Numerous character flaws have the potential to hinder a recovering alcoholic’s chances of actually remaining clean and sober after completing the rehab program. But few are quite as dangerous as grandiosity. The problem with this trait, which implies greatly exaggerating one’s talents, abilities and strengths, is that individuals suffering from it tend to ignore sound advice and approach the early stages of sobriety thinking they are completely cured; in doing so, they expose themselves to common triggers without thinking for a second that a relapse is imminent. After all, their willpower is invincible and there’s no reason to fear. Or is there?
Overconfidence Ultimately Leads to Defeat
History has taught us this lesson over and over again, but it seems there’s no shortage of overconfident military leaders who attempt to take on the world on their own, only to see their massive empire cut short due to their audacity. Historical allegories aside, a former addict has to realize that sobriety implies an ongoing battle against the desire to drink and the force of inertia that keeps pushing him back to the former, “happier” lifestyle.
To paraphrase Newton’s first law of motion, within a designated lifestyle, an alcoholic tends to remain an alcoholic, until acted upon by exterior forces. That’s probably the best explanation as to why addicts cannot achieve sobriety on their own and why a rehab program is a mandatory part of recovery.
Why are Addicts Overconfident During Post-Rehab?
Grandiosity and the construction of imaginary scenarios in which you are the “chosen one” is part of the addictive personality’s list of traits. This fantasy comes with exaggerating one’s importance and downgrading the experiences or opinions of other people, which explains why they’re not big fans of support groups.
The grandiose behavioral patterns cause addicts to resist all forms of outside help, as he perceives them. In meetings, he often speaks out of turn and tries to dominate the conversation, constantly rerouting it towards his line of thought. At work, the recovering addict thinks that he can handle everything and anything, and this sometimes leads to costly mistakes made at work.
The Problem with Overconfidence
The whole universe of the recovering addict is marked by delusion. To put it simply, he’s living in a bubble that, when it bursts, threatens to drown him into a sea of despair and shatter what remains of his self-esteem. Speaking of that, most experts believe that the aura of grandiosity is used by the recovering addict as a mask for a low self-esteem.
Furthermore, the overconfident individual is generally the kind of person you don’t really want as a friend due to his constant bragging. Considering that early sobriety is the time when recovering addicts need friends the most, being shunned by people is likely to throw them into a downwards spiral and cause them to relapse.
Naturally, they won’t blame the failure to interact with others on themselves, but the result is the same. Lastly, an overconfident recovering alcoholic might even believe that he can start drinking “socially” again, which is a surefire path to relapsing.
I urge you, if you recognize yourself in this description, seek help, and work on improving your behavior and your philosophy.