I’ve got to tweak the idea of a higher power, in the 12-step program to work within my beliefs and what feels right and natural to me. Instead of turning over my unmanageable addictions and problems to a higher power like a god, I can turn over those problems to my inner self and the part of me that has wisdom.
BEING HONEST AND DON’T MINIMIZE ADDICTIONS
I worry about sabotaging my entire recovery if I am not completely honest with myself. But I know I need to be gentle with myself. I feel a bit of shame, as I realize things about myself.
So, what am I talking about? I think I’ve still been minimizing my addictions and codependency: “Oh, it’s not that bad” or “My problems and addictions aren’t as bad as others’.”
I am ashamed, realizing that I’m doing that, but I guess it’s a natural thing to do, in the beginning. I’m over 3 months into SAA, but this is still “the beginning,” in a way. Recovery can take a long time. I want to do it. I’m ready to do it. I went through denial in my 20s, I suppose. Now it’s time to admit what I can, and grow, learn and heal.
I’ve been struggling, in life. Struggle won’t go away, but now at least my struggles will be towards growth and not merely survival.
Inner self that has wisdom (The part of me that is wise)
“Women Who Love Too Much,” by Robin Norwood.
Love Addiction: “obsessing about a man, and calling that obsession love, allowing it to control your emotions and much of your behavior, realizing that it negatively influences your health and well-being, yet finding yourself unable to let it go.”
Unhealthy families share the inability to discuss root problems. Surface problem discussions merely cover up the underlying secrets that make the family dysfunctional.
pg. 9: “Her long-distance ‘therapy sessions’ with him were much more an attempt to make him into the man she needed him to be than help him discover who he was.”
-That’s similar to my relationship with KL. I was trying to be his care-taker and therapist. I completely ignored the major red flags, such as his pill addiction and gambling addiction. I confused love with obsessing over him and I went through withdrawal every time the object of my obsession/addiction (KL) was not available; and there were many times when he was not emotionally available. I failed to see it.
I think I’ve been holding the idea that I must earn love somehow, by doing things. No one would love me just as I am—I have to do special things. One of those “things” has been sex, in relationships with men. Or sometimes giving money to people to help them.
At work, I need to fake happiness and pretend like the problems in the department don’t exist, but even then, I don’t believe anyone likes me for that. The people who like me (like Barbara and Tammy) like me for who I am inside—my real self. And I’m just being me.
I’m trying to train myself to be attracted to healthy friends and people, rather than abusive or dysfunctional.
DISTANCING MYSELF FROM MY AUNT
I think my aunt is trying, but she still admits that she is too afraid to heal. Her inner child, who is deeply hurt, is often running the show. I grow tired of experiencing her inner child lashing out at whomever is close by (example: myself).
I still don’t want to talk to her anymore. The blood relation does not matter to me like it would matter to others. I kind of view her as “just another dysfunctional person.” I have no desire to be friends with her. The only reason I’d talk to her is out of guilt and that is a very unhealthy basis for a relationship.
pg. 14, “Women Who Love Too Much,” by Robin Norwood.
“If we loved and needed a parent who did not respond to us, we often become involved with a similar person, or a series of them, in adulthood in an attempt to ‘win’ the old struggle to be loved.”
I personified this dynamic as I found myself drawn to one unsuitable guy after another.
“There is an old joke about a nearsighted man who has lost his keys late at night and is looking for them by the light of a street lamp. Another person comes along and offers to help him look, but asks him, ‘Are you sure this is where you lost them?’ He answers, ‘No, but this is where the light is.'”
I, like the man in the story, was searching for what was missing in my life, not where there was some hope of finding it, but where, because I was a sex and love addict, it was easiest for me to look.
THIS TIME, I’LL FIND TRUE LOVE, I JUST KNOW IT!
In college, in 2002, I used to go to the bars and clubs in town every weekend, thinking that this weekend would be the time when I’d finally meet “The One”—the perfect, fairy-tale knight in shining armor who can rescue me from my misery and love me. And I’d attract him by being sexy!
Even up until 2009, I was willing to sleep with anyone who showed me the smallest bit of kindness or interest in me. I’ve been confusing love with obsessing over a guy, and now I doubt that I’ve ever felt any real love that is not any obsession. I want to experience real love, before I die.
I don’t remember being abandoned by my parents, as a child… at least not as a small child. In my teenage years, I felt very isolated and emotionally abandoned by both parents. Does that count as abandonment? Or does it only matter the most if it happens in small childhood (like 1-10 years old)?
I feel sick to think about parents abandoning me. I almost feel that it’s easier for me to make up a fantasy about a loving family, than to face the fact that they possibly abandoned me and didn’t tend to my needs (esp. emotional needs) like ideal parents should.
pg. 21, “Women Who Love Too Much,” by Robin Norwood.
“By being strong and helpful to others, we protect ourselves from the panic that comes from being at another’s mercy.”
I can’t stand the thought of being controlled by someone else, especially anyone who reminds me of my dad. I’m so angry at his control over me—I felt so helpless, especially at age 15–18. I wish he was dead. Still, that wish hasn’t gone away. I feel like he destroyed my soul and I want revenge.
Waa waaa waaa! That is what I’ve been sounding like: I can’t do it! I’ll never do it! Waaaaa!
Ok, enough complaining, damn-it! No more whining that I can’t do this, I can’t do that.
I love challenges, SO BRING IT!
I will find a way to chill in the middle, instead of jumping to extremes.
I will one day find a loving relationship where I am not addicted to nor obsessed with the partner. I will be in a relationship someday where I do not codependently try to control the other person, and I can accept myself and the other person.
I am learning to love myself and nurture myself and enjoy outer circle activities that renew my life and my soul.
I am finding a wonderful spirituality that is a mix of things that are exactly right for me.