You’ve likely already heard of the 7 Deadly Sins, but exactly how do they apply to addiction and recovery?
To be proud means to have an excessively high opinion of your self and to act with conceit, arrogance or vanity. Someone who is proud is very satisfied and that pride can often lead to justification for actions based in feelings of superiority. Pride is not always so proud, however. Often in recovery we face false pride. Though we come off as being prideful, we are ruffling our feathers, so to speak, where they don’t belong. Pride can usually be distinguished by action more than thought. Inherently, pride is a demonstration more than it is an internal feeling.
Greediness is a state of mind and spirit. Attaching deeply to the idea of desire, greed takes wanting to excess. The need to have and acquire more despite what one truly needs is something drug addicts and alcoholics alike are familiar with. Using beyond consequence, health, or sanity, was never something to be questioned. Once we get sober, we lose our ability to be greedy about drugs and alcohol. However, that doesn’t change our ability to be greedy. We continue to take where we are not warranted to take. We covet out of insecurity and let ourselves be driven by our greedy desires.
Lust is often associated with sexual desire. Beyond sexuality, lusting can be any extreme or intense desire or longing. While pride is an action and greed is a mentality, lust is a distraction of the soul. Lusting after something means trying to control the outcome of life. Rooted in fear of not having enough, or getting what we want, we try desperate measures to reach the object of our desires. People, places, things, or what we perceive as “feelings”, seem like they are in reach. The secret to lust, though, is that it will never be enough. Even if we achieve what we think we are striving for, it will never be enough.
Anger needs no definition. Most are aware of exactly how it feels, but are unaware of what anger actually is. Anger, though it is an emotion, is a secondary emotion. At the foundation, it stems from fear and sadness. Fear and anger arise out of the human fight or flight mode, which is a means for survival. When anger is followed by resentment or feelings of wanting to seek revenge, it is because we are afraid that something vulnerable about us has been threatened.
Gluttony is typically illustrated as someone gorging on food. Gluttonous behavior extends beyond food. Having a bottomless pit for something is gluttony. Similar to lust or greed, gluttony is about the fear of missing out. We may not have enough of something, so we force feed ourselves as much of it as possible. Whether it is work or even giving, we do too much of it.
Often confused with jealousy, envy means to resent someone for what they have. Jealousy simply means wanting what someone else has because we think we are missing it. Additionally, envy means having desires to have whatever it is we resent someone for having. In recovery, it is easy to envy. It’s called comparing our insides to other people’s insides. We can never truly know at what cost someone’s life comes. Despite their material wealth, they may be severely lacking or even suffering emotionally and spiritually.
Laziness is the best way to describe sloth. Sloth is paralyzing procrastination lacking in motivation yet plentiful in fear. To be in sloth is to be afraid of the outcome of trying. Sloth typically results from having tried something before and been let down. Replacing a try again attitude with a never try anything period attitude, sloth can hold people back from living their lives. Early recovery is full of exhaustion- spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Getting into sloth can be infectious because it is comfortable.
The Center is a resource for recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. We rely on medically sound treatments and faith-based recovery practices to help you heal and thrive. Call us today for more information.