Goodbye Reputation, Hello Character

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Addiction often strips a person of many things, including their reputation, character, personality, physicality, spirituality, relationships and more. Depending on the circumstances involved, addiction can often destroy an individual’s reputation, often drastically changing the way others may perceive you.

For people who are in positions of power or prestige, this can be especially difficult to deal with and manage. Addiction often tarnishes the very nature of a person, as the substance being abused takes over every aspect of an individual.

When under the influence and control of a substance, such as prescription medications, alcohol, or illicit street drugs, it becomes extremely difficult to live up to the standards that may have been established under sober living.

Rebuilding a Reputation

Perhaps you have found yourself in a situation where your reputation has been altered or destroyed by poor choices you have made while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. It can take as little as one bad experience to blemish a good reputation that you may have invested several years in building.

This unfortunate consequence that often results from addiction behaviors can be difficult to recover from, even after a person has become sober and been through the recovery process. What are ways to begin to rebuild a reputation that has been damaged through addiction?

Build Your Character First

Cool handsome guyEmbracing humility is a necessary part of finding healing, acknowledging your mistakes, and looking to the future with hope. It is important to work on aspects that focus on building your character rather than overemphasizing how you might get your reputation back.

Building character is something that happens though persistent dedication to the process of recovery, learning form history and past mistakes, and establishing healthy and positive relationships. Staying committed to your recovery from addiction, no matter how difficult it might be, is something that builds perseverance, strength, courage, and ultimately character.

This is essential to helping you become a person who not only upholds recovery for the long term but truly makes a difference in the lives of others – not just based on reputation but on a solid foundation of character.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What do you think are some of the most valuable ways to develop and enrich character? How is this more important than building a reputation for others?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 26th, 2015
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