You may have heard of the proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And for addicts, the first step is acknowledging your addiction.
This is very true when it comes to recovering from addiction. Anyone who wants to get off their addiction and start their journey to recovery must first take that first step. In fact, it is the hardest step to take-acknowledging the addiction.
In any recovery program, one of the first goals is for you to own your addiction. You have to acknowledge your problem to yourself and the people around you: addiction has become a part of your life and it has become a part of who you are People are generally wired to protect themselves from hurt, whether physically or emotionally, and accepting a difficult fact can be painful so not a lot of people are able to do it. Admitting that there is something wrong with us or with what we are doing is one of the hardest things in life. It takes a lot of courage. And once you are able to own your addiction, you can start taking control of it. You can start getting back your life.
Owning or acknowledging your addiction does not mean that you have to blame or feel sorry about yourself, though. It also does not mean that you have to feel helpless and hopeless. Owning your addiction means deciding that you have to stop minimizing the problems brought about by your addiction, as well as end your justifications and excuses for doing what you do. Owning your addiction also means acknowledging that you can’t allow yourself to continue with your addiction; change has to take place.
Unlike certain problems though, addiction is actually not just a simple problem that you can address on your own. You need to have structure from rehab programs and support from family, friends, and fellow recovering addicts. Having a support group is crucial because it inspires you to stay strong, keep your head above water and keep moving to the right direction.
Once you have taken that first step, you have a better chance at making that second…and third…and fourth…and before you know it, you will realize that you can, indeed, still have hope for a happier, better life outside of addiction.