By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
Sometimes, our addictive behaviors and patterns are so ingrained that we would rather stay where we are then take the step up, to get out of it. There are many ways that addictions express themselves. From food addiction, to shopping, drugs or sex, the source of all addictions is the same. We long for love. We crave love and don’t love ourselves enough.
If our addiction is food, we can take care of this over-eating problem by lap-band surgery. Seemingly a quick fix recovery for many. The problem on the other side is the root of the issue remains. Another addiction turns up which can’t be controlled with surgery. If we don’t get to the root of the issue, the addiction is not healed.
We might have our ex who used to beat us up, sleeping on our couch because he is the father of our daughter, so we have to help him, right? We may focus on fixer upper relationships, certainly with our help we can shape our partners into better humans. This focus on others takes us away from healing our own issues. We look at others issues because it is too painful to see our own.
As a former addict myself, my addiction to love, relationships, shopping and sex was the driving force in my life. I had to have a relationship to feel whole and complete. In marriage, I found myself reactive, emotional and self sabotaging. My own inner demons attracted partners who had them also.
Addicts experience highs that are amazing and lows that are so dark that getting out of bed can take hours. No matter who you are, on some level addictions are at the core of our human experience.
We look at the man we are living with, perhaps with disdain, because he is an alcoholic. Looking at him, we can’t see our own addiction to pot, food, chocolate or sex. Addictions are addictions. No one is better than another because of their drug of choice. Codependence is one of the biggest humans experience.
From Day One
From the day we are born, we are codependent. We need our mothers for food, care, diaper changes and love. We need to be held, cuddled, praised and cared for with loving kindness. We need to be told we are wonderful, hugged, held and guided lovingly.
When those things don’t happen, we look for others things to fulfil our needs as adults. When our mothers aren’t whole, confident and healthy human beings, we don’t form healthy bonds with other humans. We look to others for validation, praise, self esteem and love. Often we are so blocked and resistant to love, we don’t feel it when it is truly present.
Smoke ‘Em If You’ve Got ‘Em
If humans weren’t such addicted souls, alcohol, pot, chocolate and cigarettes wouldn’t be multi-billion dollar industries.
As a healed healer, I have dealt with my own demons over the years. I no longer need to have a man in my life to feel complete. I love being alone with me. I love myself – even the parts that used to drive me crazy, like ADD. I have learned to lovingly embrace all the parts of myself and use those shadowy parts to write and express myself creatively. At one time, I used to spend thousands of dollars in one shopping expedition. Now I rarely shop and focus on bargains, instead of extravagance. I am happy no matter where I am and who I am with. My adult children, mother and I all share happy healthy boundaries and healed relationships.
I have great compassion for people with addictions. Healing our addictions cannot be done alone. We need help. We need someone to reach down and pull us up, one step up the ladder at a time. We need someone to lovingly encourage us. Our mind chatter keeps us stuck, ravaged by guilt, low self esteem and self sabotage that we can’t break out of on our own. I know it took me 30 years of deep, intensive excavation to do it.
Neediness And Love
|Marilyn was the epitome of neediness, the loss of her mother
created a void she attempted to fill with alcohol and drugs.
It was not always easy for me. I used to think I loved myself. Yet, when it came time for being alone, I felt restless, uncomfortable in my own skin. I didn’t like being alone with me. I longed for companionship and someone to love me. I had it backwards. Until I completely loved and accepted myself, I wasn’t ready to have a healed and healthy relationship. I was too needy. Now I help women (and some men) find the love that they are, FIRST, before they go out trying to attract someone in.
Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, Shopping, Work
Balancing our lives without addiction may mean we don’t drink, smoke or shop like warriors any more. We may find a simple life is much more fulfilling. We need the spiritual part to complete the process. Through meditation, mantras, and spiritual practice, the void we once felt is filled.
Using Our Addiction To Avoid Feeling
When shopping was my drug of choice, the thrill of the hunt made me feel high. I loved finding new outfits; purses, shoes, belts and skirts that all looked fantastic on me. When it came time to pay at
the cash register, I often broke into a sweat. I would justify my purchases, I deserved them I would think at the same time ask myself, “What am I doing?” Then guilt would set in. I would feel regret, shame and horrible afterward. The thrill was in the hunt. After a while, when my credit cards were tapped out, I found staying away from malls, festivals and stores was a better way to go, when I was feeling emotions I didn’t want to experience.
I didn’t think I had a problem. I know other women shop and never wear half of what they buy. Taking armfuls of brand new clothes to Goodwill years later with tags still on. This is a problem.
Anytime we reach for chocolate, alcohol, pot, Zanax, excessive masturbation, sex or shop to shift the way we feel, we are numbing ourselves. The source is a lack of self acceptance and unconditional love.
What Can You Do NOW?
- Recognize you have an issue. DENIAL is the biggest part of addiction.
- Accept that you have an issue and you need help. Get counseling, a coach or someone to help you through it.
- Spiritual Practice. Ask for God’s help. The fastest way to heal an addiction is by admitting you are helpless over it. Most addicts think they can do it themselves. That is the inner demons talking. Most people will not kick a habit without help of some kind – 12 step, church, prayer, healer or coach, therapy.
- Be compassionate. The more loving you are of yourself through it, the better off you will be. You will have greater success when you don’t beat yourself up for it. Humans have addictions. You are human.
- Stopping the habit (addiction) is not enough. Behavior has to change. Without a change in behavior there is no change. Don’t keep credit cards, wine, cigarettes, sugary foods, drugs in your home.
- Perception is everything. Have a positive attitude. You can do this!
- Eat a healthy diet. Good food will help sustain you through the stress of giving up your addiction.
- Get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep will help you feel more positive and aid depression.
- Love yourself. You deserve it! You are deserving of love. You are already worthy. You are already enough!
As a healed addict myself, I understand the power of addictions. Most of us can go through the list beginning with codependence, alcohol, pot, food, sex…. giving up one addiction for another. Until the behavior and thoughts change – no change is permanent. Even drinking coffee every day is an addiction. In my work with co-dependence I give you the tools to assist you change behaviors. Through loving support, I encourage you, uplift you and help you with tools you can use every day.
Most people don’t think of codependency as an addiction, but it is. When you have a longing inside of you that nothing can fill, I can help. When you put your relationship above your personal health and happiness, it is codependency. We stay in relationships that are unhealthy because we are addicted. I hope that you will contact me for your free discovery session to find out whether my work is a good fit for you.
With much love,