I've been reading Dr. Tiebout's papers on Defiance and Grandiosity, two key elements of addiction. Dr. Tiebout was instrumental in helping Bill W. create AA.
Dr. Tiebout wrote:Defiance
Defiance may be defined as a quality that permits an individual to snap his fingers in the face of reality and live on unperturbed. It has two special values for handling life situations. In the first place, defiance, certainly with alcoholics, is a surprisingly effective tool for managing anxiety or reality, both of which are so often a source of anxiety. If you defy a fact and say it is not so and can succeed in doing so unconsciously, you can drink to the day of your death, forever denying the imminence of that fate. As one patient phrased it, "My defiance was a cloak of armor." And so it was a most trustworthy shield against the truth and all its pressures.
In the second place, defiance masquerades as a very real and reliable source of inner strength and self-confidence, since it says in essence, Nothing can happen to me because I can and do defy it.
With people who meet reality on this basis, life is always a battle with the spoils going to the strong. Much can be said in favor of defiance as a method of meeting life. It is the main resource of the chin-up and unafraid type of adjustment and, as a temporary measure, it helps people over many rough spots.
Tomorrow I'll post his comments on grandiosity.
To read the entire article: http://www.silkworth.net/tiebout/tiebout_surrender.html