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Return to self-assessment

Addictions and/or problem use almost always has a secretive nature. Isolating, requiring more privacy, stashing substances in special places, off limits to others is common. 

This is related to the shame of being labelled an addict or problem user.

If my wife does not see the bottles she is less likely to get upset and we are less apt to fight about my drinking.

When the fix is kept in the dresser I can pretend that it really isn't an issue; I don't see it.

The price of recognizing a problem is that it brings awareness that one is far removed from their true capacity.

However, secretive behavior can be viewed as a loving self-protective behavior. There is a part of the self that knows behaviors are not aligned with potential and it is this part that seeks to hide evidence. Overt (visual) evidence of use leads to self-shaming and opens the door to shaming from others.

While secretive behavior minimizes contact with external shamers, it inadvertently builds the internal shame identity. Overtime the primitive mind integrates this into the sense of self. 

Secretive behavior builds cellular memory around an addict identity. The mind begins to normalize a way of being that is potentially destructive. Secretive behaviors are learned, accepted and eventually become primitively driven compulsions. 

Terri Lee Cooper MSc. RSW

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