The famous Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung said that we have many parts within us – we are not a singular person. Some of our parts make up the shadow/ dark side that we fear to address. Poor addictive behavior choices can result from the negative ideas that different parts of ourselves carry that encourage us to do harm.
This is the Con—or those parts of ourselves that talk us into (con us) into doing things that are not good for us.
Rationalization is giving yourself permission to do something harmful or denying or ignoring something you are doing that steals your peace of mind. Justifications and rationalizations are the Inner Con things we say to ourselves to ignore our going down the Danger Road.
Can you relate to any of these Fear-Based Parts that contribute to ongoing alcohol, drug, prescription medications, diet pills, or excessive activities such as gambling, shopping, risky sex, or video games?
1) Inner Pusher: the workaholic part which compensates for fatigue by drinking
• “I’ve worked so hard I can ___.”
• “I deserve to ___”.
2) Inner Victim: sniveler argues nothing ever works for them
• “It’s not fair.”
• “I never get to have fun anymore.”
• “Poor me that I can’t drink and they can.”
3) Helpless Sucker: Creates a sense of powerlessness about alcoholism
• “This addiction is stronger than I am.”
• “I don’t have the will power not to drink.”
• “There’s nothing else for me to do but drink.”
4) Part believing conflict is bad so avoid anger: Avoidance part numbs out with drinking
• “To calm me down, I’ll have a drink.”
• “I can’t stand being frustrated, so I’ll mellow out with a drink.”
5) Inner Narcissistic feeling entitled: “I deserve to drink b/c ___’
• ‘I owe me a good time b/c ___.’
• Searches for any reason to drink.
6) Feeling Hurt & Betrayed part: Disappointments in relationships become the excuse to drink
• They don’t understand me so…
• Hurt and anger justify drinking.
7) I’m Introverted so I need a Social Lubricant: uptight part drinks to feel more at ease socially, to loosen up, to be more comfortable with others
8) The part that dwells on Rotten Past and predicts Rotten Future: The rotten childhood part convinces that you will always be as limited as your past. The error in thinking is that a terrible past means a terrible future
• ”I just can’t help it b/c my dad ___.’
• ‘It’s in my genes so I can’t change it’
• ‘I wasn’t loved enough by my parents so I am unlovable.’
9) Inner Impulsive Kid can’t delay gratification: must have what it wants when it wants it!
• ‘Pressure is building up & I can’t take this.’
• It feels it must drink to release discomfort and distress.
10) Inner Wild and Crazy Part: can’t stand to be bored, craves stimulation, needs to party to have fun.
• ‘Bring on that rush.
• I love that high and feel bored without it.”
11) Rebellious Child excited by being bad: Delights in feeling good about being bad, fueled by the excitement of the chase, acts out defiantly, lives on the edge with an attraction to risks, immerses in a culture that reinforces drinking
• I can handle this.’
• Others can’t tell me what to do. I can’t even tell me what to do.
• ‘My way is the best way.’
12) Gimmee, Gimmee part grabs hold of any reason to relapse: Looks for reasons and agrees with any rationale
13) Creature of Habit to get out of discomfort: Bodily discomfort soothed by drinking.
• ‘I can’t stand this.
• It is too much to bear.’
14) Master Justifier who blames
• ‘I know I shouldn’t have ___, but ___’ ‘I’m sorry that I ___, but ___’
• I did not want to ___, but ___.’
We Also Have Helper Parts
Avoiding Relapse: Catching Your Inner Con identifies 14 parts of our inner con are those rationalizations, denials, and lies that we tell ourselves to keep doing an addictive behavior. Once we know and understand these parts, we can name them and address them when they start to distract and distress us.
But all parts of us aren’t bad. Fortunately, we have helper parts that can counteract the negative messages. These parts of you are positive and rooting for recovery. You are not in this noble fight alone. You have many resilient parts…”
Remember, we are complicated people. Determine your own rationalizations and denials from the list and challenge them.
Excerpted from Avoiding Relapse: Catching Your Inner Con by Lynne Namka a licensed psychologist, energy healer, and an occasional story-teller. She studied extensively with Virginia Satir and has an interest in Transpersonal Psychology, Buddhist Psychology, Jungian Psychotherapy, and the Energy Psychotherapies. Connect with her at LynneNamka.com and her Facebook page.