When I think I’m having a bad day, all I have to do is go to the hospice building and talk to Sergeant Major Hayes. He’s 85, bedridden, and spends most of his evenings fighting a war that ended in 1945. Part of the time he fades in and out of dementia. The rest of the time he tells me stories about things he’ll never do again. No, I’m not having a bad day at all…
I am learning to think before I speak. Because usually the first thought that comes to mind, isn’t usually the best thought that comes to mind. I am learning the right answer comes within a few moments of the first.
Here’s a funny thing: Bad Attitude, Bad Day. Sad Attitude, Sad Day. Hopeful Attitude, Hopeful Day. My attitude has a lot to do with how my day goes. Change my attitude, change my day. Cool.
Well folks, I guess it’s time to introduce you to the three personalities that represent me. Technically I don’t have Split Personality Disorder. According to Freud, our psyches are structured into three parts the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives.
And, while he insisted that these are not parts of the brain, or any way physical, somehow my id and superego popped out of my head in the form of Robmoji and AnnaMoji. You heard right, my id and superego are emojis!
Before I introduce them to you–some of you already know Robmoji–I want to give you a crash course in psychology 101. According to Freud’s model of the psyche, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the super-ego operates as a moral conscience; and the ego is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.
The ego develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It is the decision making component of personality. Ideally the ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable (perfect description of Robmoji).
Often the ego is weak relative to the headstrong id and the best the ego can do is stay on, pointing the id in the right direction and claiming some credit at the end as if the action were its own.
The ego engages in secondary process thinking, which is rational, realistic, and orientated towards problem solving. If a plan of action does not work, then it is thought through again until a solution is found. This is know as reality testing, and enables the person to control their impulses and demonstrate self-control, via mastery of the ego.
I’m the one who has to live with these two. Over my 35+ years of addiction, I have been weak relative to the headstrong Robmoji and the best I’ve been able to do is stay on, pointing Robmoji in the right direction and claiming some credit at the end as if the action were my own. But in recovery I am getting stronger and stronger and I am more willing to hand the reins over to Annamoji, because she really is the glue.
The id remains infantile in it’s function throughout a persons life, and does not change with time or experience, as it is not in touch with the external world. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world, as it operates within the unconscious part of the mind.
The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented. This form of process thinking has no comprehension of objective reality, and is selfish and wishful in nature.
Robmoji lives up to his reputation as id: he’s impulsive, arrogant, sarcastic, disrespectful and lives for him and him alone. So please, don’t ever take what he says seriously.
SuperEgo (Annamoji)–Above I
The superego’s function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex and aggression. It also has the function of persuading the ego to turn to moralistic goals rather than simply realistic ones and to strive for perfection.
The superego consists of two systems: The conscience and the ideal self. The conscience can punish the ego through causing feelings of guilt. For example, if the ego gives in to the id’s demands, the superego may make the person feel bad through guilt. The ideal self (or ego-ideal) is an imaginary picture of how you ought to be, and represents career aspirations, how to treat other people, and how to behave as a member of society.
So, basically, we are all in a struggle to balance these different deeply rooted parts of our self. Because of my childhood trauma, Bipolar Disorder I, Borderline Personality Disorder (thanks Robmoji), and alcoholism, my id and ego have suffered greatly.
Annamoji, my superego, has been the glue that has kept us together. Therefore, I have decided she is the best one to tell my entire story through something she wants to call “Chronicles of Rob.” Unfortunately, Robmoji is going to continue to be Robmoji.
If you look anywhere online you will not find the statement ‘Consideration Before Condemnation.’ That’s because I made it up 6 months ago. Yup, I’m taking credit for it. CBC has helped me to remember to stop and think before I act/react. It’s a huge reason why I have made so much progress in my recovery. Try it, I think you will be surprised at the results.