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Letting Go of Selfishness

Addiction is a disease that entirely overtakes our lives. We let our careers, relationships, and families fall by the wayside in favor of using drugs and alcohol. We become selfish because all that matters to us is feeding our addiction. In recovery, we begin living a life of spiritual principles with a foundation in selflessly helping others. Though our selfishness may be a difficult habit to break, eventually we find that our happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety is contingent on our ability to life free of self-seeking motives to the best of our ability.

Recovery programs are designed to shift our thoughts from ourselves and begin focusing on what we can do for others. When we live selfishly, we find that our problems tend to get worse. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “Selfishness—self-centeredness. That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.” Thinking back on our lives in active addiction, it becomes clear that our selfish and self-seeking actions led to causing harms to ourselves and others. Through a program of recovery, however, we can effectively counteract our selfish thoughts and behaviors.

Selfishness not only arises from our actions, but also our self-indulgent thoughts. Dr. Leon F. Seltzer, in a 2016 Psychology Today article entitled Self-Absorption: The Root of All (Psychological) Evil, explains, “Obviously, paying attention to our wants and needs is appropriate, even necessary. But whether we’re feeling extremely bad or nervous about ourselves, worriedly ruminating about how others perceive us, or indulging in grandiose thoughts about our ‘specialness,’ we’re descending into a state of toxic self-absorption. And as a personality trait, attending excessively to ourselves—and at the expense of almost all other considerations—is typically regarded not only as abnormal, but as kind of unethical, too. For such behavior depicts almost the opposite of altruism.” Coming to recognize the negative damage caused by our selfishness can keep us from returning to the same thoughts and behaviors that had exacerbated our addiction.

You can discover a life of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals who understand the disease of addiction from every angle, and are determined to help you develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431