There is no question about it-- a love addicts ability to think clearly, rationally, and realistically-- is utterly impaired when it comes to relationships.
For example, our thinking is impaired when we think that someone who is unable to love back will change and be different at some point; when we ignore or minimize obvious red-flags or warning signs of a toxic person; when we blame ourselves for our partner's behaviors, thoughts, or feelings; when we take all the blame for a relationship going bad; and when we believe some person/relationship is the answer to provide us worth and value, and a feeling that, 'I matter'.
Similarly--- regarding whether recovery, change, and healing is possible, love addicts thinking is also quite skewed. We may think that the pain of withdrawal will never go away; we may believe love will never happen again, that a future romantic relationship, a happy one at least, is impossible; or we may even be stuck with telling ourselves that the risk of losing him/her is better than being alone'.
In essence... REALITY & TRUTH is nonexistent.
Part of the challenge to your recovery and ability to overcome your love addiction- is stepping into reality and discovering the truth.
The following is a list, which I call "a reality wake-up-list" - to help you counter impaired (distorted beliefs, attitudes, or opinions) thoughts you may be having that seem to be very common for love addicts in the midst of their love addiction. In other words - this is a short list to enlighten you on a number of realites, truths, and certainties regarding healing, hope, and possibilities . some of which your love addiction has kept you blinded by. Here are 20 of them.
1. Change is possible. Believe it.
2. You are not the cause of your partner's behaviors, choices, or thoughts . nothing you did or said, or did not do or say, has anything to do with who she/he 'truly is'. His or her dysfunction is NOT ABOUT YOU.
3. You do have the internal strength needed to successfully grow- if only you allow it.
4. You have choices: a choices to take actions that serve your wellbeing, or not-- as a grown up, the choice is your's.
5. All efforts to produce positive change need to focus on your health, well-being, and possibilities (not a pathology/problem/disease).
6. Love addiction often feels like a problem much too difficult to overcome (like there is no way out)-- that is a lie! That is the love addiction talking.
7. You CAN make a choice to become your own choice maker, agent, and architect of your life and relationships. Choose now- it is a right you have.
8. The problem is not the problem, coping is the problem-- addictive loving is nothing more than a way to cope in life (although unhealthy)... How we cope in life, is changeable!
9. Emotions and feelings belong to us. Emotions and feelings validate our humanity. They are an essential aspect of experiencing self, life, others. And ALL of your feelings are neither, right, nor wrong.
10. All human beings need to be validated, connected, and find their inner treasure. YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING. Therefore, YOU BELONG HERE ... therefore, YOU DESERVE to be validated, connected, and discover your inner treasure (right now, you may not even realize you have an inner-treasure. You do!).
11. You cannot change past events - you CAN change the effects they have on you.
12. You were born on this earth to honor, respect, and value your personal wants, needs, and desires. This is not selfishness, or egotism, or mean, it is healthy, functional, mature, self-love).
13. You may think that pain and grief caused by love addiction, will never go away (this is how I felt in my love addiction). You may wonder how you can survive and overcome it all, and make meaning out of what has happened-- you CAN and you WILL, if you choose an effective recovery path (this was also my experience)
14. When working towards positive changes; becoming healthier; recovering and healing... Persistence matters - Significantly matters!
15. HOPE is a significant ingredient for change- you may feel there is no hope at this moment, do keep in mind though,this is only a feeling, not a fact. Hope IS alive for you.
16. All of us have certain duties. The most important duty of all - to honor, and value ALL of who you are; all of your strengths and flaws; ALL of your humanity... this we individually come to understand, on our road to recovering.
17. You are not your love addiction. It is a problem in your life. It does NOT define, 'who you are'. Don't let it. Be honest with yourself, "I am a love addict, but my Love Addiction IS NOT WHO I AM".
18. You are okay- just as you are.
19. In relationships, never, have you ever deserved crumbs- no matter what. Say no to anyone throwing you crumbs.
20. One more thing... "Are you right where you are supposed to be"?
A personal experience of mine, it's brief, I promise...
Early in my treatment from love addiction, while experiencing severe withdrawal and seemingly falling through a toxic emotional black hole, I was sharing with a very good counselor (who truly understood this problem) how much shame and baffled I I was feeling, "getting treatment for this stupid relationship problem". She turned and looked me into my eyes to make sure she had my focus on what she was saying, and said, "Jim, you are right where you are supposed to be". I heard this, andhated it at the time. I first thought, "I don't want to fucking be here! What do you mean I'm supposed to be here?; that's insane". Hearing this angered me, because I was in such a bottomless painful pit and just wanted it all to stop, now. ----- Nevertheless, it wasn't until later that I understood, what and why, she said this statement to me.
She was right-- I was right where I was supposed to be at the time. if I didn't experience the pain and anguish at the time, if I didn't go thorugh the treatment to learn what I really needed to learn to change and grow... then I would not be where I am today-- and certainly, would not be typing this article at this moment!
So now, I want to say to you, if you are suffering from love addiction...
Then please get on the recovery path, and be
"Right where you are supposed to be".