How does a Substitute Sense of Self feel?

A Substitute Sense of Self needs to be regarded as a desired psycho-emotional ‘state’ to be in rather than as a concrete replacement of the (real) Self or the Natural Sense of that (real) Self.

The actual emotions experienced by a person who has developed a Substitute Sense of Self are very intense and over-the-top in nature. There seems so much at stake that a form of death-fear is always lurking. Consequently the other end of the spectrum is comparable to relief of ‘when the threat of annihilation (death) has subsided.’

Not really emotions that are rooted in the person’s own being!

Neither the fear nor the relief are emotions rooted in the person’s own authentic being! They are rooted in an unhealthy compensatory psycho-emotional system developed from a childhood deprivation situation.

In other words, although those emotions are being experienced as ‘normal’, because there is no knowledge of how other people experience emotions, these so-called ‘emotions’ don’t actually root in the experience of the Self. So these are sensations that are not grounded in and related to the person’s own pure, deep, real life.

I understand that this is hard to understand but these constant and extraordinarily intense feelings are actually only part of the Substitute Sense of Self-oriented system that focuses solely on the outcome of Ego-References. The strategy leads its own life and uses the vitality of the person, but it isn’t ‘about’ him or her. It is only ‘about’ whether or not ‘I can live up to the conditions so I can feel alive, allowed to be, allowed to exist’ – which has nothing to do with actually living your true, real, authentic life.

There are deep valleys and high peaks, deep depression or over-excitement (like bipolar disorder, perhaps that is even what it is based on!) The actual intensity depends on the natural temperament of the person. It is precisely this effect that ‘having a Substitute-Sense-of-Self-oriented System’ has on a person that shows what depression actually comes down to and how chemical dependencies of ‘Highs’ are developed.

The most important emotion is the ‘feel-good-about-Self’.  This sense of being at peace for a moment from having to live up to a condition, getting a break from having to perform well, perhaps even the thrill of ‘having to celebrate this good outcome’  is generated when we have been successful in bringing an Ego-References to a good ending in a particular situation. The ‘feel-good-about-Self’ always has the deeper meaning of having succeeded in prolonging one’s existence*, having complied with the required (albeit self-imposed in early childhood) conditions.

Being at the mercy of the outcome of achievements or certain behaviors gives us the idea that we have to control every outcome of our daily circumstances and other people’s behavior. We depend on feeling-good to be able to work and aim for a positive outcome. We need others to give us a good-feeling and therefore we have to OK ourselves first.

So we have to frantically make sure we are OK, that (if these are among our Ego-References) we do sleep well (!), have time for everything that comes our way, and be friendly all the time. In short it is a nerve-wracking life with high anxiety all the time, lack of rest and deep sleep, and no way out!

*Existence: As I am processing my own solutions in my Recovery I have come to see that ‘existence’ might be looked at not so much in the general sense of being alive, but that it actually initially meant: being seen and heard by the parent, ‘existing’ for the parent.

Where the reader goes next….

Or…Overview Substitute Sense of Sel-oriented system….