People with addiction, also known as substance use disorder, often feel compelled to be "right" just as they feel compelled to drink or use another substance. Often, we develop perfectionism—that is, we try to be perfect—as a way to overcome our sense of inadequacy. But we can't will ourselves to be perfect or to live up to perfect ideals—we are all imperfectly human.
By accepting our limitations as imperfect human beings, we can learn to accept not only ourselves but other people as well. This acceptance is crucial in recovery from substance use disorder. We need to see ourselves as clearly as possible before we can start to recover, and we have to reach out to others for help. We can do neither if we insist on exerting our own will, finding our own way, and striving to be perfect.
This pamphlet discusses identifying this block to recovery, avoiding the pitfalls of perfectionism, turning toward growth, accepting others as they are, and embracing imperfection.
This pamphlet describes how perfectionism hinders our growth in recovery. It suggests using the Twelve Steps to let go of inflexible and uncompromising attitudes, and to embrace the imperfections of being human.