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How Denial Manifests Through The Stages Of Alcoholic Addiction Recovery

SayingNoAddiction denial is baffling. That’s the truth. Likely, we’ll never truly understand it fully.


Resistance toward help for addiction – no matter what form an offer of help takes, it will be met with resistance.

Whether this is a gentle conversation nudging in the right direction, or a more serious threat of removal of support;

Any offer of help becomes a threat to the alcoholics only means of survival – alcohol.


This may seem like an exaggeration – but alcohol is literally their only way to cope at this point.

So any suggestion that might take that away – even the best treatment in the world – an alcoholic perceives even this can’t make up for the overwhelming emotional deficits they feel beneath the surface.


During Treatment & Ongoing Recovery

Denial surfaces again during treatment.

This could be during alcohol detoxification itself, or actually doing therapy work on the psychological components that lie beneath the behaviour of addiction.


Inevitably this will involve changing behaviours, changing social circles, learning new ways to react to old triggers, that previously resulted in alcohol use.

Whenever a part of a new behaviour we’re trying to integrate, goes against the grain of the old alcoholic patterns in our lives, we will find denial surfacing once more.


Whenever a part of our recovery, that we’re being told is required, contradicts an old behaviour, an old way of being, an old routine – and will therefore cause emotional pain to break – is when denial will surface again.

Because denial, means, that there are enough parts of us left, still attached to the old alcoholic behaviour patterns, to believe that it serves some means to cope.


This pattern will repeat itself throughout our entire recovery journey, until we’ve fully integrated all the aspects of change that we need to embrace, in order to become a fully functioning individual again.


It’s the age old case of, what we resist, persists.


But the end result, can only be, an individual who, through the help and support of others, and through taking responsibility for their own life, has now adapted all the old behaviours, into behaviours that function, that serve the individual no matter what stressors arise in life.


A person that is better rounded, more whole, and who has grown immeasurably since first admitting the addiction issue they have.



Into Recovery & Beyond – Integrating New Behaviours And Coping Mechanisms

Once the most obvious elements of our behavioural patterns of alcoholism have been dealt with, possibly at one of the nhs drug rehabilitation centres uk, and new resources and behaviours are put in their place, we then need to maintain these.


But this doesn’t necessarily protect us from feeling retriggered.

In some cases, e.g. where trauma has led to the initial alcoholism, an aspect of the trauma can be re-triggered later, in a way that hasn’t come up until that point. In a way which we weren’t able to address properly before.


Maybe we coped with that old trauma with alcohol, and thus, the old excuses come back.

At these times, it’s more important than ever to have a variety of new supports already in place, to turn to, when unexpected events come up. I myself turned to the guys at Edinburgh Rehab Centre when I needed help: https://www.edinburghrehab.co.uk.


Denial is powerful, at all stages of addiction, but with the right support and tools, and a willingness to pick up 100% personal responsibility, we can overcome it.