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The most difficult thing for recovering addicts to deal with is often relationships with other people. One common mistake people make in early recovery is to assume that everyone in one's recovery program is perfect. The flip side of that is for the addict to think that he/she is better than everyone in their recovery program. These thought processes are common manifestations of the insecurity component of addiction, and neither one is helpful to the recovery process.
While it is very helpful to form new relationships with other recovering men and women, it is also important to remember that not only are these simply other human men and women, but they are also other people who are struggling with a severe disease of the mind and body. It can be very scary to be in a group of recovering people who are irritable and moody. The flip side of accepting such behaviors, however, is that people then get to accept you when you are not feeling your best. Additionally, it is suggested that recovering addicts find multiple support systems and friends in the recovery program. While a sponsor in AA is important, one should not become so dependent on him/her (or a handful of people) that he/she feels devastated when they are not readily available.
Remember, the addict mind assumes that everyone is in the world exists solely for him/her and that anything less than instant gratification is sub-par. With that kind of intense need for attention (which does dissipate over time), it is important that one have numerous people upon whom he/she can rely. And also that if he/she wants others to be patient with him/her, that the same thing should be required in the other direction.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|