Substance users, and those close to them, go thru a grieving process as the disease of addiction takes over. The stages of the grieving process include: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Denial of how addiction is impacting your life whether you are the one using substances, or are close to someone who does, is a painful place to be. Merriam Webster defines denial as: a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality. And describes one as being in denial as: in denial: refusing to admit the truth or reality of something unpleasant a patient in denial about his health problems
Denial is a defense mechanism we have all used as a way to protect ourselves from the truth. However, when family members of those who struggle with substances deny the significant impact the addiction has had on their lives they prolong their unnecessary suffering. Family members of those who struggle with substances are truly the forgotten sufferers. Family members need to embrace the truth of the situation so that they can move forward and take their life back!