Reconciling Love and Addiction


This is part of an on-going thought process:

All my life, I was truly OBSESSED with men. I believed that they were the ANSWER, that they were GOD. There was nothing more important than a man. And probably deep down inside me, if *POOF* one appeared out of the blue with flowers and a box of Reeses peanut butter cups in his hand, I’d be undone. But…and here’s the big BUT, like many of you already, I am now just beginning to see the combination of my DESIRE for a MAN AND my inability to form a natural, loving relationship with one. It’s not that I cannot love. I CAN (and I’m not talking limerance or lust etc.) I LOVE my children, my family, I have had stable, healthy relationships with my friends for over 25 years– I even have a lifelong passion for writing that i have never given up. But it’s simply the MAN thing. I fall a part and make them out to be so much MORE than they really are. And by doing that…i fail (fail as in society’s definition of failure).

I have tried for YEARS to change this behavior and yet…it simply does not change. i DO want to love someone and be loved. But I also want to be a millionaire, I want to understand the workings of E=MC2 and I want the brain capacity to think like Carl Jung. But the latter three things will NEVER happen no matter how hard I try because I was not born with the ABILITY or the NATURE to understand or be those things. So then, I thought that maybe it’s time for me to accept that I might not have the capacity for romantic love. And that THAT is the secret crux of all our sorrow and self-hatred. That we are struggling to become in essence what we are not by nature. Seemingly a sad thing. And yet, QUITE liberating…

There comes a point in life where you just have to say, this is who I am and I might not get it… It’s not that I’m implying that I’ve given up. I have NOT! I will always learn and grow in life and embrace the challenge of being a better person day after day. WHat I am talking about is brutal SELF-ACCEPTANCE. Knowing your own, personal limitations and what you are capable of.

When I FINALLY came to that realization, (and i’m not entirely there, by the way. This is a NEW phenomenon) I was able to forgive myself for all my mistakes. I was able to love myself unconditionally….I finally felt OK with JUST ME. I think this is the true significance of recovery. To ACCEPT that you may never have the healthy, long-term, loving, perfect relationship you dream of, but that that’s OK.

When the alcoholic gives up his/her drink, there’s a HUGE loss there. A detachment of sorts. A death. It is initially very hard and painful for the recovering alcoholic to accept that he will NEVER drink again. If he focuses on this, and longs for that drink and feels angry that the world is so unfair (why me? why can other people have a normal relationship with alcohol but I can’t?) then he FAILS. And does not grasp the meaning of recovery. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the love addict.

The tricky part of our disease is that Love is a universal need. It’s on par with food, water, shelter… How then, does the love addict reconcile his NEED for Love, with his ADDICTION to it?

Basically, it is my opinion that what needs to be done is to strip “Love” of its value (and I am talking romantic love here). To finally be able to say, it no longer has the worth that I assigned it for all those years.

When you do that, you liberate yourself from expectations. You liberate yourself from DESIRE. You finally allow yourself to stop the obsessive cycle of believing that LOVE IS THE ANSWER to all your problems. It is not.

It also means, accepting other forms of love as sustenance: the love of your children, of your parents, friends, pets, workmates, religious leaders, God,  self-love, etc. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that ONLY romantic love is necessary. It’s not.

Like food. Love, too, must be respected and taken in moderation. Food is sustenance. It keeps us alive and healthy. Too much, though, or the wrong kind can kill us.

Thoughts?

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