I can admit that I sometimes suffer from narcissism in recovery and must continue to rid myself from this character defect. We all fall prey to it, and while it is really just a human flaw, addicts must be especially aware of this stuff, for the well of an addict often becomes poisoned much faster than that of someone who isn’t so spiritually ill.
Narcissism occurs when I begin to perceive myself to be an extension of everyone else, and as such, I falsely believe my feelings to be dependent on what occurs externally (outside of me). In plain English, I start to blame others for how I feel, which is delusional. By the way, it is also narcissistic when I start thinking others should think or feel the same way I do about something… so feel free to disagree.
But the point is, once again, that knowing all about our flaws is completely useless if we don’t cleanse ourselves properly via inventory etc. so that the work we do actually works. This is why therapy is such a hoax. All talk, no action. Talking, reading and studying doesn’t change people. Action does. Below is the original post, Change is Internal.
Nothing outside of us can change us (other than God, of course). We have to change ourselves…
The problem with addicts is that that we carry this flaw into our recovery. Our self-absorbed frame of mind tells us that even our recovery is dependent on the outside world. We have a grand old time blaming anyone and anything when we feel like shit or when something goes wrong. Because we are so full of pride and bullshit, we cannot see that nothing outside of us is responsible for how we feel or for what happens to us.
We must be aware that our narcissism still pervades our perception far into recovery. We often think that our recovery itself is dependent on things taking place outside of ourselves.
If my boss was only there when I went to make an amends, I’d be okay right now. If my wife would only do some work on herself, I’d be much better spiritually. If my family would only change along with me, I’d be more recovered than I am by now. If people would only forgive me, my depression would be gone already. If I had only gotten that job, I could’ve made amends to my creditors, but because there is no work, I have to stiff them, and then if I relapse, it’s not my fault.
Wait a minute, wasn’t the whole point of getting better to finally understand that we alone are responsible for who we are, what we are, how we feel, and what happens to us? Wasn’t the whole point of taking Steps to propel us into the light of reality?
In order to grow, change or really get better at all, alcoholics and addicts must fully understand that we are where we are because of us and us alone. No one and no thing gets us better or worse. If we change, it’s because we change ourselves. If we fail, it’s because we fail ourselves.
God, help me understand and remember that change comes from within…