“I don’t get drunk, I get awesome!” – An attitude commonly carried by addicts and alcoholics. This is termed as “Grandiosity”- an inflated sense of superiority and self-importance.

Drinking and Drugging Fuels Grandiosity

People who carry a grandiose attitude often tend to amplify otherwise minor issues and warp their thinking. They tend to revolve around their issues and are often convinced that their opinions are superior and hence try to do the impossible - play God. Those of them who behave in a grandiose manner tend to appear as arrogant, impatient, determined, selfish, aggressive, opinionated, and inconsiderate. We live in a society that magnifies the value of material gains and success- making us feel that we deserve the best things life can offer. Drinking and drugging heightens the fantasies of importance and success.

Self Obsession of Addicts

‘Emotional immaturity’- the inability to grow up and the refusal to forget the selfish joys of babyhood; “His Majesty, the Baby”- this is expressed in childhood in three ways: voicing the needs and wants by loud behavior, low tolerance for frustration, and doing things in a hurry; this is expressed in adulthood as stubbornness and arrogance. This brings us to the characteristic of ‘Self-centeredness.’ This is a very common personality trait exhibited by addicts and alcoholics because for them, pleasure comes first. In their drinking and/or using careers, addicts and alcoholics often tend to develop ingeniously deceptive ways to conceal their bottles and drugs from others. With a grandiose attitude of “concealing” the substance, people tend to build ego thereby restricting the help from people. They then tend to feel ‘unique’ by perceiving their lives and problems to be different from others and others cannot help them through their problems. This in turn brings them to ‘rationalize’ about each and every situation they come across, holding a “sour grape” attitude. Rationalizing supplies the conscious mind with answers to every appeal to quit using chemicals - ready excuses, alibis, cop-outs, loopholes, and denials. This brings them to think that they cannot quit alcohol/drugs thereby depicting their powerlessness. It also makes it difficult for them to accept the powerlessness of the drink/drug, and hence they cannot turn their will over to a Power greater than them because they feel they’re omnipotent. “I am okay! Others are much worse than I am!” – a superior attitude that blinds alcoholics and addicts to the reality of who they are and creates an obstacle to receiving help.

Grandiosity and Denial

Owing to the above mentioned qualities of grandiosity, it can be a great threat to recovery and serenity as resentment and anger. Chemically dependent people have the trait of grandiosity quite common and hence convince themselves that they can use drugs/alcohol responsibly. This complacency can motivate addicts to take that first drink/drug leading to the path of relapse. It can lead them to ponder over other negative attitudes and destructive emotions that are likely to pave a way to relapse. As is believed, addiction is the only disease that tells victims they don’t have it, brings them to living in denial - a symptom and weapon of chemical dependency. Grandiosity makes the addicts and alcoholics apprehensive of others and on the other side they think “they’re too smart to fall for others.”

Grandiosity and Procrastination & Envy

Procrastination is another powerful weapon of grandiosity. Chemically dependent people tend to shelve off any confrontation with regard to the reality of their lives and the need to change. Another important factor that addicts and alcoholics have is envy which makes them feel deprived of the things they feel they “deserve.” This attitude leads them to greed and they live in a shell of “all-or-nothing” feeling which emerges anger. As a response to this, they drink or drug at everything and anything, blaming people, places and situations. Grandiosity propels the feeling to do things in excess, impelling alcoholics/addicts to compulsions, obsessions, impatience, impatience, jealousy, impulses, pressure, stress, and emotions like anger, fear, and hatred.

Grandiosity Resists ‘Surrender’

Grandiosity allows only an act of submission and not surrender. Though, surrender is the only way to swamp grandiosity from alcoholics and addicts. Chemical dependency tends to drift them away from the Higher Power and therefore it is important for them to seek help and guidance to wave off all the negative feelings associated to the disease. The constant conflict in the mind about the conscious and unconscious awareness kindles a hope that grandiosity can be deflated. Acknowledging the feelings of guilt and shame gives addicts and alcoholics a sense of responsibility, making them willing to make amends and avoid repeating the mistakes. Taking help is also a major way of overcoming grandiosity in the process of recovery. Guidance and vigilance are vital to prevent relapse so as to identify any thoughts, attitudes or behaviors that may feed to grandiosity. Therefore, humility, rather than grandiosity, is perhaps a much more peaceful and rewarding trait to nurture in recovery.

“Endless effort, endless humility, endless modesty” - Rain