Hold on to my newly Restored Sense of Self

To effectively complete the recovery from a Lack of Sense of Self and dependency on the Substitute Sense of Self, you need to have a lot of stamina and persistence.

Below are a number of suggestions that I used to redirect myself towards my Restored Sense of Self after I had been able to detect that in some way I had ‘relapsed’. Here is the most important one:


Make staying in touch with your Real Self the most important task of the day, the week, the month.


This seems logical in hindsight, but when you are right in the middle of trying to ‘sober up’ from your addiction to the Substitute Sense of Self (in other words when your daily life is filled with the preoccupation to earn ‘acknowledgement, virtual parental approval, the Hidden Goal) nothing seems more important than getting your act together for that ‘earning’ to work. You spend time and effort in getting things (circumstances, people) lined up and smoothed out so you can ‘score’.  (If there were a chart that could measure the Substitute Sense of Self-oriented activity and achievements, you could fill in how high your score was at a particular day).

In the meantime you are still skipping your own life. That life needs to become your Concern Number 1. You need to become fully aware that by feeding the addiction (that awareness isn’t so easy because you depend on it, and it is experienced as a matter of life or death) you still are not living your own life: you yourself, with your own tastes and preferences are not present in your body. Your body is occupied by a compulsive robot! You have to kick that one out and take possession yourself, of your body, your life!

Some specific suggestions

You need great mental discipline.

Create visual aids for yourself or write a song about it (compare my song about ‘sobriety’). Here are a couple of ways you could do that.

1.    Refer to the picture just below. Imagine in your mind the right path (green) you have to go and the wrong path (red). You can make a drawing/painting of it (that is what I did and it helps the imagination). Discipline yourself to walk the right  (green) path

brain road

2.    Learn your list of your own Ego-References and Hidden Goals thoroughly by heart so you know it inside and out, upside and down, even in the middle of the night.

3.    Know ‘what you are (were) all about.’  If you still believe all that serves your life in a healthy way…fine; if it doesn’t you have a problem and you know what it looks like. For example: ‘I am all about chasing acknowledgement. That is what motivates me ultimately and if there is something that I have to or can do that doesn’t have the potential to lead to acknowledgment I am not interested’.

4.    List what that one thing ‘you are all about’ means to you; what does it stand for? What are it synonyms?

For example, perhaps for you acknowledgement is synonymous with:

-the (internalized/virtual) approval and acceptance of the parent

-sense of belonging

-a feeling of being part of something

-feeling safe

-feeling allowed to ‘be’

-feeling alive

-being taken into account

-not being ‘a bodily- ghost’

-not experiencing that ‘humiliation’

-not being ridiculed


-a Substitute Sense of Self

5.    (Refer to the illustrations just below.) Monitor your process of thinking and drawing conclusions. Verify whether you are (still) thinking with your own mind and feeling with your own heart – or whether someone else’s norms and values are in popping up and you have always thought that they WERE your own!

6.    Stay at the steering wheel of your own ship (read: body, mind, activities, goals) by doing a Motivation Check every so often. Do I have a Hidden Agenda with this or that? Am I still caught up in the cycle of ‘Vehicles –Ego-References – Hidden Goals and Substitute Sense of Self?

7.    As often as you can, ask yourself: How is my level of irritation, anger?  Am I ‘Quality of Life’ – irritated/angry or is there a boiling volcano underneath that I have difficulty managing? The latter is indicative of Substitute Sense of Self-oriented activity. Review your motives and manage your Self!

8.    Analyze the above examples and create some of your own! Would love to hear from you about what works for you!

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