Negative People in Recovery
We all know those people who only have bad things to say. Who like to gossip about other people and seem to take delight in others’ struggles – those negative people in recovery. Or maybe you are the negative one among your group of friends and acquaintances. Just because someone has stopped abusing drugs and alcohol does not mean that they are now mentally healthy. There will always be negative people in recovery and it’s important to identify them if you want to be successful in your recovery.
Addiction and Negativity
People who abuse or have abused alcohol and other drugs often have an extremely negative mental attitude. Often times, we get caught up in the grip of addiction because of the negative experiences we have had in the past. As addiction takes root, we begin to feel a lot of shame and guilt about using drugs and alcohol thereby feeding our negative attitudes. Addicts then become trapped in a negative mindset and that way can continue to justify their drug using behaviors: by only seeing the bad things in life, they can then use these as excuses to abuse alcohol and drugs.
Dangers of Negative People to Those in Recovery
Once you get clean and sober, it is not only important to shift from being a negative person but to also identify and avoid negative people in recovery. This is because humans are social beings and therefore we have a significant impact on each other. The people you surround yourself with will definitely influence your success, or lack thereof, in sobriety.
Characteristics of Negative People in Recovery
Once you are aware of what we mean as being negative, it is important to be aware of negative people in recovery so that you can not only be successful at sobriety but also have an overall better quality of life. Now that you are clean and sober, you deserve to be happy and have a more peaceful life. Negative people in recovery can keep you from having this.
Negative people in recovery tend to share the following characteristics:
- They are pessimistic, in general, and especially about the future – “the glass is always half empty;” they expect bad things to happen to them
- They don’t other people; always think others have an ulterior motive even when being extended help
- They seem to lose friends easily; almost always have somebody in their life who they aren’t talking to
- They blame other people for all the bad things that happen to them
- They constantly criticize others and the world, in general
- They tend to be passive aggressive or even openly aggressive
- They blow things out of proportions (always have some kind of drama)
- They enjoy hearing about other people’s misfortunes, such as when someone relapses
- Negative people in recovery tend to be completely self-centered
- They are easily offended yet are oblivious to the fact that they often offend or hurt other people
Resentments and Relapse
You may have heard this one quite a bit: holding on to resentments will take you back out (into active addiction). There is a lot of truth to those words of caution. It is important to let go of resentments in order to heal and be successful at sobriety. Negative people in recovery, although they may be sober for the time being, are like a ticking time bomb. They might be off the drugs and alcohol but they are emotionally unwell. They hold onto anger and resentment towards the people that they feel have wronged them. Negative people in recovery are bitter about their past experiences and are not willing to let go and forgive. They get hung up on focusing on other people’s faults and shortcomings but are unwilling to look at their own. And, even if they pass themselves off as being your friend, negative people in recovery resent the success of other people and this includes you. You need to have true and positive friends in your corner if you are serious about your success at recovery.