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  • Writer's pictureChoice Recovery

Addiction = Greed = Selfishness

Selfishness = Greed

When is it okay to be selfish? Research shows that as addicts, we are inherently selfish. Because of this, we live under a simple but dangerous equation: Addiction = Selfishness & Selfishness = Greed. Greed leads to a quest for self-gain over those responsibilities you have to your soul, your support systems, and your community. It is you acting impulsively without purpose or thought. It is flawed action generated from a damaged soul. While this greed may create a sense of euphoria for a moment, it will ultimately lead to shame, regret, depression, and possibly using.

In recovery there is a place for selfishness. The objective of your recovery is to stay free of drugs and alcohol which requires a bit of selfishness. However, to remain sober, it is paramount that your addictive generated selfishness is transformed into selflessness. When you find satisfaction through selfless engagement rather than addictive pleasures, you are on your way to finding sustainable sobriety.

The reason such a transformation works is selfless engagement allows you to enter society without expectations. You are stepping into your community no longer thinking solely about yourself, but rather how you can contribute to the greater good. Imagine entering the workplace with purpose and intention, interacting with family based on appreciation and joy, and entering the public domain with curiosity and humility. A selfless approach to your relationships, responsibilities, and hobbies makes life much simpler to navigate.

The fact is, if you approach life in any other manner, you are being greedy. And greediness will ultimately limit outcomes. The limiting of outcomes causes cravings, anger, resentment, frustration, and many other negative emotions. When these emotions enter your soul, you become a taker rather than a contributor and the result of this selfish action tends to harm far more people than yourself.

Selflessness = Greatness

On the other hand, selflessness opens possibilities. Selflessness = Greatness and Greatness = Inspiration. Selflessness is the act of doing the right thing, making decisions based on your core principles, and living a purpose driven life. It is easy to find individuals operating under these rules. When you are witnessing kindness, forgiveness, authenticity, and accountability, you are witnessing selflessness. When you see an individual performing above all others with integrity and determination, you are witnessing a selfless approach. For Example:

· When athletes make it about the team rather than their stats;

· When your partner makes you the priority rather than their phone, social media, or needs;

· When a friend accepts you for who you are and not who they want you to be;

· When a co-worker asks not what's in it for them, but what's in it for the customer, co-worker, or company;

The examples above show individuals that contribute to our society. Their purposeful action inspires others to do the same and this is the true value selfless behavior. When you act selflessly, you are creating an inspiring energy that leads to greater contribution.

To be this contributor takes no special talent, experience, or skill set. It merely takes a willingness to look beyond yourself in all that you do. It requires you to take the tools, resources, and attributes that you have been blessed with and use them to learn, grow, and participate in life. It's not about knowing it all, always being right, or having every solution. It is only about living life with a thirsty curiosity about how best to contribute. It is about doing the next best thing, time and time again.

Find Your Way to a Greater Good?

Staying sober is your priority. When using, you are immediately returned to that greedy state of addiction. This state is helpful to no one. Thus, there are times to be selfish in your recovery, but healthy selfishness is what you want. Healthy selfishness requires a proactive approach to life that eliminates those reactionary defects of character that appear without warning. When anger, frustration, resentment, rationalization, and blame are your answer to a situation, or more concerning, allowed to fester in your being for a lengthy period, you are still saddled with the illness of greed.

These adverse reactions are nothing more than your brain wanting to satisfy its addictive nature. Without drugs or alcohol to provide solace to those uncomfortable feelings, your mind looks to pacify its needs through other destructive responses. These responses look like anger, blame, resentment, or even hopelessness or sadness. These reactions give you a sense of power and serve to temporarily calm your damaged soul. Unfortunately, like when using, regret or shame follows such reactions and take a bad situation and makes it worse. Only when you take positive action will this destruction end right there; otherwise, it will compound into something unmanageable.

To beat this cycle of dysfunction, you must live selflessly. This process starts with positive choices in preparation for those triggering life events that are guaranteed to occur. It is a whole-body approach that involves the physical as well as the mental side of your being. It is an honesty to accept who you are and a commitment to be the person you wish to be. It is a desire to be selfless in how you contribute to those who are a part of your life.

Everyone is unique in what tools they need to create a healthy selfishness. However, there are some standard attributes a selfless contributor embodies as well as those qualities unique to you. Be selfish as you take the time to identify and incorporate those attributes that will make you a selfless contributor.

Below are several standard attributes recovering addicts must incorporate before they can find their selflessness nature.

Attendance at AA Meetings Regular Exercise Absolute Honesty

A Set of Core Principles Appropriate Boundaries Goals/Objectives

Financial Prudence Never Ending Curiosity A Life Purpose

Daily Meditation Healthy Home Sponsor

Continuous Learning A Nutrition Plan Time Management

Always Accountable Service Work A Focus on Reality

A Job or Career Hobbies Determination

Friends & Family Have a Therapist No Drugs or Alcohol

Repair past acts of selfishness

The result of taking time to strengthen your soul, through means like those listed above, helps to create the healthy selfishness you are looking to embody. It is a greedless approach that delivers the rewards of life. When you add these tools to your daily life, you are transforming your selfishness (addict) into selflessness (contributor). You are preparing yourself to live life as it is meant to be lived.

Your greed is nothing more than you trying to win at life, which is not the formula for a life that you love. For some reason, there is a societal belief that the more you can acquire, the happier you will be. The reality is, you have already won at life; you are alive. Plus, the greatness of life is not received through this type of winning.

The accumulation of things is simply the accumulation of things. It is not happiness, peace, or satisfaction. Being better than someone else is not succeeding in life. Getting back at or dominating another is not winning in life. Checking out of life by feeding yourself drugs and alcohol is not winning at life. This line of thinking is selling life short. Your goal is to quiet your addictive mind. All the money, dominance, knowledge, talent, or drugs cannot quiet your addictive mind. Only selfless intention generated from a purposeful life will create such an outcome. The outcome of living a life you love.

About Choice Recovery:

Choice Recovery is an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment facility located in Mesa, Arizona. Choice offers night IOP for those looking for treatment while maintaining a full-time job during the day. Choice Recovery accepts most private insurance as well as the AHCCCS payers, including Mercy Care, Banner University, Care 1st, Steward Healthcare, Arizona Complete Health. The Choice clinical team takes a holistic approach to care that is tailored to each client. Their goal is to provide addicts the skills and tools to transition back into life without the use of drugs or alcohol.

For more information about Choice Recovery please call 480-527-0337 or visit


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