Perfectionism Hinders Recovery Process

Articles, Education

Perfectionism-Hinders-Recovery-ProcessOne common thread among alcoholics, addicts and their loved ones is the presence of perfectionism. Those who are addicted to alcohol or drugs often seek to be perfect – or at least look perfect on the outside – in order to cover up the inadequacy they feel inside. They may present themselves with an attitude of bravado or self-importance, particularly in the early stages of their addiction when they may have periods of seeming to manage their alcohol or drugs. Meanwhile, their family members and loved ones try to appear perfect in order to cover up the problem. If they look good on the outside, then perhaps no one will notice their lives are falling apart. They also may strive for perfectionism in a vain attempt to hold themselves up as a beacon for the addict or alcoholic. No matter what the motive, perfection is impossible. It can create havoc with recovery.

Expectations Open Door To Resentment

Expectations are an aspect of perfectionism – expectations of oneself and of others. If an alcoholic or addict expects perfect performance at work, perfect relationships and perfect social connections, it opens the door to resentment. Setting excessively high standards by some internal measuring stick sets the stage for consolation in alcohol or drugs when the standards are not met. Expectations also create a critical attitude. When people are caught up in the behavior of others, it becomes easy to place blame and to avoid looking at one’s own patterns of drinking and drug use. It also can provide an excuse for relapse.

Treatment Offers Realistic Feedback

Addiction treatment can provide a solution for stepping out of the cycle of perfectionism and substance use. With the help of therapy and recovery groups, alcoholics, addicts and their families begin to develop a more realistic way to deal with life. They learn to let go of perfectionism.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.

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