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Ego Driven Recovery

Updated: Jan 11

Ego-Driven Recovery

Two days short of 1600 days in recovery I am fed a big chunk of humble pie. It stings, but it is what it is. My recovery has become ego-driven. Aw man, and what a can of beautiful worms this has opened for me. I use worms because that is where butterflies come from, right?

I am going to cocoon myself in this lesson on humility and come out on the other side a girl on fire, flamed in the gift of desperation, ready to give new meaning to recovery.

Yes! I am doing this.

I am willing to do whatever it takes to get back to basics and kick this nasty where it hurts. I do not want to be a “dry drunk”. Follow the link to see what Wikipedia says about this term.

If the next 600 – 900 words don’t make you think about where you are at in your recovery, do some homework. Ask yourself, who have I become in my recovery? Who do I want to be in recovery? What is it you want out of this journey? And what are you willing to do and let go of to maintain your sobriety? Have you become stagnant and imprisoned by the ego?

Here goes…

The following are snippets from websites I visited after realizing that my recovery needs serious attention. Google has all the answers, and my Higher Power put people on my path to point out what the ego does not want me to know, never mind acknowledge.

Never mind taking responsibility for the ego-driven recovery I have nested myself in so comfortably.

If you believe your wat is the best, you're living in some ego

“Can we change our beliefs to be this and that, as Bill W. suggested, and support people to the light with the practice of principles, and less opinion on what’s best? If you believe your way is the best, you’re living in some ego. In living in that ego, you’re portraying a message to other people: ‘This is the way. How do you know what their way is? How do you know what their path looks like? How do you know how their inner journey will unfold? Bill W. didn’t care about the ‘how’ – support people on their path to the light. Are you still on the journey to light – and sharing how that has evolved over the years – or has that journey stopped?”

Bill Wilson is the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. For more information on Bill W, follow the link to a 2012 documentary on YouTube.

This man paved the way for many who seek freedom from addiction. Bill W – included in TIME magazine “100 Persons of the 20th Century”.

Back to the ego-driven recovery. First, let us take a look at this damned ego thing.

“The ego is our false sense of self. It consists of an understanding of self, gathered over a lifetime of experiences. It's the sum of our history. Whether positive, negative, or neutral; these beliefs can be problematic. For they are in no way reflective of reality. It is our identity based on our personality. The ego contains our beliefs, talents, abilities, and perspectives. It’s the difference between you and me.”

“One can feel a wounded ego by the way it manifests itself in life. A wounded ego will get angry, depressed, resentful, and ashamed. In active addiction, we shun these emotions to keep them alive. Addiction stopped us from dealing with these feelings as they came up in life. Addiction kept the ego alive and well.

Thus, recovery is about dispatching or sending the ego off. This will involve learning to be humble and patient with the self and others. It means replacing a life of fear with a life of love.”

Yes, that’s me. Onthene, the addict. I have single-handedly managed to edge God straight out of my recovery.

E.G.O – edging God out

EGO - edging God out

That’s it, a wounded ego left untreated has now morphed itself into a strong self-willed run riot. In reading the rest of this post I discovered that I am suffering from a high dose of ego fatigue. And here I was stroking the ego, giving it a nice excuse to exist by convincing myself that it is because of compassion fatigue that I have been feeling like I have been committing spiritual suicide.

Well, I have been, at least I can acknowledge that.

“Ego fatigue is when there is no more resourcefulness in the person. The mental energy to keep up a life of self-sufficiency has been drawn to an end. It's based on the idea that we all have a limited supply of ingenuity which, over time, will deplete. It happens when immediate pleasures are more valued than longer-term gains. For instance, addicts take drugs for instant gratification. When they do so, they experience ego fatigue. It's because they are using self-harming behaviours as a last resort. They are unable to come up with proper solutions for problem-solving. They have no idea of the harm, addiction poses. Nor do they realize the consequences of their actions. In this state of ego fatigue, addicts become a burden to themselves, others, and the world around them.”

Ego fatigue is when there is no more resourcefulness in the person

Self-harming behaviours – spiritual suicide. What have I become?

For more on ego fatigue (ego depletion) follow the link:

The antidote to this nasty? Humble Pie. Big servings of Humble Pie a.k.a humility. I need to re-set, reconnect, restart, re-evaluate, re-think, re-make and re-write the narrative of my story.

Where do I begin? Well, right here, with me, Onthene, the addict.

I can start by believing the words of the serenity prayer, I can start by putting those words into action by recommitting myself to the third step decision, turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand him, it, her or them.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

“In so few words, the serenity prayer does indeed sum the essence of recovery for many. Here is

why reciting the prayer helps addicts in recovery and why reiterating it has been encouraged as a timeless tradition within the rooms.”

Click on the link above and choose to let this be your lighthouse, guiding you through the storms in the journey of recovery.

Thank you ego, you have served your purpose. I am on my way back to the light.

Ego Driven Recovery Infographic


In this introspective narrative, Onthene, a recovering addict, confronts the realization of an ego-driven recovery after almost 1600 days. Exploring the concept of ego fatigue, the text delves into the pitfalls of self-sufficiency and instant gratification. Bill W's teachings and the transformative power of humility are highlighted. With references to the Serenity Prayer, the text encourages a reset for self-discovery, reconnection, and a renewed commitment to lasting recovery. Onthene shares a personal journey back to the light, emphasizing the importance of humility in the continuous process of sobriety.

Ego-Driven Recovery Realization

The author, with almost 1600 days in recovery, acknowledges that their journey has become ego-driven. This revelation prompts self-reflection and a commitment to returning to the basics of recovery. The term "dry drunk" is introduced, referring to a person who has stopped using substances but has not addressed the underlying issues.

Questioning Personal Growth in Recovery

Critique of Ego in 12-Step Recovery

Understanding the Ego

E.G.O. - Edging God Out

The antidote to Ego: Humility

In summary, the blog underscores the importance of humility in recovery, encourages self-reflection, and warns against the pitfalls of ego-driven approaches. It suggests a return to foundational recovery principles and spiritual reconnection to overcome ego fatigue and resume the journey toward healing.



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