"Refusal to admit the truth or reality".......The dictionary's definition of denial
We often speak about the addict's denial over their substance abuse problem, but just as devastating is the denial from the parents and the partners of the addict. Almost daily I get to talk to the parents of an addict who is a counseling patient. The parents are often in denial of the various stages of the addiction process. Sometimes they can't even believe that their son or daughter is an addict, and wonder if the problem at hand is just temporary, like the addict told them. Other times, the parents are in denial over the amounts and the types of drugs that were used. Yet other times, the parents are in denial over the fact that an addict can die from the disease of addiction. Another very usual denial example comes from the parents or partners of an addict who believe all they hear from the addict, and cannot fathom the idea that an addict in recovery may still be telling lies and making up stories. Often, the parents and partners think that because an addict is now in recovery, even for a month, that they're now "fixed" and the old habits are gone. Denial causes much chaos in both the lives of addicts and their families as well.
It is very difficult for a parent to accept that their son or daughter is as sick as they can be when in active addiction. They think that he addict can just stop using and go back to being the person they once were. They have a hard time realizing and accepting the devastation of drug and alcohol dependency, and how important their role is in the process of recovery. Parents and partners at times can see the addict's issues clearly but are unable to see their part. They understand the addict had a problem, but they can't accept that addiction is a family disease, and they have a problem too. This is when denial becomes alive in a whole new way. Most parents I talk to have a very hard time seeing their part and their need to get help. They do not want to attend Alanon, Naranon, or CODA meetings, as they feel that meetings are for the addict only. Aren't the addict's the only ones in the family with a problem?????
If you are the parent or the partner of an addict, please get some help. You can seek a professional counselor who specializes in substance abuse, while also start attending Alanon, Naranon, or CODA meetings. You will be surprised how much that can help and how eye opening the sessions can be. Substance abuse is a family disease. The addict is not the only one with a problem. You also need help.