To regain control of our lives, we have to reorganize our personality. We have to put our true self, represented by our recovery self, in charge. But first we have to get to know our addict self.
Let’s keep these traits in mind.
♦ The addict self is unreasonable, irrational, and impulsive. It will not be swayed by reason, and it doesn’t care about right or wrong when getting and using alcohol or other drugs is involved.
♦ The addict self is tricky and adept at convincing us and others that everything is all right and that the addict self really doesn’t exist. It will patiently lurk in the shadows until it finds the perfect time to convince us that picking up a drink or using is actually a good idea.
♦ The addict self doesn’t care who it hurts. It wants what it wants when it wants it, and it won’t let anything stand in its way.
♦ The addict self is great at solving problems, overcoming any obstacle to drinking or using placed in its way.
♦ The addict self has a very limited awareness of the seriousness of our condition. It turns mountains into anthills.
♦ The addict self-will camouflage itself well, making others think that it wants to change, when the reality is that it has no intention of doing anything different.
♦ The addict self is great at reading the motivations and intentions of other people and using this information to manipulate them— especially people who might threaten its ability to drink or use: spouse, parents, other loved ones or relatives, even well-intentioned therapists or medical doctors.
♦ The addict self is grandiose. It believes that it is special and therefore the same rules and laws that apply to everyone else don’t apply to it.
♦ The addict self is deviant and rebellious in that it isn’t open to help and won’t let anyone tell it what to do.
♦ The addict self is as smart— and often more clever— than the rational, healthy selves, so it’s a worthy adversary.
Stop and reflect on these characteristics. Do you recognize your addict self? Can you see how it has taken over your life? Take a moment to write about your addict self. Can you put your finger on when it took over your life? How much control does it have over your life now?
PART ONE PART THREE