Excuses to Drink
How do excuses and addictive thinking affect your recovery?
“I am absolutely powerless to control my use . . . maybe.” This is just one example of addictive thinking, or excuses that can cause you to relapse and eventually return to use. Addictive thinking involves a combination of negative attitudes, distorted thinking, and an intense resistance to change. While you were using drugs and/or alcohol, you probably invented all sorts of excuses to deny and justify using while trying to avoid negative consequences. These same excuses can threaten your recovery unless you are prepared to recognize them and replace them with the early recovery lessons you learned from the Twelve Steps: you are powerless against addiction, addiction is a disease that requires a spiritual solution, and you don’t have all the answers.
The first step to overcoming addictive thinking is to become honest with yourself. Not an easy task, as you know, but that’s exactly what the Twelve Steps will help you accomplish. With time and your best effort in working each of the Steps, you come to know yourself. In the very first Step, you are asked to accept the idea that your life has become unmanageable—your first venture into self knowledge. Each Step takes you to another level of knowing and accepting yourself. As you develop a healthy relationship with yourself, you prepare yourself to do the same with others. These relationships are the connective tissue that forms your ongoing recovery reality check and support system.