Spirit vs Ego in Drug Rehab


As part of her internship at Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Rehab Retreat in Panama, Maya is viewing and commenting on each of the films in the recovery/spirituality film library. Here is her post regarding There’s A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem by Dr.Wayne Dyer.


Spirit vs Ego in Drug Rehab and Addiction Recovery 

spirit vs ego - ego-says-waitI watched Dr. Wayne Dyer’s film, There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem. This excellent film is on the ‘recommended’ list of Serenity Vista’s Recovery and Spirituality Film Library viewed by guests going through the recovery rehab at Serenity Vista. This is a profound yet simple examination of spirituality presented in an easy to grasp, solution focused way. It provides an understanding of spirit vs ego as it relates to addiction recovery in drug rehab and in a life of twelve step recovery. From watching this presentation, it seems like the foundation of what has become not only a personal but a global problem lies in the desire of the ego to separate itself from the Source of life. Our ego according to Dr. Wayne Dyer is the part of us that believes we are what we do, our reputation, or what people think of us. But where does our ego come from? That part in us that seems to only want to sabotage us? My way of understanding it now is that it is the consequence of being a spiritual being having a body experience. The whole point of our purpose might actually be rediscovering who we are and who we are not. In doing so, we have this life to understand and make peace with both parts of us.

 Spirit, I have found a dark place, give it some light, or I will have the pleasure of keeping it dark.       Ego

When I am walking Ceiba, the Chocolate Labrador Retriever Dog here at Serenity Vista, we pass by a house where two dogs bark and get very protective of their house. They make me think of the usefulness of our ego. What if our ego is like having dogs that let us know when something is up? Just being an alarm that lets us know something needs to be taking care of. Perhaps, we can start seeing our ego as a reminder that there are still underlying emotions we need to release.

Addiction and the Role of the Ego

When we are recovering from an addiction, there will be many opportunities for the ego to show up. The reason for this is that listening to our ego’s voice is exactly what has brought us into addiction behaviours to begin with. Back when it all started, there was a moment when we were feeling emotional pain. In that moment, all our ego wanted was to find safety and security as fast as possible. So, in his attempt to run away from the uncomfortable feeling, he discovered alcohol or drug. Thanks to those substances, mister ego found a way to have his needs met. Why would he quit? For all he’s concern, he feels good because he has found a way to block emotional pain and not to have to deal with them.So, it makes sense that our ego will do everything he can to manipulate us into thinking we don’t have any underlying pain and that everything is well. Unfortunately, once we’ve given our ego all the power, he gets used to us listening to him, he now runs our daily life. So, he might resist us wanting to recover & get healed.


Our ego plays a huge part in the relapse. He is the voice that tells the alcoholic, “Come on, you can have just that one drink”, but than, the next morning, he’ll turn it against him. “What have you done, you should be ashamed of yourself, you are unworthy”. Yet, that voice won’t ask for help, on the contrary, it will say “you don’t need help, you can do it on your own”. Simply, because asking for help, in the ego’s view, means being weak. Click here to learn more about relapse.

Recovering and the Ego

Admitting we have been powerless over alcohol is hard to do for the ego who wants to feel in control. So, once we are in the process of recovery, our ego will not disappear. He might try desperately to drag us back in the past to regret what did or did not happen or pull us away from the present moment to worry about the future and make us doubt about our recovery. It seems like we can’t entirely go against him but I think seeing it as team work between our ego and our spirit can be a healthy way of living with these two parts.

We are What we Think

It is mind-blowing to realize that we are co-creators with the Universe. This gives us a lot of responsibilities. This means that whatever situation we are in, we have played a part in it. If I am an alcoholic for example, I have decided to separate myself from the great source. I have come to believe that at one point or another, I was unworthy, not good enough, and that I couldn’t handle difficult moments without drinking. I believed I could not handle the situation. I gave up on my trust in my own power to deal with a difficult moment and gave it to alcohol. I said, “I can only survive this emotional pain I am feeling with alcohol”.

At some level, I have chosen to have bad thoughts against myself, choose to listen to my ego’s voice. Perhaps, at that time, I was just ignorant and didn’t know I could choose my thoughts. So, once I have understood that I am not my fears, insecurities, doubt that got me into the addicted behaviour, don’t I owe it to myself to try this other way? This more loving way of responding to uncomfortable feelings? This way is learning to let go of our fears and let place to trust in a higher power. Being a part of that Source, we have in us all we need to get healed, to love, and live joyful lives.

Procrastination Brings More Problems

How we choose to respond, is the real thing that will make all the difference. It makes me think that nothing is really a problem but more just a situation that needs our most careful attention. Interestingly, in those moments when nothing seems to go our way, when we seem to not be able to see the light at the end, we need to be the light. Nothing is really a problem until we label it as, until we than believe it to be true, and as a consequence, it becomes a problem. And ironically, chances are, it will grow into a much bigger problem that it was to start with if we choose not to take care of it directly.

In those moments, when it seems impossible to recover from an addiction or any past troubles, if we let the hard situation consume us and let our fears be the leader, we probably wont have what it takes to face the problem. Simply because being angry, disappointed, or fearful takes up all our energy, and we might just give up and start believing we are not capable of handling these issues. Fortunately, we can choose to deal with any situation from a more loving place. Having the intention to do our best, not only for our own but also for the benefits of everybody. Let’s choose the path of peace, forgiveness, and acceptance of others as well as ourselves.

Learning about Ego in Drug Rehab

Serenity Vista Private Pay Drug Rehab in Panama offers a comprehensive addiction treatment that addresses your ego and your spirit. The full complement of counselling, spirituality, holistic therapies, great food, and the great outdoors allow for an exploration of your soul, spirit, and ego. Click here to view more about ego versus spirit in recovery.

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