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Old 12-30-2012, 05:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Split Personality?

So I've noticed something about me that is a little jarring. As a way of organizing my thoughts and emotions, I journal every day, and reading my old entries I've noticed that even though the journal is only for me, I speak to myself in the second person. And only when it's negative (or more specifically alcohol related).

For example, I'll say "I can't believe you did that again" or "You are slowly ruining your life." It wouldn't bother me so much except I never realized I did it. And I slip back and forth between the first and second person depending on the circumstance.

I've come to realize that I have divided myself into to people. The Sober Me and Alcoholic Me. Depending on the time of day and if the alcohol "switch" has been triggered throughout the day, this is how I refer to myself.

I've reflected more on it, and I assign different traits to each half of myself. Alcoholic Me is confident, flirty, but without ambition and severely unhappy. Sober Me is quiet, thoughtful, has aspirations but lacks the confidence to achieve any of them.

I guess I created this other self as a way of allowing me to continue drinking without reproach. It makes sense in my own head, I don't know how well it translates here.

Can anyone else relate to this? I'm just a little on edge having made this observation about myself, and if it is at all common in addicts.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #2 (permalink)

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I always say things to myself "what are you doing,S?" or "What's wrong with you,S? Pull it together." but it's not about drinking or even related to my addiction (I haven't had a drink in many years). It's just how I talk to myself.

There is something to this though, if you look at the AVRT paradigm. In the Rational Recovery book, it speaks of the you/It split. It suggests paying close attention to the pronouns being used to identify when the Addictive Voice is pushing it's agenda. I pulled this from an old AVRT thread:
Once this I/It split occurs, the Addictive Voice will be forced to address you in the second person ("you need a drink") or the first person plural ("we need a drink"). At this point, its cover is blown, since obviously it isn't you talking, or you would say "I need a drink," and recognition becomes almost effortless. The AV may still try the old "I" game every so often, but AVRT provides a mechanism for dealing with that called Addiction Diction.
Anyway, worth reading if you haven't. The "being of two minds" is very common among the addicted.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I always used to refer to myself as "we" and when I realized it, it really freaked me out. I think I felt a big degree of separation from/within myself for many, many years, starting before my addiction. As I did a lot of therapy, journaling and healing the we became I again. I think I still use "we" every once in awhile but not very often.

That's a really interesting quote, soberlicious. Gives me new avenues to look at several things, not just my addiction. Thanks for posting that.

I do agree that it must be very common for addicts to have that split. It feels like a very logical thing to have happen because when we use we are often of two minds or maybe more.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:02 PM   #4 (permalink)

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Originally Posted by comingoutsober View Post
I've reflected more on it, and I assign different traits to each half of myself. Alcoholic Me is confident, flirty, but without ambition and severely unhappy. Sober Me is quiet, thoughtful, has aspirations but lacks the confidence to achieve any of them.
I definitely relate to this. And I refer to myself in the second person in both modes, but usually when I'm being self-deprecating. I'm truly hoping that I'll be able to pull the best qualities from each of my halves as I get further along in recovery and develop more self-confidence.
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Lyoness (01-06-2013)
Old 01-07-2013, 05:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I also think it's a wau pf seperating yourself from the guilt you feel because it's not "me" that did anything bad but someone else. Does that make sense?
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm late to this, however I'd like to share a little coincidence. There's this new school/trend in psychology called "IFS" (Internalised Family System). Most people have "voices" in their heads, like they're in a continuous conversation. According to IFS, the voices (of course I'm not referring to hallucinations here) come from separate entities, internalised figures.

What's groundbreaking about IFS is that they apparently consider each voice to be helpful, or trying to help you - even the destructive voices. I can't elaborate any more than that cos I've only just gotten started on this, I have the workbook right in front of me as I was planning on reading the second chapter after visiting SR.

In case anybody is interested, the book is titled "Self Therapy" by Jay Early (2nd edition). IFS was created by Richard Schwartz, and he has written a bunch of books on the matter. I'm somewhat skeptical when it comes to sef-help, but the rave reviews on Amazon convinced me to give it a try.

Good luck! let us know if you decide to give it a go.
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