For many, addiction is a selfish disease, and when stuck in the depths of the disease, they put their addiction above everything and everyone in their life. Selfishness is taking care of your wants and needs first, and in addiction, your wants and needs are monopolized by using your drug of choice. The selfishness seen in addiction is not to be confused with taking good care of yourself, but rather taking care to feed your addiction.
Selfishness Is Not the Cause of Addiction
Understanding that addiction is not caused by selfishness is an important distinction to make, and labeling those addicted as “just selfish” is merely a stigma. Addiction is a disease, and one of the symptoms of this disease is prioritizing using over every other need. Therefore, symptoms like selfishness will begin to evolve when treating the disease and not act in the same way as they once did.
How Selfishness Changes in Recovery
There is a distinct shift in selfishness as one progresses through recovery. Someone in recovery has opened up space in their life to care about the needs of others and begin to take good care of themselves. As they progress further along in their journey, they can act in many unselfish ways like being a sponsor to another struggling with addiction or working in treatment centers to help others.
Selfishness is a strength to have in recovery. The selfishness once experienced in addiction takes on a new look as one recover because selfishness can now serve them positively when harnessed correctly. This “productive selfishness” looks like knowing their boundaries around triggers, situations, or people that may be too threatening to their continued sobriety. It also looks like knowing when to ask for help. This selfishness is good and helps someone in recovery be successful in their sobriety journey and puts the well-being of others first, too.
Believing that selfishness is an inherently bad trait is untrue for those in recovery. Selfishness can be beneficial to one’s recovery if a person can use it to take better care of themselves and respect their boundaries. If you or a loved one are struggling to get sober, call Avalon Malibu. At Avalon, we offer personalized programs combining clinical and holistic therapies that best suit your treatment needs. With our supportive, experienced staff by your side, you can finally find the success you have been struggling to find in recovery. Many of our counselors are in recovery themselves, and their knowledge and personal experience can guide your treatment. For more information, call us at (844) 857-5992.