We know that early stages of addiction recovery are the toughest and I’m sure you will agree change is scary.
Recovery = Change, it’s the beginning of a life long journey; but first you have to not only recognize the debilitating issue; you then have to stop it, give it up - change your lifestyle, address negative behaviours and underlying pain, you have to face your fears. YIKES; with those little voices squawking in your head>> who will I be without my drugs/alcohol, negativity or bad habit? How will I act? How will people perceive me? What will happen to me and my social life/job/family etc..? How will I face my past trauma/underlying pain? How can I deal with the physical pain? How do I not continue playing the victim, what about my depression and anxiety? etc etc… and these are just surface questions that you will ask yourself; there can be deeper concerns depending on your individual circumstance.
Your recovery will be based on how you handle all this unease and your ego driven voices. “Ego driven?” you ask – let’s talk about ego; not the vain arrogant narcissistic traits we automatically think of. Stay with me for a moment and read on…
Take a look at this definition of ego, “The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity” More like the negative voices in your head, the part in your mind that believes the world revolves around you, that the world owes you; Ego has you believe you are a victim. Ego takes everything personally and blames others. Ego is tunnel vision and lack of empathy. Ego tries to impress others by bragging/lying. Ego feeds itself with guilt and resentment. Ego is the force behind all your fears and anxieties, social phobias and low self esteem. Ego passes judgments’ to make itself feel better. Ego stops you from believing you need help. Ego stops you from believing in you. The hardest one, is Ego stops you from recognizing any of these traits in yourself.
Deepak Chopra affirms that “If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up”
It’s amazing what happens once you heighten your awareness of Ego and learn to transform the negativity, (fears, guilt, anxieties, etc…) Once you are able to let Ego disperse, your defense walls will collapse, your humble self will shine and you will begin to discover your true authentic self. You will be well on your recovery journey to becoming the most amazing beautiful individual you are, full of self love, hope and an open heart. You will have found something greater than Ego. The question remains; how do you achieve this self realization? How do you stop letting ego control you?
"One Step at a Time"
You will have to do your work which will eventually become part of your healthy living routine. Below are a few hints:
- Keep yourself in check. Wayne D'yer wrote in his book "Your Sacred Self" to be aware of how many times you use the word "I" in a 24 hour period.
- A gratitude journal, grounding meditation, drawing, writing, talking (counselling, friend, sponsor,) joining a support group, reaching out, volunteering etc...
- Take a couple deep breaths before you speak and ask yourself if your words are coming from a place of compassion.
- Learn the art of active listening and I-feel messages
- Be accountable, take responsibility for you.