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Post Info TOPIC: The Alcoholic And Grandiosity


MIP Old Timer

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The Alcoholic And Grandiosity
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Disclaimer:  This is not my writing but it is interesting and as an Alcoholic I can identify with it.

Larry,
------------------- 

The Alcoholic And Grandiosity

 The alcoholic is a classic case of "an egomaniac with an inferiority complex."  This apparent contradiction in terms comes from the fact that because the alcoholic has low self-esteem, they often feel the need to hide behind a mask of superiority.  While they pretend to feel they're better than most people, what they really feel inside is utterly worthless.  This is more or less applying the idea that "the best defense is a strong offense."

 Of course they can't let anyone know that, so they rarely take the mask off.  This tends to make them extremely critical of just about everything and everyone, and they act as if they should be in charge of running the entire universe.  Ultimately, this grandiosity is the first obstacle in treatment that must be overcome to get an alcoholic to admit and accept that they are in fact an alcoholic and they need help.  Before they get help and begin to start thinking clearly, alcoholics and addicts generally equate needing help with being weak.

 



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Larry_H wrote:

Disclaimer:  This is not my writing but it is interesting and as an Alcoholic I can identify with it.

Larry,
------------------- 

The Alcoholic And Grandiosity

 The alcoholic is a classic case of "an egomaniac with an inferiority complex."  This apparent contradiction in terms comes from the fact that because the alcoholic has low self-esteem, they often feel the need to hide behind a mask of superiority.  While they pretend to feel they're better than most people, what they really feel inside is utterly worthless.  This is more or less applying the idea that "the best defense is a strong offense."

 Of course they can't let anyone know that, so they rarely take the mask off.  This tends to make them extremely critical of just about everything and everyone, and they act as if they should be in charge of running the entire universe.  Ultimately, this grandiosity is the first obstacle in treatment that must be overcome to get an alcoholic to admit and accept that they are in fact an alcoholic and they need help.  Before they get help and begin to start thinking clearly, alcoholics and addicts generally equate needing help with being weak.

 



Larry_H,

Personally, I think the statement: "alcoholics and addicts generally equate needing help with being weak" was very true for me.
I was the oldest kid in the family,the one who stood on thier own, very independent and the most successful financially. 
Strong willed but weak minded internally in emotion control.
I wore that mask and still catch myself having it on, as a safety net. It is one of the hardest things I've ever had to break. 
It is often also just as hard to wear it (the mask) in a different way though i.e.
It's a job! Complex indeed. 

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Hi,
Boy,does this hit home for this alcoholic. To Janet"s reply I confess I also struggle
with emotional sobriety. Some day's I feel like I am the ping pong ball in some giant game between God and the devil. To be fair I also must confess over the years I have found some relief from these feelings. Yet I know and FEEL I am a work in PROGRESS. Seems like I have
been given the Grace to live with some uncomfortableness without drinking or drugging.
For that I am Grateful.


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LOL! Toad!

"Emotional Sobriety."  Great way of putting it, I'll have to remember that one.

Is there such a thing? I hope so, I'm trying my best to locate it and work on it.

Have a great day.

J

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I think the term "emotional sobriety" was coined by Bill Wilson in a letter he wrote over 50 years ago.  Google it, you'll find it.

A lot of people - especially people who are NOT alcoholics - love to hold this letter as a club over the head of sober alcoholics as if to say, "You're sober, BFD... what's next?"  My ex-wife was one of those people, not sure how she came across it.

In sobriety one must be veeeeery careful how much stock we place in terms like "maturity" and how we apply them to ourselves, or more critically, when we allow other people to pin the label (most commonly its opposite) on us.  I really dislike the words "mature" and "immature" because their most common usage - by far - is by people who consider themselves at the very least, "more mature" than the "immature" people they are putting down.

In other words, it's just a conventional putdown backed up by some high-sounding mumbo jumbo.  Careful where you tread, how you take it to heart, and how you lay it on someone else - regardless of your intentions.  I cringe just as much when someone tells me I'm "more mature" than someone else, as I would if someone called me "immature".  Either way, it's a judgment put out by someone who feels they are qualified (superior) to make it.

Anyway, take a look at the Bill W. letter - and remember that it's written from his own personal experience, and he's applying it to himself.  I don't think he intended it to be super-glued to the pointing finger of the self-righteous smile.gif

Barisax

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Hiya
I have a massive ego and no self esteem. It shows in my perfectionism, I have to be really good (hardly ever happens) if not the best (never happens) at something otherwise I dont want to do it.

Honestly I am a real pefectioniost about some things. Not my spelling or grammar but things that are important
 lol.

I also have OCD traits that make it worse and add to the crazy 'it must be perfect' thing. ( i am going to try get help for this). I dont do perfect work but I drive myself crazy trying to(and others)

I have missed a lot of opportunities from fear, Im not good enough the no self esteem, needing to be better than in order to be equal. Im either better or I am crap.

Its fear I am not good enough and trying so hard to be better than just so I can feel as good as. Messed up big ego and frightened child within.

Perfectionism is grandiosity, it is thinking 'I must be better than everyone else who does this job' it is thinking I SHOULD be better for no reason other than I JUST SHOULD. BECAUSE ITS ME.

I should be better at this task than all the people before me, all the people who have more training, every single human who has done this job I should be able to do it faster, better, smarter lol.

I read this really good article about perfectionism & grandisity - found it on google and and the author said its like if you are a writer and instead of expecting yourself to write like a normal author would, needing to plan and have drafts and more drafts. You expect yourself to need no or little drafts, to have perfection straight away, because its you and not someone else. Even though that is just not done and no one  is able to really do that. Because its ME then I MUST be able to be better because well its me and I expect it! The world is just wrong if I am not really awesome at this!

I never knew that perfectionism is grandiosity until I read this article on it and it was like ahah! I used to think it was a good thing to try and be perfect.

I dont have a problem asking for help. I am probably the unusual alki in that regards I think. Not sure why. Perhaps I expect too much help instead I dont know.

(i actually tried to use spell checker,  I know my posts are usually really badly written lol but since im claiming to be a perfectionist I felt i had better spell check this one at least but theres still a lot of errors hehe)



-- Edited by slugcat on Thursday 13th of May 2010 12:43:49 PM

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MIP Old Timer

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Slugcat

I sure identify with your post.  

I have CDO traits.  CDO is almost the same as OCD except the letters are arranged in the correct alphabetic order.  (LOL)

Larry,
-------------
Yesterday I knew nothing today I know that.

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Thought I'd bump this great thread -- I found this incredible description of alcoholic grandiosity and other character traits on the web today. It's not AA literature, but in effect, it is perfect description of me before I started to work the AA program.

It's incredible -- so many of my wrongs were traceable to these character defects: grandiosity, judgmentalism, intolerance, impulsivity, indecisiveness.

The thing is, looking back, those character defects were always there, well before I started drinking and certainly well before my life became unmanageable as a result of my powerlessness over alcohol. Until I found AA,

So much truth that our bottles were but a symptom and that, at least for me, just stopping drinking was not enough. These character traits still there would lead to resentments and fear, which would eventually lead back to another drink.

By the Grace of God, I don't have that obsession with alcohol today and I've been given the tools to deal with these character defects (which are still there, just not as obviously -- praying for their removal and willingness to have them removed).

Thanks all for being here.

Steve


http://recoveroz.com.au/images/product-images/freeinfo/CharactertraitsofAlcoholic.pdf

1
Character Traits of the Alcoholic
1. Grandiosity, put very simply, is an exaggeration of one's own importance. This can be demonstrated either
in terms of one's strengths or weaknesses. In either case it is blat tantly self- seeking or self-serving, putting
oneself at the centre of attention, from the "big me" who has ask the answers to the "poor me" whose cup of
self-pity runneth over and wants all of our attention. (Ask RecoverOz about our booklet on Grandiosity)
2. Judgmentalism is mutually related to grandiosity. It means that the alcoholic is prone to make value judgments
- strikingly inappropriate evaluations - usually in terms of "goodness" or "badness".
3. Intolerance leaves no room for delaying the gratification of personal desires. This is accomplished by gross
confusion of priorities with the result that a mere whim or passing fancy is mistakenly given more importance
than genuine personal needs.
4. Impulsivity is the result of intolerance or the lack of ability to delay gratification of personal desires. Impulsivity
describes behaviour which is heedless of the ultimate consequence for self or others.
5. Indecisiveness is related to impulsitivity in the sense that while the latter takes no realistic account of the
consequences of the actions, the former precludes effective action altogether. Indecisiveness stems from an
unrealistic exaggeration of the negative possibilities of the action; so one wavers between two or more possible
courses of action, more times than not- nothing gets done.
These conditions, grandiosity, judgmentalism, intolerance, impulsivity, and indecisiveness taken separately or
together can lead to the following:
a) Mood swings, which are unrelated to the circumstances to which one tries to link them. Alcoholics zero in on
what they want others to think is the cause of the mood swing, when it isn't that at all. More often than not it is
something much deeper than the reason given. Inversely it can also be something totally insignificant with no
substance at all (e.g. the sugar is too sweet or the donut is too round). Any excuse will do.
b) Unable to demonstrate emotions freely, naturally and without constraint. No emotional spontaneity, no
genuine spark.
c) Introspection. A very healthy thing to do is difficult if not impossible for the "dry drunk". It means to look inward
to one's examining each thought and desire, which is linked directly to one's attitude.
d) Detachment. Become aloof, display indifference, don't care one way or the other, no special likes or dislikes,
they withdraw.
e) Self-absorption- with a tendency to call attention to whatever they have attained. Narcissism, which is quite
simply self-love. They become pompous asses.
f) The inability to appreciate or enjoy themselves - nothing satisfies.
g) Evidence of disorganization, is easily distracted, complains of boredom, and nothing seems to fit.
h) A nostalgia sets in, a kind of wistful yearning for something of the past, such as freedom from care associated
(falsely) with drinking, bars, drinking associates, and friends; the music, blue lights, and tinkle of the ice cubes in
a glass in the neighbourhood saloon.
i) There can be a kind of romanticism, which includes unrealistic valuations of lifestyles and character traits
which can be and usually are objectively dangerous to one's sobriety.
2
j) Escapism. Fantasizing, daydreaming, and wishful thinking are very much in evidence the individual slips
farther and farther from reality.
Recoveroz has a number of booklets on all the subject matter above. Give us a call to ask about them.

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