Sometimes when we are making changes in our life we take three steps forward and two steps back. What is important is that we recognize this, and the next time, take four steps forward.

The closer we get to success, the closer we can get to over-confidence. Critical times for someone who stops using substances tends to come at one month, three months, six months, and a year. It is easy to tell yourself after six months of not using that one hit won’t hurt. This over-confidence comes in the form of denial. Listed below are different levels of denial to be aware of and recognize when they begin to surface.

Symptoms of Denial

Some common techniques of denial often resurface. It is important to remember the types of denial we used while in our using behavior. Identify how you used denial or remember to evaluate this on a regular basis.

  1. Outright denial – “I have no problem.”
  2. Minimizing – Admitting a problem, but discounting its seriousness
  3. Hostility – Defending yourself against those who label you an alcohol or drug user by becoming angry and maybe making threats.
  4. Diversion – Changing the subject or dodging the issues.
  5. Blaming – Pointing a finger or accusing other people, things or situations for your using.
  6. Rationalizing – Using excuses or justification for your use.
  7. Intellectualizing – “Analyzing” the problem, looking for causes, or avoiding the personal responsibility for the problem.

Don’t let excuses or denial leave you hanging!