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Addiction & Mind
Posted by: Michael
Reading time: 3 minutes
Your mind is the house for all beliefs, thoughts, and ideas. This is where your ego lives. This is where you hold the concept of who you are. In addiction, you are disconnected from your true self, and living as a distortion of who you really are.
Do you say or do things to appear a certain way to others? It is common for people with addictions to wear masks, or play out a personality, to hide or ignore the real thoughts and feelings within. Some addicts may act like they don’t care what other people say or think about them, but on the inside, they care very deeply.
We all have different aspects to who we are — we each have a mind, a body, a heart, and a soul. All aspects are important for understanding ourselves, and for understanding others. When these aspects are all strong, we are in balance, but when any of them are neglected or twisted, we are out of balance. Remember that each aspect is important, but there is not one that is more important than the others. We do not let our physical bodies be the only aspect that defines who we are. We must not let our ego define us either.
Egos can be very fragile. Even those that appear to be rock solid on the outside have their weak spots. The experience of having that mask broken can be very painful. Some people can take a lot of pain, others can only take so much. Some people cope with the pain and learn from it, others use addictions to feel better.
The disconnection with your mind, and the distortion of yourself, can be seen in how you handle your image. If you are excessively concerned with your image, this is an extreme, and is an imbalance. To be not the least concerned with your image is the opposite extreme, and is also an imbalance. Also, should the way you treat your image on the outside, for others, not match the way you feel about your image on the inside, with yourself, then you are disconnected from who you really are.
Part of recovering from addiction is restoring the connection to your mind. The large ego is superior, and is better than others, and can take what it wants because it deserves it. The small ego is inferior, and is worse than others, and can take what it wants because it deserves it. Both large and small egos are fragile. Both must be left behind.
It is important to right-size the ego, and restore your mind, because when the ego runs the show, it lives in constant judgment. Ego derives value not from within, from body, heart, and soul, but from without, by who around you has more, or has less. By who is prettier, or uglier, or makes way more money, or way less. If you let the ego define you, it becomes very easy to let it define everyone else too. If you can let go of ego, you can let go of judgment.
Your mind is only one aspect of who you are, and it need not be the most important. Perhaps your mind can humble itself and listen to your body, or your heart, or your soul, and learn something about your deeper self.
Perhaps your mind can humble itself and listen to another mind, another aspect, another truth, and learn something about a deeper reality.
Michael is the Lead Sobriety Coach and Head Blogger of Addiction Reality.