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Why is humility important for someone recovering from addiction?

George Joseph
Addiction Medicine
Humility is a vital part of recovering from addiction. Here is how Webster defines humility: “The quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people; the quality or state of being humble.”

Author and historian John Dickson called it, "The noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself.”

How does this apply to recovery? Those under the spell of addiction must surrender and accept they are powerless over their addiction. This surrender is both emotional and intellectual in nature. The power of addiction is unrelenting. The surrender process is a major form of humility.

Humility is also a willingness to learn and to be open-minded. This characteristic is so important for those dealing with addiction because it is a matter of life or death that they gain the tools and understanding needed to progress. Addiction is an illness that doesn’t want you to expose it or deal with it. Addiction’s main symptoms are denial and isolation. The humility of learning and helping others is one of the main reasons people enjoy sobriety and recovery though the Twelve Steps.

Typically, only severe consequences lead to humility. The consequences of addiction help lead us to humility. It gives us a sense of wonder and creates a lack of drama that is needed for those who battle addiction.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.