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Why Do We Hide Our Addictions?

When we are living with addictions, even when we are suffering the most, we often try to hide our addictions from other people. We try to keep them a secret from our loved ones and communities. We keep parts of ourselves, whole parts of our lives, hidden from other people. We live in secrecy. Sometimes we live a double life. We do everything we can to keep people from finding out our painful secrets. Why do we hide our addictions from the people who care about us, who want to help us?

Sometimes we hide our addictions because we know if people knew about them, they would try to make us stop. They would encourage us to get help. They might nag us about the issue, worry excessively and keep bringing it up. We often aren’t ready to give up our addictions yet. We don’t want anyone interfering with our lifestyle. When we are in cycles of self-destructiveness, we have developed a comfort zone where we have come to accept our addictions as part of our lives. They are familiar to us. They are what is comfortable. When we are in that place, the last thing we want is for someone to ruin that for us and take us out of our comfort zone. We want to be left alone in our escapism. We don’t want anyone to make us have to crash back down to reality and face the truth.

Sometimes we hide simply because we are ashamed and embarrassed. Chances are we’ve been judged before, and we want to avoid more judgment. People looking down on us or thinking ill of us can really hurt. We fear the rejection that comes with all of the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding addiction. In most circles, the topic of addiction is still very taboo. It’s not seen as something we all could potentially experience, as addiction can develop with any substance or behavior. Addiction is not limited to only specific kinds of people or certain behaviors. Any of us could struggle with an addiction, regardless of our background. Not everyone has this view, and many people still see addiction as evidence of immorality and addicts as not respectable. For these reasons, our inclination is to want to hide these parts of ourselves from anyone who might not accept us. Hiding our addictions keeps us from addressing them, being honest about them, and getting the help we need.

We’re here to provide support without judgment. Many of us are in recovery too. Call (800) 871-5440.