People often wonder why addicts cannot control their urges for their addiction. These same people also wonder why addicts cannot simply walk away from their addiction of choice and follow a path to recovery. One of the main aspects of addicts not being able to recover is the ego of an addict.You may be thinking, an ego? Many people are under the assumption that addicts have low self esteem and are always down on themselves, but an ego is a completely different spectrum of light. With an ego for an addict, the idea that quitting anything is a sign of weakness. It also falls into the category of “Nobody is going to tell me what to do.” and the idea that they can control their addiction.Narcotics Anonymous refers to an egotistical frame of mind as being, “terminally hip and fatally cool.” This meaning that in the addict’s mind doing drugs is hip and will always be the “thing” to do. They also have the mind frame of the more drugs you do, the better you are and the cooler you look. The age-old theory, “If one is good, 2 has got to be better.” is always in their thought process. Most addicts believe they can continue on with their addiction until they are old and die of natural causes, not from an overdose or other drug related incidents. They believe they are untouchable and nothing can stop them. Addicts do not believe they or their friends can die of an overdose. That is why they continue to abuse drugs or alcohol.One of the major effects of the ego is not being able to ask for help. Recovery is a long process and most people believe that you cannot recover on your own. While some admit they have recovered on their own, most need help. That is why there are support groups, therapy sessions, AA meetings, NA meetings, rehab centers, and many more resources when an addict starts the recovery process. So why is it so hard to show up to a meeting or therapy session? The ego gets in the way again. For an addict to admit that they not only have a problem, but also need help would shatter their ego that they have built up from using and abusing substances. The avoidance of addicts to enter into a treatment center or attend meetings is always fear-based. They are fearful of not knowing what is going to happen. You might think living life as an addict would be fearful and dangerous, but not to them. An addict is fearful of facing their consequences and dealing with real life situations. Every time an uncomfortable situation comes about in their life, they avoid it by using and abusing their choice of drugs or alcohol.
In order to recover, an addict must breakdown their ego that is holding them back. Addicts that hold onto their ego and “make it through rehab” are not truly recovering. Holding onto their egotistical thoughts will often lead them into a relapse, by thinking they have their lives under control and can now continue to use drugs or drink alcohol.