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man struggling with character defects

What Are Character Defects?

We’re all human beings; thus, we are all fallible and flawed to have some degree of character defects by default. Even when most of the time we do good, and everyone around us can vouch we’re good people, we all have character defects. If you’re part of a 12-step program, you’ve probably heard about how you can ask God to remove all these defects.

Learning about the Eight Character Defects

In the recovery world, character defects are the shortcomings that will interfere with your drugs and alcohol recovery. These personality traits can be selfishness, jealousy, unwillingness, and other flaws that cause you or someone else pain. 

Harboring these character defects can make the difference between recovery and relapse. Ongoing aftercare support can help you stay away from falling into these character defects. Instead of letting them take control, use these traits to your advantage as fuel to continue your recovery.

#1 – Pride

To successfully recover from a hopeless state of mind, we must adopt a mentality of sincere humility. Understanding that we are on an even playing field with every other man and woman we come into contact with, regardless of gender, race, religion, demographic, or personal background. We’re all equals. 

We must let go of our pride to admit our powerlessness over alcohol. The smashing of pride and ego is interwoven throughout all of the 12-steps. It will also inevitably become an integral part of your recovery path.

#2 – Greed

We want what we want when we want it. We will likely learn a valuable lesson regarding desire sometime in early recovery. As recovering addicts, progress takes time, and sometimes having a taste of success can lead to greed. Be careful with this mindset. Rehabilitation, recovery, and long-term sobriety are best-achieved one step at a time.

#3 – Lust

Lust can be dangerous if we act on impulse. Still, lust and ambition are natural human traits. As a result, it is nearly impossible to keep these ideals entirely under wraps. Go ahead, lust, or indulge a little. However, use your lust differently. Channel it to experience an intense eagerness or enthusiasm for life.

Find obsolete pleasure and relish in your recovery. Lust a new adventure or a new milestone in your recovery. That’s the lust that will fuel you to reach your goals. 

#4 – Envy

Generally, the best way to combat jealousy is to get well acquainted with the concept of acceptance. Envy is similar to greed in the sense that it entails wanting something that we don’t have. Accepting or feeling grateful for what we do have is enough is the most efficient way to eliminate envious feelings and attitudes.

It is acceptable to appreciate the skills, gifts, and lifestyles of others. Still, appreciation and bitterness are two entirely different beasts. Ask yourself why you’re envious. Focus on what you can do to improve your state of being so you are content with your own life and no longer feel the need to compare.

#5 – Gluttony

Mindfulness and self-awareness help to combat gluttony. While gluttony relates to eating and greed, we experience this character defect in other areas of ourselves. Instead of food, drinks, wealth, or status symbol, let’s over-indulge in joy. Strive to channel feelings of greed towards developing a new appetite for life, your health, and your relationships.

#6 – Anger

Most of us probably know the feeling all too well. We always feel as if the world is wronging us—self-pity at its finest. First of all, accept that anger is healthy; there’s nothing wrong about being angry. You’re channeling your feelings and trying to make sense of them. However, be careful. When anger takes over, it can quickly cloud your judgment. 

Self-pity can lead to auto-destructive behavior that interferes with your recovery process. While you must accept anger, the idea is to process it and channel it somewhere else. Use the passion to fuel you towards higher and better things. 

#7 – Sloth

It’s essential to understand the difference between giving our body a break and falling down a laziness hole. When you lack motivation or overly embrace laziness, you start falling down this procrastination hole that can keep you further away from your goals. Think about your procrastination habits and honestly see if they’re giving your trouble.

For example, do you keep pushing back a new job? Are you falling behind in school? Are you not motivated to keep your house tidy?

When these behaviors become the norm, it’s time to double down on your efforts to increase your daily motivation. Generally, the character defect of sloth can be subtle, so keep an eye on the impact it can have on your life. When you are ready to change and regain control of what drives you, it is okay to start small. While you don’t need to enlist for a marathon, baby steps will help you reach your goals.

#8 – Fear

Every addict in recovery experiences fear. Presumably, everyone around you struggles with fear or anxiety in one way or another. It’s real, significant, and unpleasant, all at once. Figuring out how to be less fearful is challenging but possible. Generally, many addicts report their biggest fears in recovery are staying clean and sober from their addiction. What is the best way to overcome fear? The best way to overcome fear is to believe that no matter what, you will be okay. As a result, you can overcome any fear, no matter how difficult it is.

Learning How to Live

Whether you visit alcoholic anonymous meetings or are still struggling with an active addiction, these character defects are all around you. Take control of your substance abuse, and get ready to have God listen to your struggles and find a way to look past them.

These character defects are all around us, and they’re the core of a recovering addict. Our job is to find ways to turn these dominant traits into fuel to a better, healthier, and sober self. Our aftercare addiction treatment programs at Lighthouse Recovery Institute can help recovering addicts continue on the path to sobriety one day at a time. 

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