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Other Negative Behaviours to Give Up in Recovery

Overcoming an addiction problem is a very positive step. It means that the individual is moving their life in a better direction. The fact that this person has been able to break away from alcohol or drugs proves that for them change is possible. It should empower them so that they become willing to give up on other negative behaviours. By making these additional changes to their life, the individual will be increasing their own level of happiness. Some of the negative behaviours that they will benefit from giving up in recovery will include the following.

Holding Beliefs that are Self-Limiting

It is common for people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs to have many beliefs that could be described as self-limiting. This would include all those ideas about what the person feels they are not capable of, or those things that they do not believe they deserve. It is vital that the person looks at these beliefs closely to see how true they are. For example, the individual may believe that they are lacking enough intelligence to return to education, but they actually find that their feeling of low intelligence is due to low self-esteem, and that they can improve their situation by returning to education.

Being Negative

A big risk for people in recovery is that they fall into the trap of stinking thinking. This is a habit of being overly negative about things and always assuming the worst. The problem with this type of thinking is that it will affect the person’s experience in recovery and it will mean that they will be unable to get the most out of life. It can also be difficult for those caught up in stinking thinking to develop strong relationships because they will tend to drive people away with their negativity. It is vital that people in recovery give up being so negative so that they can begin to take their life in a positive direction. In many instances, the individual will be negative because they are secretly looking for a justification to relapse.

Staying Stuck in the Past

Another trap that people can fall into in recovery is that they are too obsessed with their past. A symptom of this can be the habit of always looking to the past to justify present suffering. This is sometimes humorously referred to with the comment, “I may not have had the worst childhood, but I certainly had the longest.” It is vital that people in recovery are able to move on from the past, so that they can begin building a better future today. One of the nice things about the recovery process is that the individual can reach a stage where they are able to forgive their past.

Romancing the Drink or Drug

One of the most dangerous things that people can do in recovery is to romance the drink or drug, and this can easily cause them to relapse. This refers to the habit of people to think back on their drink or drug-using days as if they were wonderful. The person ends up becoming homesick for the “bad old days,” and they can use this for a justification to relapse. It is vital that the person clearly remembers how bad their life became because of alcohol and drugs and what will happen if they return to that way of life. The individual needs to keep an eye on their thoughts in order to look out for any signs that they have begun to romance the drink or drug.

Trying to Be a Perfectionist

One characteristic of the addictive personality is that this type of person tends to have an ‘all or nothing’ approach to life. This means that when they become sober, they can end up putting unrealistic demands upon themselves – they may be expecting to create a perfect life overnight. It is important to always keep in mind that the goal of recovery is progress and not perfection. The individual has the rest of their life to put things right, and it is probably going to take that long. If the person tries to rush the process by being a perfectionist, they can soon become disillusioned and give up on making progress altogether.

Needing to Be Right All the Time

Those people who feel who need to be right all of the time are going to end up feeling very frustrated and it will negatively affect their recovery from addiction. The reality is that people need to make mistakes in order to make progress in life. It is always those people who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes because of their inner need to be right, that become stuck in recovery. There is a valuable saying that claims that those who fail to learn their mistakes are doomed to keep on repeating them.

Blaming Other People

In order to survive as an addict, the individual becomes very gifted at blaming other people for their mistakes. This is another habit that they can carry with them into recovery. Of course, this is not to say that other people are always free of responsibility when it comes to problems, but blaming other people can just be an excuse to avoid doing something to fix the problem. It is vital that the individual is willing to take responsibility for their own life, so that they can do what needs to be done in order to take their life in a more positive direction.

Resisting Change

Change is going to happen whether people like it or not – it is just a part of life. When people try to resist change, it can lead to a great deal of discomfort. This is especially true when the change is inevitable. The Serenity Prayer offers good advice for how people should learn to deal with change: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Spending Too Much Time Trying to Please Other People

Wasting too much time trying to please other people can be the road to great unhappiness. In fact, it is probably never going to be possible to meet all of the expectations of these other people. In order to build a successful recovery the individual is going to need to learn how to get on with other people, but this does not mean that they have to build their lives around pleasing these people. It is the job of the person in recovery to find the path through life that suits their needs and to use this as a guide to the way they should live.

Insisting on Certain Conditions in Order to Be Happy

When people become sober, it will mean that they will be in a position to achieve some amazing things. A mistake that people can make is to insist that life goes exactly their way and to become unhappy when things do not go exactly as planned. The reality is that life is full of comprises and nothing ever works out exactly as people planned it – in fact, life would be really boring if it did.

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