The Recovery Group

A Personal Recovery


Hi all,

My f2f meeting last night was on steps 6 & 7, and questions were passed out for us to answer or share about if we wanted to... the question I got was, "What do all my defects do for me?"

It certainly caused some thought and I found myself still thinking about it this morning.

The discussion covered several different aspects of course but my thinking process came up with the following:

Becoming willing to have my defects removed and asking my Higher Power to do so would mean that I would have to know or at least be aware of what some of those defects are.. i.e. the 4th step list. Having come to believe that every "defect" has an opposite "virtue", I have come to the conclusion that all my defects are just "perverted virtues", defective because the virtue is not complete in me, so if I look at my defect as simply an incomplete virtue, what I'm really asking of my higher power is not to "remove" things from me.. but to "fulfill" things in me.. to complete me. This makes more sense to me (and is less scary) than having things "removed" from me.. :-)

So what my defects "do for me" are; they are my attempts to make myself feel "worthy", important, better than. The perversion of that is that if I feel "important" I think I am worthy, so my attempt to be/feel important is my attempt to exercise the virtue but because it is incomplete, I end up with feelings of remorse for the actions I take in those attempts, and that is what leads me into my addictions... the seeking to cover up my feelings of inadequacies and the difference between what I did and what I feel would have been the "higher path" that I was unable to attain.

For example, when I make a cutting comment about someone, or to someone, putting them down, or making fun of them for something, or expressing my irritation about the way things are done, what I'm really doing is trying to elevate my own self image. If I don't feel worthy enough on my own, I have to put others "down" so I can feel better about myself.... a false sense of worth, but then I feel bad cause I succumbed to this lower nature.. my spirit is harmed a bit and the disparity of my wishes and actions causes me remorse. This was unacceptable to me, so I sought relief as I felt the flaws were unfixable and so I just knew I was this terrible, unlovable, unsalvageable person.

Being able to view things is this new way has made my spirit much lighter this morning, lifted some of the fears associated with changing and has given me an "aha!" moment.

Life is Good.

Stay Strong!


(This post was in response to someone who suggested I wasn't being too clear so I tried to "clean" things up a little)


sorry my ideas were a bit "convoluted".... I have the tendency to try to be so sparse with my words sometimes that the meaning doesn't get quite into the open.. :-) amazing when considering how wordy I am huh? LOL

The idea I was trying to get to might be like visualizing a stretched out string (I'll call it my Virtue String), each end being opposites, on one end the "defect" (i.e. selfishness) and on the other end the "virtue" (i.e. selflessness). As I move more toward being selfless, is the defect of selfishness being removed?? well, in my view, it's not really being removed, it's being transformed as we grow spiritually toward the positive end of that string.

My dictionary defines Perverted as:
1. Corrupt morally
2. Change the meaning of
3. Change the inherent purpose or function of something

So my use of the phrase "perverted virtues" seems quite appropriate to me. Looking at my own defects as virtues which are incomplete because of my lack of spiritual growth would mean they were altered from their original purpose, not just totally missing from me. They are just opposite ends of the same string.

Some people would say that we as humans are inherently flawed, but my view is that we are simply growing out of our instinctual behaviors into our spiritual behaviors.. as we grow spiritually we are actually overriding our basic animal instincts, learning to value those qualities that exist on a higher plane, something more than our basic drives to survive at any cost. We learn by exercising our spiritual muscles if you will, practicing those virtues and attributes that bring us closer to our Higher Power. This is the need to be "better" I think, we will never know the perfection of our creator, but we can strive to always be growing towards Him(/Her/It). I have come to be at peace with where I am in this process, to accept that I am okay right where I am, while still acknowledging there is room to improve. I am not at the extreme positive end of any of my virtue strings.. but I'm moving towards them with the help of my Higher Power.

Stay Strong!

love and hugs,

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