support system will be happy to give of themselves to encourage the addict toward treatment and recovery.

Once the initial “coming out” has taken place, the addict can seek whatever kind of addiction treatment they need. This may be as simple as a support group or private counselor in cases of mild addiction, or it may be as big a commitment as inpatient rehabilitation for cases of severe addiction. Rehab is statistically the most successful type of addiction treatment, but the addict should discuss which treatment option is right for them with their physician and their family before committing to any treatment plan.