Unlearning manipulative addiction related behaviors is one of sobrieties biggest challenges. Asking others to make you a better person is lazy, impossible and engages in co-dependent behavior. When it is time, a parent lets go and allows their child to start making their own mistakes and decisions. Recovering addicts must learn to “parent” themselves because what good can come from attempting to control and manipulate another’s behavior when it is simpler to learn self-discipline and responsibility?
Small steps like choosing a booth at a restaurant, organizing a get together or planning a camping trip will start the process. Some treatment centers have an alumni group that encourages involvement in these sorts of decision-making processes. The twelfth step of Narcotics Anonymous encourages carrying the message. Volunteering for service work, sometimes called H&I, brings encouragement and support to those in correctional institutions and hospitals.
Follow the leader until one becomes a leader
One of the best methods of learning healthy self-care and reliance is to find people who are admirable and follow their example but make specific goals your own. This will define what needs and wants are priorities and how to make a life course to achieve them.
Some people choose a parent or a sponsor to help mentor them. For others a psychologist can help walk them through this journey. Attending social groups and developing hobbies is another way to add admirable people to one’s life.
Fulfill needs in the right way
The goal is to form a fully developed person by becoming so engaged (not necessarily in a selfish manner) with growing and improving one’s own life that others will look to you to lead. Through the development of confidence, one is able to become a strong leader within their family and/ or community.