Healthy problem or toxic one?


My life has been somewhat chaotic for the past several years. In 2013 I quit working with my brothers at our company because I felt I was being treated poorly, and so in July 2014, I started my own business (a smoothie bar inside a fitness center). But, after a year, I felt trapped and wanted to do more with my life. So, I sold the business in September 2015. From September to the beginning of November I had no job and so, my goal was to return to grad school to get my Master’s in Counseling. During that time of no work I was sick almost every day, fought with my husband, felt depressed and was bored out of my mind. But, on November 6, the president of our company died, which thrust me right back into having to work with my brothers. While I was once again in a situation where I was being bullied, mistreated, ignored and hated, I eventually felt as though I had a greater purpose–to save my company. All the whining I did in between jobs, all the panic attacks and anxiety and yelling at my husband, all vanished once I had a huge problem outside myself–once I had something to overcome.

I see my love addiction the same way, and you, as well, should consider the idea that your love addiction, or, at the least, your PoA (person of addiction) may fill a much needed purpose. He or she might be helping to distract you from yourself, so you no longer have to deal with JUST YOU. So often we create problems or hold on to problems as security. No matter how bad they get, they seem to offer a painful “thrill” to an often humdrum existence.

I don’t know how to resolve this need in me to have a “struggle” or a problem. And, I am not so sure it’s an entirely bad thing IF I work towards solving the problem and making the problem my life’s work. Despite the pain I must endure from my one brother who regularly attacks me,  I am struggling to help rebuilt a company. And when I focus on that, I feel good about myself.

So, ask yourself, if your problem or struggle is a dead end or has a worthy purpose.  What parts of it are you in control of? What is out of your control? If you are struggling to convince your PoA that he should love you but you continuously find yourself being ignored or neglected, this may not be a “healthy” problem to solve, but rather a toxic one that could be draining you.

If my only problem was to fight with my brothers, I would say this problem of mine was a toxic one. In fact, that’s how I felt in 2013. I was unable to make any changes in the company (because the president was still alive), and so, the problem of dealing with my brothers was mostly beyond my control. This time around, my brothers are still beyond my control, but I now see a PURPOSE hidden within the problem. I only see this purpose because I am able to see REAL AND POSITIVE  RESULTS from the work I am doing. So, for now, I will take on this problem as a healthy one. Yes, it is distracting me from myself, but it is also giving my life purpose.

Is your love addiction giving your life purpose? Or is it sucking the life out of you? Choose your problems wisely.

2 thoughts on “Healthy problem or toxic one?

  1. I keep holding onto the fact that my bf contacted and possibly saw his ex gf when we were at odds. We had broken up but were in a bad place. I don’t trust him not to contact her again if we have some sort of disagreement. He says it’s because he doesn’t feel like I’m committed to the relationship. Well I’m not! He’s acting like an addict. But I don’t know if I should get over it and focus on being more committed or stop enabling him to act out and break up with him over this. Am I hanging onto this behavior with the ex because it gives me an excuse not to commit? If he was trustworthy, we wouldn’t be at odds. If I wasn’t a love addict, I wouldn’t tolerate the behavior. Neither would he.

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    1. Lots to think about! If he’s not trustworthy, why stay? Trust is earned and if it’s lost, it takes a lot to re-earn it. Is he working hard at re-earning your trust? Try to make decisions like whether to stay or go based on LOGICAL THINKING, not emotional thinking. Every guy you date or fall in love with will have some issues, the key is trying to figure out what you can live with and what you cannot. If you cannot live without trust, he might have to go. As far as commitment is concerned, do you have a problem committing to ALL relationships (and that includes relationships with friends and family too) or just this one? I love your last line: If I wasn’t a love addict, I wouldn’t tolerate this behavior. So? What are you waiting for? Here’s your chance to begin to change. 🙂

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