Throughout my life I have noticed character defects whether they are good or bad. However, at times it is hard for me to see my defects of character. I am grateful that I have supportive people in my life to point out my defects when I’m in the wrong. The experiences I’ve been through are opportunities to learn, whether it is good or bad. Jealousy, anger, sadness, depression and being envious are just some of my personal defects. But, on the bright side, it is normal to experience those defects. Some people have the same defects, others have it different. The important thing is you need to make sure you outweigh the defects with your positive traits, such as, loving, caring, passionate, honesty, and hardworking. Being focused on the good you have inside the less you see the bad come out.
The concept of character is not something a person is born with. Character is shaped and molded by experiences throughout one’s life. It is not enough to simply state characteristics that you believe you have, they must be defined by actions. Growing up playing basketball I witnessed various shades of character. There are many characteristics of athletes that are favorable: hardworking, courageous, bold, and determined; but, there are also characteristics that can derive from competition that demonstrates poor character. One of the most valuable lessons that helped shape my character was learning how to win and how to lose. However, this is not a literal step process to win or lose based on points but rather based on one’s poise and actions when winning or losing. How a person acts and treats others when winning or losing demonstrates what kind of character they hold. Being boastful, spiteful, angry, and harmfully aggressive are examples of negative characteristics. Witnessing these poor characteristics helped me to piece together what I want my own personal character to abide by. I also learned that character is not only what standards a person holds themselves accountable to in front of others, but what standards they hold for themselves when there is no one around. John Wooden quotes, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Being true to your word when others are not around demonstrates strong characteristics. Nobody is perfect. I believe someone with good character continues to hold themselves accountable to higher standards and strives to better oneself. As long as someone is willing to continue to grow it shows good character.
Morals, Traits, and Qualities. They’re what the character is constructed of and areas which my addiction left in shambles. My addiction left me a shell of a man and someone I didn’t even personally like. I developed character defects that were subversive to my well-being. I became a liar, untrustworthy, passive, self-pitying, and irresponsible. I became everything I despised in other people who possessed those flaws. However horrible those experiences that allowed my character to be emerged with these defects and imperfections, they drove me to come to SOCD to receive and follow the advice of Salina. She’s helped to an extent with which words cannot describe. She’s pushed me along and has helped many of my defects wane through her effort and insight. Salina has helped me work on being responsible, assertive and direct, trustworthy, dependable, and true to myself. I’ve gained a healthier sense of self-esteem, self-worth, and dignity. I’m actually proud and confident. When I think of the character I had as compared to the character I have now, I notice tremendous differences. Today I am no longer overflowing with selfishness. I am not lying, stealing, manipulating, or being intentionally dishonest. I’m trying to bridge that gap between who I portray and how I act with effort, energy, and consistency. My addictions left my scales of character tipping. My moral compass was broken and heading me down the path I didn’t intend on going. Over the last 5 months my scales of character and my moral compass have re-calibrated. I’m back on the path I’m supposed to be on to get where I want to be.
There are a lot of different qualities and traits one can have to make up their character. There are positive and negative characteristics one can carry. Through my addiction my character consisted of a dishonest, manipulative, selfish thief, but yet, could also be a loyal, trustworthy, respected friend. In the time of my sobriety, I find that I have more integrity with my positive character traits, where whom I am, loving, caring, empathetic, hardworking, and determined to deal and fight through the character defects that still reside and show from time to time. I believe my defects and traits, past and present, have helped me discover the character I can adore to further be.
When talking about the word character the first word that comes to mind for me is integrity and honesty. When in recovery we want to try and sharpen our character to become better people than the people we are when we are using. Not being two faced and being consistent all the way across the board is a good place to start. I am reminded of when I was young and my grandmother would tell me to have good character and to be a man of character. This still holds true for me today as a man in recovery. I need to work on dealing with the rough edges I have in order to start to deal with the parts of me that cause such wreckage in my past. I want to be trustworthy, loyal, honest, dedicated, kind and faithful as I grow in sobriety so I can live up to the things I expect myself to do in sobriety. I want to say that I have good character when people speak about me when I am not around or when they describe me.