7 Common Denial Statements of an Addict – Part 2

Last week we talked about seven of the most common denial statements an addict uses to justify, rationalize, minimize or hide his sexual addiction.

The first seven we talked about were:

1. Comparing
2. Manipulating
3. Blaming
4. Minimizing
5. Rationalizing
6. Hopelessness
7. False Compliance

Thanks for the comments and stories that related to these denial statements.

Today we’re going to talk about seven more common denial statements.

By the way, they aren’t in order of most common to least common; in fact, #14 is probably the one I’ve used MOST with parents, ecclesiastical leaders, and even my wife…

7 Additional Denial Statements Addicts Use to Cope


8. All or Nothing Thinking

“If I slip into acting out even minimally, all hope is lost and I might as well indulge fully.”

“I have to be perfect, otherwise it’s not even worth trying.”

9. Eternal Optimism

“I’ve made it this far in the Steps and haven’t acted out for quite awhile; I think I’m good.

“I’m feeling so much better, so I think I can back off my recovery work now.”

“My slip was really bad, but I’m learning a lot; I really think something is different this time.”

10. Uniqueness

“I’ve tried everything before and failed. I can’t be fixed. Recovery isn’t going to work for me.”

“I’m different than those addicts. I really don’t need to __________.”

11. Storytelling

“I can go to this movie that I know has some sexual content, but I’m sure I’ll skip past triggering parts or just not watch them.”

“I am never going to act out again for the rest of my life. I’ve turned the corner and will never go back to my addiction again.”

11. Opportunity vs. Scarcity

“I’m finally alone. This may be the last chance I ever have to act out. I’d better take it.”

“It’s not my fault if I click on that link and ‘accidentally’ stumble onto pornography.”

12. Compartmentalization

“I don’t care what the consequences are. I just want to feel better now.”

“Looking at pornography and acting out doesn’t affect other ares of my life.”

“As long as I am nice to my wife and kids, then my acting out really doesn’t hurt them.”

“If I fill my life with good pursuits, then I don’t need to focus on recovery.”

14. Omission

“I’m not responsible to disclose details, unless someone specifically asks me about them.”

“I can’t share how triggered I really am, otherwise others will stop me from acting out.”

Here’s a video that Dr. Adam Moore did at the recent UCAP conference in Salt Lake. He talks a lot about the denial statements.


How do you relate to these denial statements?

Did we leave any out?

What’s the next step you can take to surrender these ideas and lies to the Higher Power of your understanding?

14 thoughts on “7 Common Denial Statements of an Addict – Part 2”

  1. I’m sure I evidence every denial mechanism imaginable. They all came up in my Step 4 Moral Inventory. The most telling statement in the White Book (quoted from Twelve and Twelve) is where it says, “…every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.” That something is often one of the denial mechanisms. When I am disturbed, I can just look at my Step 4 inventory and pretty quickly figure it out.

    1. I love that quote too Sam – there is always something wrong with me. I used to think I was getting mad at the kids to “protect them” or “fix them.” I’ve realized just recently that when I get mad at the kids and want to bite their heads off (not literally), it’s because I’m afraid they are turning into ME. Their annoying habits or actions remind me of myself and I’m fearful. So then I try to control them or fix them. All wrong moves on my part.

      Instead, I’m trying to learn, one day at a time, that I can point out what I see, try to talk to them in a calm way, and invite them to think about what they may be trying to cope with. Obviously this is a work in progress but AWARENESS is the first step.

      Thanks for the comment Sam.

  2. A lot of these I would have never thought of as denial mechanisms. For instance, I get hopeless a lot, and start getting into all or nothing thinking. I make a mistake, such as miscommunicate with my wife, and that means I’m a bad husband. Not only that, I suck at parenting, home teaching, my job, etc. I just start to pile it on myself. I get into woe is me. I typically do that and want people to feel sorry for me. I never thought of them in the past as things I need to take responsibility for. Now I realize I need to recognize them and be accountable for them, because they aren’t healthy. They are attempts to deny my responsibility for my recovery.

    1. I’ve realized that too. Taking accountability for my part in things has been a hard concept to grasp but one that has lifted a lot of the burden that I put on my wife. Like it says in the DVD “Helping Her Heal:” – “You did that to her. This was YOUR fault.”

      As an addict it’s always been easy for me to push the blame onto someone else and feel justified. “I wouldn’t have done that but this person did this and therefore I had to do what I did…”

      Thanks Sam.

  3. There is one not on here that applies to me: Maybe I’m the only one, but I denied for years that my addiction was heavily related to my negative emotions, (also been referred to as ‘pain’ by some therapists) I denied that my addiction was a coping mechanism for my inability to handle the stress, anger, shame, guilt, worry, FEAR, or whatever is was in my life. This was a big denial factor that kept me from making any real progress until I accepted the truth that I didn’t just lust after women because they were ‘hot’, I was using lust to cope.

    1. Great insight Cameron. This reminds me of what it says in “Rowboat and Marbles” eBook: A leads to B and B leads to C. A is the negative emotions. B is lust. C is acting out in the addiction.

      Often times, as an addict, I’ve focused on the C and maybe a small bit of the B, but never the A. I didn’t even know what that was. I didn’t really know what B was either.

      As I’ve realized that everything stems from the A’s – the negative emotions – it’s helped me be much more aware of what I’m feeling when lust triggers come at me like a ton of bricks. If I’m feeling those urges strongly to check people out, to objectify and compare, I have to self-assess and ask myself what I’m trying to cope with.

      FEAR, for me, seems to be at the root of almost all my emotional issues: fear that I’m not enough, fear that my kids are turning into the worst part of me, fear that I can’t ever overcome my character defects, fear that my business isn’t as good as my friend’s business – some of it sounds stupid to even write out right now, but those fears are there.

      Thanks for the awesome feedback and reminder!

  4. All 14 of these tactics are very real to me. It is hard to hear that they are really a form of denial because they seem to help me so much. But when I truly look at them like this, I can see how much they are really holding me back.

    1. Thanks for the comment Gavin. In my addict mode, these statements seem to make sense and be true. But, like you said, if I’m honestly self-assessing, I can see how they are ways to justify and minimize my behavior and actions.

    1. Me too. I’ve probably said all of them in one form or another if I’m being 100% honest. These statements are something I wish I could have seen when I was a teenager so I could realize what I was actually doing.

      Thanks for your comment Cody.

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