Most alcoholics and addicts, before entering recovery treatment, have common behavioral tendencies; wallowing in self-pity is high on the list. They may be blissfully unaware of this negative thinking, mostly because it gives them an excuse to continue with their abuse of their substance of choice. Nonetheless, self-pity fits neatly into the cycle of guilt, shame and blame that characterizes addiction. It affects not only the alcoholics and addicts themselves, but also their loved ones. The vicious cycle of victim-rescuer-persecutor with addiction continues largely due to self-pity. This is called the drama triangle. When addicts and alcoholics are in victim modality, they have the mistaken notion that they are the center of the universe, and the universe is out to get them. They can blame everyone surrounding them and every situation they encounter as the reason for their need to escape with drugs and alcohol. They see no need to take responsibility for their own behavior
Wallowing In Self-Pity Ultimately Leads To Resentments
When people feel sorry for themselves, they eventually begin to feel resentments. They resent others who, in their minds, have caused them to feel unhappy. They resent others who try to “fix” the situation. The word “resentment” means to “re-feel.” When people develop resentments, they react not only to whatever current situation may be occurring, but to all similar situations that have occurred before. They can work up a great deal of emotion without even realizing what is happening in their minds. This negative thinking and emotional backlash is one of the primary underlying issues of addiction, as well as one of the primary causes of relapse. Professional help and support groups can be life-savers when addicts and alcoholics are drowning in pools of self-pity. An objective listener can provide objective feedback to help sort through the layers of resentment.