Why you should put your pride aside during recovery

There are many reasons why pride is good. The pride that we have done well is one of our noblest emotions. But it can also make us smug. Pride can refuse us to accept help because we want to believe that we are in control. In this sense it can be dangerous.

Addiction and pride

Pride interferes at many points along the path to recovery. First, people are often too proud to admit they have a problem. They have a picture in their mind of a typical addict or alcoholic and think, "I am not." That may be true, but addiction doesn't look like most people think. Addiction is just a pattern of behavior. If you are obsessed with drugs or alcohol, if you need more to feel the same way, if you let it rule your life at the expense of everything else, then you have a problem with addiction.

Admit the problem and fix it

It is very difficult for people to admit that they have lost control of their drug or alcohol use. For them it implies some kind of weakness. When they reach a place where they can admit they have an addiction problem, they have a new problem: asking for help. Admitting you have a problem and solving a problem are two different things. If pride can keep you from admitting a problem, it can also keep you from seeking help. You want to believe that you can fix the problem yourself.

It doesn't stop when you're sober

If you manage to get past these hurdles and get sober, pride is still not done with you. You should be proud to be sober for some time, but you can't rest on your laurels. Recovery is a continuous process of self-examination and improvement. If you don't follow the steps and actively improve your life, you risk relapse. When you relapse, pride can keep you from admitting your mistake and getting back in the car. Many people are too embarrassed to return to meetings after a relapse. No one is there to judge you; they are only there to help.

The antidote

Humility is the antidote. Humility remembers that anyone can slip. You never know what's coming. All you can do is stick to your process and do what you can to strengthen your recovery every day.