Posted by Steps to Recovery on January 4, 2013
When I was still in active addiction and even in early recovery I made a lot of excuses for myself. I did a lot of rationalizing and justifying around my addiction. Everyone does, it’s a very normal human thing to try to make things that we are doing that aren’t right fit into something that is acceptable. It’s normal to work words around to try and make sense of our problems, but it’s not healthy and it’s not authentic.
One of my big things around rationalizing my addiction was my lifestyle aside from using. I ate organic, never ate fast food, ate very little meat, rarely drank, didn’t smoke, did yoga, practiced holistic health and used herbs instead of pharmaceuticals of any kind and had a pretty healthy lifestyle…Other than my longterm meth addiction. When asked about this, my response was always that if I took care of myself in all these other ways but still used meth, I was basically breaking even with most of the non-addicted people around me. And (In my mind) I was definitely way better off than the other addicts I knew! Pretty much everyone I knew was a drinker, a smoker, addicted to fast food or just filled their body with processed food and junk all the time, whether they were addicted to drugs or not. Or even all of those things at the same time all the time. In my mind, if I avoided all that I was still coming out pretty good. Funny how our addict thinks like that, and makes sense out of things that just don’t really work in the real world, isn’t it?
My other thing, especially when asked to look deeper in early recovery, was saying that I loved getting high. Yeah, I had a lot of other problems that I needed to deal with and I knew it and could talk about those things, at least on a superficial level, but to me it was just too hard to admit that my addiction could have been a symptom of these other things. I never felt out of control with drugs, I always felt that I could stop when I wanted to, but I liked it and never really wanted to stop. At least, that’s what I told myself. I loved getting high. It was really hard to come to a place where I was comfortable enough to say, hey, I wasn’t completely in control of what was going on with me like I tried to convince myself and everyone else I was.
Really looking at the way I had rationalized and justified my drug use has been incredibly empowering and made it possible for me to start really addressing the deeper causes of my situation. Without truly breaking this excuse making down and really looking at it I would probably still be telling myself these things, which I feel would keep me very close to relapsing. I loved getting high – but Iove myself as a sober person in recovery even more.
How did you rationalize your addiction? What were you able to learn from taking a deeper look at your addict reasoning?