The first time I realized the impact of my actions on other people, after I calmed down from a period of being basically hysterical, sitting in my bathtub crying for I don’t know how long, one thought went through my brain:
“I need to work!!!”
I immediately got a job stocking shelves at a grocery store which I wound up being fired from, but I got back up and got another job. I hated it but I showed up. A change from the countless jobs I had been fired from for poor attendance (no attendance). And I had really made no effort to work in many years. It takes time to unlearn bad habits.
Addiction is a selfish place to be. And since factitious disorders have comorbid personality disorders, usually borderline or narcissistic personalities, those are by definition selfish personalities. Narcissists think life is all about them, and isn’t usually amendable to treatment. Borderline is one of the PD’s that can have good success with treatment. You have to see what’s wrong with what you’re doing. Though amendable to treatment, borderline personality disorder is narcissistic in nature.
And then you work a program and realize life isn’t all about you. When I realized that people like myself are a drain on the system (not just healthcare), getting a job felt like the right thing to do. And in my opinion, it should be in the treatment plan for factitious disorders. One of the things that gives me comfort about what I used to be doing is that maybe the good I can do working as a psych nurse, can outweigh the poor choices I made in active addiction. And I also have found volunteer work, which I enjoy doing.
The other thing I got back is my self-respect. I no longer receive SSI benefits, Medicaid or food stamps and I do not live in public housing. The only public assistance I get is the Medicare Part A which I retain by default, and prescription drug coverage through Medicare is more cost effective than the health plan though work, so I do still use that. It’s also an amends.
Life isn’t all about you. Let your life be about other people. It will help you grow.