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What Does Ego Have to Do with Addiction?

Sometimes we associate ego with arrogance, with being full of ourselves, with being condescending and patronizing towards others, and thinking we’re superior to other people. Because our ego is our sense of self, these traits often arise in us when we have a wounded ego, when our sense of self has been injured, fractured or depleted, often because of a traumatic experience. When we’ve been traumatized, our subconscious mind can become impaired, so to speak, forming inside of us all kinds of fear-based complexes, neuroses, and insecurities. When we have a wounded ego, we’re living our lives and manifesting from a place of insecurity and self-hate, with the energy of fear rather than of faith. What does this have to do with addiction?

Wounded Ego 

A wounded ego can create all kinds of limiting beliefs about ourselves, about who we are as people, about what we’re capable of and what we deserve. For those of us struggling with addiction and mental illness, our wounded egos can tell us that we’re not good enough, that our feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy are irreparable, and that we’re not strong enough to cope with our difficult thoughts and feelings on our own. We come to believe we’re not enough as we are and we don’t deserve happiness, success and good health. We start to believe that we need something outside of ourselves, an addictive substance, behavior or relationship, in order to cope, in order to be whole and complete, and in order to feel better about ourselves. We believe we’re weak and powerless against these unhealthy coping mechanisms, and over time we find that they have morphed into full-blown addictions and mental health issues. We believe that there’s nothing we can do about our addictive urges and the symptoms of our mental illnesses other than succumb to them.

Balanced Ego

When we have a healthy, balanced ego, we feel more confident, self-assured and grounded in who we are. This doesn’t mean we never experience challenges, but we have faith in ourselves that we can overcome them. We give ourselves the internal motivation to face our fears. We give ourselves the self-nurturing and self-love we need to cope with our sadness and grief. We love ourselves enough to forgive ourselves and move through our shame without letting it paralyze us. The emotions that might otherwise be debilitating are manageable for us because we’ve developed a strong sense of self, a healthy relationship to our thoughts and feelings, and beneficial ways of coping.

Addictions, mental health issues, and ego are interrelated in that an imbalanced, unhealthy, wounded ego can contribute to the faulty limiting beliefs, unhealthy coping mechanisms and inability to handle our difficult emotions that can very easily contribute to our debilitating illnesses.

At The Guest House Ocala, our experience with addiction and recovery makes us uniquely poised to be able to understand the struggles you’re experiencing. We’re here to help. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.