A person struggling with addiction is often living a double life. Eventually, the deception becomes too much for them to manage, and they break. However, many don’t even realize that they are lying more often than they are telling the truth. Living a double life can be exhausting. So what are some of the reasons that people lie when they are struggling with addiction?
To Maintain Their Addiction
Someone with an addiction will go to any lengths necessary to keep up the addiction. If they realized the severity of their situation and the harm they are causing not only themselves but people around them, they would think twice before continuing on their path. However, lying becomes a matter of self preservation. Nothing and no one is going to hinder their drug habit.
To Escape Reality
People with addiction have created an alternate reality for themselves. They are unrecognizable to themselves and to others. The truth is too harsh to face, and so the person lives in an alternate reality where drugs and alcohol aren’t the problem, other people are. The person believes they are doing nothing wrong and the drugs and alcohol are just ways to cope with stress. And the lies can go much deeper than that. They will lie about getting a new job when they were actually fired, or moving into a new home when they are on the verge of homelessness.
To Avoid Conflict
When a person is struggling with addiction, their family and friends are not going to sit around and let them spiral ever downward. They will start getting involved, start asking questions, start getting angry and wanting answers. They will be hurt and upset. The addicted person will not want to be confronted in this way. So to avoid it, the person will resort to the path of least resistance, which is lying.
Caught Up In Denial
Even in the depths of their addiction, the person will deny everything. They will continue to deny things in the face of overwhelming evidence. Denial allows them to disavow the problem and ignore any consequences. Denial exists to preserve the addiction, and can be so strong that the person is actually blind to what is really going on.
They Think They’re Different
Often the person believes they’re the exception to the rule. They may know all about addiction and it’s consequences, but they firmly believe that they are not like everyone else. They can stop any time they want. It’s not even a problem to begin with, for them. They can handle it. All these lies to themselves allows the person to live outside normal standards of behavior.
Because They Can
Family and friends can unwittingly take on the role of enablers when they find out the person has an addiction. They turn a blind eye to their behavior, make excuses for the person, or even pay their bills when things get really bad. This lets the person avoid facing any consequences for their actions. Family and friends may think they are helping, but the reality is far from it. Enabling or ‘rescuing’ the addicted person merely sends the message the their bad behavior is acceptable, and only serves to perpetuate the addiction.
At Sound Recovery our treatment program recognizes that addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing. Clients will receive comprehensive treatment using a multidisciplinary approach that combines 12 Step, abstinence-based recovery and services that include individual counseling, behavioral therapy and group therapy. Give us a call on 561-279-3860.