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When the Handout Mentality Meets a Dose of Reality

I was on Facebook the other day when a message popped into my inbox. It was from a girl I had done time with, someone who, frankly, I had never been that close to. Yet, she said it was urgent and asked that I call her right away.

A million thoughts raced through my head – what could she possibly need? More than likely, I told myself she was probably in trouble and needed legal advice – the kind of “help” that I was regularly asked for by other ex-prisoners. So, I gave her a call – and learned quickly she didn’t need legal help at all. She wanted me to pay her electric and water bill.

Because the World Owes You…

Handout mentality meets to a realityRight away, her handout mentality infuriated me, especially since I knew she wasn’t working and, judging by the conversation, was likely back on drugs.

Plus, the tone in her voice made me pause. She wasn’t asking me to send her the money, she expected me to send the money. As if reaching out to me – a virtual stranger – was a perfectly reasonable option. Here I was, juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet…and I was supposed to pay her bills too? I don’t think so.

This conversation stayed with me for the next few days as I stewed about the relationship between entitlement and addiction. People who believe they’re entitled think they deserve whatever they want without having to work for it, and in turn, become chronically reliant on others. They stay in a perpetual cycle of dependency and, thus, are never able to flourish themselves.

It’s Time for a Different Point of View

Even more, these addicted individuals have a self-centered view on life, so their thoughts and actions focus on fulfilling their desires. This view prevents them from taking a good, hard look within and admitting character defects – something that is necessary for those who want to become sober. Plus, this mentality hinders recovery, too.

Maintaining sobriety is hard work and is something that requires a person’s full focus and dedication. And it’s not attainable if that person is expecting someone else to do the heavy lifting.

But the good news is, there’s hope for my former acquaintance – along with everyone else who struggles with this mentality. With much counseling and several doses of reality from family and close friends, an entitled substance abuser can learn that the only person responsible for her quality of life is herself.

Additional Reading:   Addiction Isn’t Your Fault, It’s Your Responsibility

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