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Does recover ever change the addicts personality?

Old 08-06-2015, 01:24 PM
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Does recover ever change the addicts personality?

Just wondering if those of you who have had an alcoholic or drug addict in your life ever see their self-centered, controlling, etc personality change once they become sober/clean?

I was talking to a customer at work whose brother is 48 and is an alcoholic. He has been to rehab 2x's and still has the "entitlement" attitude and the controlling demeaning personality.

I guess I was looking for some hope for the one in my life.
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:32 PM
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You need to separate the PD issues with the A issues. For instance, my AS is NPD to begin with which parlays perfectly into an A (entitled, selfish, no empathy, always right and knows best). She stopped drinking, but all those wonderful "traits" remained (I have gone NC with her). There's a saying... if you have a drunken horse thief that stops drinking, what do you have? A sober horse thief! 😅
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:02 PM
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In my experience, people are who they are and the use of alcohol/drugs only enhances their personality traits.
With that being said, people can change...but it takes doing the work...a lot of it.
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:51 PM
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Hello Hummingbird,

I think sobriety is the first step. If a person takes to sobriety, then they have a chance to work on their issues.

How is your son? How are you doing?
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:58 PM
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It depends. If you knew the alcoholic before the alcoholism set in and they were a decent person then chances are good if they commit to recovery they will be decent again. However, if they had selfish, self-centered, etc. Behavior before the alcoholism or if you have only known them as alcoholic then forget it.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:01 PM
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It's possible, but the alcoholic must WANT to change then work very hard to do it. There must be motivation.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:18 PM
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If they really get into the steps and work them and get to know their character defects and learn new tools to cope with those defects to behave in a different way then there is a change.

But they themselves have to be totally willing to do this.


Originally Posted by hummingbird1094 View Post
Just wondering if those of you who have had an alcoholic or drug addict in your life ever see their self-centered, controlling, etc personality change once they become sober/clean?

I was talking to a customer at work whose brother is 48 and is an alcoholic. He has been to rehab 2x's and still has the "entitlement" attitude and the controlling demeaning personality.

I guess I was looking for some hope for the one in my life.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:21 PM
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When I got sober for good, especially when I started practicing gratitude every day, my personality did indeed change. I went from being a miserable negative person to being positive and happy.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:27 PM
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i knew a guy in NA who had been in prison for murder (manslaughter) - i met him many years later after he had considerable clean time under his belt and he was zen like Jerry Garcia........

anyone can have a "conversion" IF they are truly OPEN and WILLING. in fact they say the three hallmarks of recovery are HOW
HONESTY
OPEN MINDEDNESS
WILLINGNESS

which this is not>>>>>still has the "entitlement" attitude and the controlling demeaning personality.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:17 PM
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I am sure there are some cases of it, but I've never known alcoholism to not be a coping mechanism for something bigger.

Alcohol lowers inhibitions, and often amplifies emotions. If there are PDs that emerge, then they're probably part of the cause of the person turning to drinking.

Getting sober just means not drinking anymore. It's the first step towards changing a life, but certainly not the only one.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:54 PM
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My RAH has been sober almost a year. He has whole heartedly embraced the AA program, worked the steps etc. Recently, I've started to see some real changes in him especially regarding self centeredness.

So yes, I think it's very possible, but only if the A can recognize character defects and is willing to put some serious effort into it.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:04 PM
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There is 2 parts.... working a program and getting sober. They work hand in hand to become a healthy human being.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:43 PM
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What do you get when a horse thief sobers up? A sober horse thief.

For me stopping drinking was the first step in a total remake of who I'd become into the person I always should have been.

I still have a way to go but I can look at myself in the mirror and be OK with what I see
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:31 PM
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I think that it depends on the person and how far they go in their recovery.

If they stop with sobriety, then I think the personality issues continue. However if they continue getting help and working through the life issues then I think it gets better.

My RAH has not yet continued on that road, and still has the selfish and entitled behavior still exists. I am hoping that he can work that out.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
It's possible, but the alcoholic must WANT to change then work very hard to do it. There must be motivation.
^^This right here!! I have seen a change in my A but like NYC said, he WANTS to make the change. Big difference.
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