Acceptance and Denial
October 27, 2023
Acceptance and denial are concepts often associated with the Twelve Steps, which are a set of principles and guidelines used in various addiction recovery programs. These steps provide a structured approach for us seeking recovery from addiction. Let's explore the meanings of acceptance and denial within the context of the Twelve Steps:
Acceptance (Step One):
The First Step of the Twelve Steps is about acknowledging powerlessness over addiction and the unmanageability of our life. It involves recognizing the severity of the problem and admitting that our life has become unmanageable because of the addiction.
Acceptance, in this context, means acknowledging the existence of the addiction and its negative impact without denial or evasion. It's the first step toward recovery because it sets the foundation for change.
Denial is a defense mechanism that people with addiction often use to avoid facing the reality of our situation. It involves downplaying, minimizing, or even completely rejecting the idea that we have a problem.
Overcoming denial is a crucial aspect of the recovery process. It's often a significant barrier that prevents us from seeking help or making positive changes in our lives.
Addressing denial typically occurs in the early steps, particularly Step One and Step Four. Step Four involves making a searching and fearless moral inventory of us, which can uncover and challenge the denial patterns that have sustained the addiction.
In summary, acceptance in the Twelve Steps refers to acknowledging our powerlessness over addiction and the unmanageability of our life, while denial involves the defense mechanisms that keep us from facing the reality of our addiction. Overcoming denial is a critical step in the recovery process, as it paves the way for personal growth and positive change.