What’s Your Story? Are you a Victim or a Celebrity?

What’s your story? Are you the drunk victim in your sorry tale or are you the sober celebrity in your wild bestseller? You can create your own story if you have the will and the self-knowledge. Do the work and your four-dimensional being will thank you – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

The one thing that keeps us from learning about ourselves is alcohol. Alcohol blurs the edges, consumes our brains, and sours our spirits. Drinking disempowers our emotions, and we feel negative, depressed, angry, resentful, and dishonest. Telling your story is about looking inward: do you feel as if you are a victim of life? Is everyone against you and do you feel resentful toward family members, friends, and others who seem better or more successful than you? Do you hate when others have fun and you seem stuck in the doldrums? Telling your story is about taking responsibility for your life, your happiness, and your successes. Ditch the alcohol, rise up, and seize the reins on your galloping horse of joy! It can be done.

Let’s go back to Maslow’s hierarchy of Basic Human Needs. Maslow pointed out that when a person’s very basic needs are met, only then can they move on to taking care of their other needs. Physiological needs come first – food, water, shelter, clothing, warmth. When a person is drinking, these needs become less important than the next drink. Then the next level of needs is forgotten (safety needs) and so the ripple effect affects the person’s general health and well-being. From safety needs, people require love and belonging- how ironic then that many people who drink started this habit subconsciously due to childhood traumas around love and belonging! They do not realize that they are repeating the cycle by disconnecting and looking into the eye of a bottle, instead of reconnecting and finding that love and belonging that humans so crave by nature. Alcohol demotivates people, life motivates people!

Maslow referred to self-actualization as a “growth need,” and he separated it from the lower four levels on his hierarchy, which he called “deficiency needs.” According to his theory, if you fail to meet your deficiency needs, you’ll experience harmful or unpleasant results. A deficiency is something lacking or insufficient – conditions ranging from illness and starvation up to loneliness and self-doubt are the by-products of unmet deficiency needs. People who lack food, water, shelter, and clothing are deficient materially, but this insufficiency creates enormous emotional and mental issues.

On the other hand, self-actualization needs can make you happier, but you are not harmed when these needs go unfulfilled. Thus, self-actualization needs only become a priority when the other four foundational needs are met. Most people make a conscious effort to work on their growth needs through psychological support, exercise and connection with close friends.

What Are the 5 Levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Maslow’s theory presents his hierarchy of needs in a pyramid shape, with basic needs at the bottom of the pyramid and more high-level, intangible needs at the top. A person can only move on to addressing the higher-level needs when their basic needs are adequately fulfilled.

  1. Physiological needs: These most basic human survival needs include food and water, sufficient rest, clothing and shelter, overall health, and reproduction. Maslow states that these basic physiological needs must be addressed before humans move on to the next level of fulfilment.
  2. Safety needs: Safety needs include protection from violence and theft, emotional stability and well-being, health security, and financial security.
  3. Love and belonging needs: Human interaction – the last of the so-called lower needs. Among these needs are friendships and family bonds—both with biological family (parents, siblings, children) and chosen family (spouses and partners). Physical and emotional intimacy ranging from sexual relationships to intimate emotional bonds are important to achieving a feeling of elevated kinship. Additionally, membership in social groups contributes to meeting this need, from belonging to a team of co-workers to forging an identity in a union, club, or group of hobbyists.
  4. Esteem needs: The higher needs, beginning with esteem, are ego-driven needs. The primary elements of esteem are self-respect (the belief that you are valuable and deserving of dignity) and self-esteem (confidence in your potential for personal growth and accomplishments). Maslow specifically notes that self-esteem can be broken into two types: esteem which is based on respect and acknowledgement from others, and esteem which is based on your own self-assessment. Self-confidence and independence stem from this latter type of self-esteem.
  5. Self-actualization needs: Self-actualization describes the fulfilment of your full potential as a person. Sometimes called self-fulfilment needs, self-actualization needs occupy the highest spot on Maslow’s pyramid. Self-actualization needs include education, skill development—the refining of talents in areas such as music, athletics, design, cooking, and gardening—caring for others, and broader goals like learning a new language, travelling to new places, and winning awards.

Hierarchy of Needs Summary

  1. Human beings are motivated by a hierarchy of needs.
  2. Needs are organized in a hierarchy of prepotency in which more basic needs must be more or less met (rather than all or none) before higher needs.
  3. The order of needs is not rigid but instead may be flexible based on external circumstances or individual differences.
  4. Most behaviour is multi-motivated, that is, simultaneously determined by more than one basic need.

Characteristics of Self-Actualizers:

  1. They perceive reality efficiently and can tolerate uncertainty.
  2. Accept themselves and others for what they are.
  3. Spontaneous in thought and action.
  4. Problem-centered (not self-centered).
  5. Unusual sense of humour.
  6. Able to look at life objectively.
  7. Highly creative.
  8. Resistant to enculturation, but not purposely unconventional.
  9. Concerned for the welfare of humanity.
  10. Capable of deep appreciation of basic life experience.
  11. Establish deep satisfying interpersonal relationships with a few people.
  12. Peak experiences.
  13. Need for privacy.
  14. Democratic attitudes.
  15. Strong moral/ethical standards.

Behaviour Leading to Self-actualization:

  1. Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration
  2. Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths
  3. Listening to your feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority, or the majority
  4. Avoiding pretence (‘game playing’) and being honest
  5. Being prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority
  6. Taking responsibility and working hard
  7. Trying to identify your defences and having the courage to give them up.

According to the Recovery Research Institute, … substance use disorder recovery is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. Different factors influence the onset of addiction, as well as remission and recovery. The life course perspective – suggesting the factors affecting substance use disorder onset and recovery depend on age and other developmental considerations – is one useful model to understand how different approaches are needed to help different people achieve and sustain remission.

Just as individuals’ substance use disorder recovery needs might be different depending on their life course stage, those needs may also be different depending on their recovery stage. What one needs to sustain substance use disorder recovery will be different depending on if they have 3 weeks versus 3 months versus 3 years, and so on in recovery.

What IS your story? Take up a pen, grab a journal, and start writing. You may be very surprised at what comes from your heart. Your drinking could be the stepping stone to your sobriety. Your victimhood could be the base from which you reach your celebrity status! Turn your horror story into a best-seller today.

Join Tribe Sober and find your meaning in life.


The 11 Year Fact

Did you know that the average dependent drinker will struggle alone for 11 years before reaching out for help?

Don’t wait for 11 years – join Tribe Sober today!