Healing (Love) AddictionBy Clare Fogle
March 18, 2013
Learn the key to understanding addictions and what you can do to heal them.
I had worked hard to achieve a life of financial independence. I was living and working in downtown New York City, making more money than most men. I told myself that I never wanted to be dependent on someone. The irony of this was that I had a major love addiction.
Growing up with a rage-ocoholic father and an absent mother (my mother was first absent emotionally then actually absent physically), I never felt cared for or loved. I experienced sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my father. This left me feeling shattered and heartbroken and extremely lonely. I developed a strong wounded self in order to survive. I came up with a great strategy – I would belittle, judge and criticize myself in an effort to try to control the situation. If I could make myself be better – be quieter, be not so much trouble, stop my brothers from making a mess, stop my mother from crying, then maybe, just maybe I could feel some safety. I thought that if I criticized myself enough this would help me be extremely vigilant and prevent any more disasters from happening to me. A consequence of all this criticism and judgment was a wearing away of my self. Or in terms of Inner Bonding, a growing disconnection and abandonment of my little girl.
My wounded attempts at control and protect were the only ways that I knew how to deal with the pain and heartbreak. I had no role models or support, so I did the best that I could do. Dissociation, self-judgement and shame were my main addictions as a child.
Then in college I discovered boys. I had tried drugs, alcohol, sugar – nothing really worked for me, until boys. I never felt a high like that of having a unobtainable guy pay attention to me. I finally felt like I was someone. I finally felt full. If I could get this guy to pay attention to me, like me, love me, just be with me, then I felt great! Until I didn’t feel great. He would inevitably not stick around for every long. He wouldn’t commit or if he did it was only for a short time. Then the devastation would strike, it was life or death. I would be unable to get out of bed for days, couldn’t eat and felt a constant physical pain. This went on all thoughout college. Until in my last year at college, one stuck. I latch and latched on hard. He was my soul, my purpose, my everything.
Of course he was an addict – a drug addict mainly and some others that didn’t come out until much later. His purpose in life was to get pot and to smoke pot, so that became my purpose. This is what we did. We begged, borrowed and stole money in order to fulfill this purpose, I didn’t really even think about what I was doing. As long as he was there I would have done anything. He eventually left me for a woman who I thought was my friend and I was crushed and shattered.
I picked up the pieces and moved on, and eventually managed to get a good job, apartment and friends. Yet, I still suffered from depression and anxiety. I dated here and there and nothing serious until I met my current boyfriend.
We started dating and all the old feelings of dependence came back with a vengeance. I was a total caretaker, bending over backwards and doing a lot things for him that I didn’t necessarily want to do. Things that he didn’t ask me to do or maybe even want me to do, but I did them. I need to proved to him that I was the perfect girlfriend, the best girlfriend in the whole world.
My addiction also took the form of debilitating jealousy. I had trouble going to parties or any social outings. If he was engaged in conversation with another woman, I would absolutely lose it. My wounded self was extremely self righteous and thought that he was being rude or disrespectful by talking to other women. Or that after all that I do for him, his has no right to treat me that way, etc. I would fume, rage and withdrawal. And of course his wounded self would react and it would be a big mess.
I thought that I had to be even more perfect to make up for these incidents and worked even harder. Also, eventually we stopped going to parties, social outings or having friends over. As a result my dependence on him grew stronger and stronger - It was a downward vicious cycle leading me further and further into depression.
It was not until I discovered Inner Bonding that I realized that my addictions – relationships, love (from others), self judgment and criticism – were a result of my own self-abandonment. This was and continues to be one of the most revolutionary things I ever heard. That the reason I felt so empty and depressed was not because my mother left me when I was 12 or that my college boyfriend left me for my good friend, but that I was leaving my little girl all alone.
Accepting this was my key to freedom.
Once I took responsibility for my inner self-abandonment, then I could start to learn. Through the 6 steps of Inner Bonding I have learned how to feel my feelings (i.e. listen to my little girl) and attend to them with loving kindness and compassion. This has changed everything for me and my relationship. My jealousy is all but gone, we can go to parties and I don’t even notice who my boyfriend is talking to - I am just having a good time and I hope that he is too. I no longer give myself up to the point of exhaustion and annihilation. I just give what makes me feel good.
I honestly never thought I would be free of my addictions and of that haunting empty feeling deep inside me, but this is the natural end result of Inner Bonding. By practicing Inner Bonding on a daily and continual basis, I believe any addiction can be healed.
Visit my website http://www.keepitsimplewellness.com. (Helping people improve their health and nutrition using Inner Bonding)
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If you are not letting yourself do what brings you joy, attend to what you fear that is stopping you. Do you fear rejection or failure? Do you fear doing well and then losing your free time, or then not living up to expectations? Not following your joy and passion indicates that your loving adult is not creating a safe space for your essence to express itself. Today notice the beliefs that are limiting you.
By Dr. Margaret Paul