Have you had a personality check since becoming sober?
The process of recovery can (and often does) cause havoc on your emotional well being. Emotions, feelings and personality traits that were either buried, not apparent or non-existent emerge when an addict becomes sober. There is a great deal written and said about how to deal with new found emotions and how to accept life on life’s terms, but have you examined your day to day interactions with the rest of the human race?
I have noticed that it is all too common for recovering addicts to have some growing pains when it comes to interacting with other people. It is all too easy to fall into a mindset of wanting people to act a certain way because you are now sober. When an addict stops using, the chance of feeling a sense of entitlement can settle in. This is problematic for a couple of reasons:
1. Not everyone is going to care that you are now sober.
2. You aren’t owed any sympathy or understanding from anyone.
3. Your sobriety does not equal you suddenly being a wonderful person.
The recovering addict must realize that they are essentially fighting their own demons alone. If you have the support of a fellowship, your family, and friends and loved ones then you are indeed very fortunate and should count your blessings. As you gain more traction in your recovery, you must remind yourself that you still have an obligation to the planet and those that inhabit the world. To exist in a head space where you are entirely focused on “you you you” is as dangerous as the self-centered and selfish behavior you displayed when you were using.
Simply put, the addict in recovery must put himself or herself in check on a daily basis. Ask yourself if your behavior, actions and conversations are benefiting someone else. This can’t be the case all of the time, but it is important to be as self-aware, without being self-centered, as possible. This truly embodies the philosophy behind practicing progress not perfection. When we take the time to work on our character defects, the world will take notice and you will receive the attention, admiration and feeling of self-worth that will remind you of why the path of sobriety is a fulfilling and rewarding journey.