Isn’t Self-Care Just Selfishness?

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To be selfish is to be lacking consideration for others. Selfishness means you are completely concerned with yourself, your own profit, and your own pleasure. Addiction and alcoholism are often described as selfish disorders because they are self-concerned. Taking care of the cravings and urges of an addiction has nothing to do with other people. Being a disorder of pleasure, the way addiction takes over the brain creates selfishness. Addiction causes the brain to short wire when it comes considering others. Specifically, addiction causes problems in the brain in the area which regulates consequences. The addicted brain is actually unable to take others into consideration, especially when there are drugs and alcohol to take into consideration.


Self-care is a practice in recovery that helps you learn how to take care of yourself. After spending years of addiction in selfishness, it is important to learn how to be selfish in a healthy way. Self-care could be called the healthy form of being selfish, but it has little to do with self-care at all.

Self-care isn’t selfish because it’s for everyone, not just you.

Consider how helpful you are when you’re exhausted. You can’t think straight, you can barely keep your eyes open, and you are a bit irritable. When you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be present or helpful to others. Being of service is an important theme in recovery. Volunteering isn’t the only form of being of service. Being of service means being present and being able to be present with and for other people. Self-care is a form of being of service. If you’re in a particularly cranky and exhausted state, you are certainly being of service to others when you choose to take care of yourself. Self-care helps you help others by helping yourself. There is nothing selfish about taking time for yourself if it helps you take more time for others at a later period of time. Your self-care is for everyone, including you.


Your self-care will be unique to who you are and the way you approach your recovery. Everyone has different forms of self-care. Basics like staying fed, taking showers, and taking care of yourself the way you need to be taken care of is important. Self-care also includes the activities you personally need to feel taken care of personally. Your work in recovery will reveal this to you over time.


Simple Recovery knows that the answer to recovery, is simple. Our multiphase programs are designed to help clients transition from treatment to achieving their dreams through living sober. Start your recovery today by calling 888-743-0490 for information.