Striving for perfection is dangerous in recovery. Having unrealistically high expectations sets people up for disappointments. They may develop an all or nothing approach, meaning they will end up with nothing. It’s important to learn to be grateful for all the wonderful things in life instead of focusing on things they don’t have.
Perfectionistic people are excessively concerned about other peoples appraisals, are overly critical of their performance, strive for flawlessness, and set unrealistically high performance standards for themselves. People who focus on being perfect are never happy with their progress, it’s never good enough.
The dangers of being a perfectionist include pushing themselves too hard, so they end up exhausted. They will never be satisfied with their performance, so they won’t reap the rewards of a job well done. People who have expectations of themselves which are too high tend to have negative stress and negative thinking. They may expect others to be perfect, which can lead to resentment because people are not perfect. They might think, “I work so hard, they don’t put half the effort I do. They don’t care as much as I do.”
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Many who give up drugs or alcohol return to being perfectionists. They always been perfectionistic, but turned to addiction to relieve themselves from their sense of failure from not living up to their own standards. Being “perfect” in recovery can sabotage their efforts.
Putting excessive demands on themselves leads to failure and possible relapse. They may even use the idea they failed to return to drugs or alcohol. People in recovery should wear their 12 Step Program like a loose garment and strive for progress, not perfection. Developing an attitude of gratitude for the good things they have in life is helpful. Understanding that it’s okay for goals to shift or change is important. Keeping an even head and understanding that they aren’t always in control is crucial. Putting sobriety first helps set the tone for the day. Expecting family and friends to trust and forgive them immediately may not be realistic. It takes time to rebuild trust, but it can absolutely happen. Here at our Florida addiction rehab, we have a family care program that helps the entire family cope with the disease of addiction.
Being a perfectionist isn’t always a bad thing. People with perfectionistic qualities work very hard and are successful. The dangers come when they constantly feel like they are failing, and not enjoying their achievements. It’s important to recognize when they have done a good job. We offer help here at Synergy Group Services through a chemical dependency program as well as a specialized holistic drug rehab program. We understand the many facets of addiction and can help you find recovery.