This is a summary of my experience.
Please, let me know what you think.
If life is for growth, then relationships are for accelerated growth.
Bill says in the 12X12 in step 12 that someday we will wish for a mate with whom the fullest possible union can be made- spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. Later on he says we need to make sure we are compatible spiritually, mentally and emotionally. He leaves one out!
Addictions may be all about medicating pain and looking for love in all the wrong places.
In our disease we love things and use people.
In recovery we learn to love people and use things.
The most important person to learn to love may be yourself.
The Big Book says we cannot transmit something we haven't got.
Learning not only to love, but also to heal our wounded selves.
We don’t know what love is. My parents treated me like crap all day and then kissed me and told me they loved me at bedtime.
Most people have love confused with need.
Love at first sight, what we call boy meets girl on AA campus.
We use sex like a drug to change the way we feel about ourselves.
This is sex for selfish reasons. It's putting the cart before the horse.
We have sex, we like it, and we make the other person our higher power.
We assign responsibility for our happiness to them.
And we get mad when they don’t make us happy.
We barter; as long as you do this for me I’ll do this for you.
But if you stop…
We fight to maintain the status quos; any change is seen as a threat.
These relationships are based on scarcity not abundance.
In more healthy relationships, we are OK all by ourselves.
We don’t need someone else to make us feel OK, complete, valuable and loved.
We have learned to give these things to ourselves.
It's not nice to be needed.
What's a recovering person's job when they are not in a relationship?
To learn to take care of themselves.
What's a recovering person's job when they are in a relationship?
To learn to take care of themselves.
Codependence, Counter dependence. Alanons are usually codependent. Needy, clingy or strong but care taking. It’s easier to take care of someone else than it is to take care of yourself. Drunks are usually counter dependent. Screw you, I don’t need anybody.
But drunks are codependent, too.
Can't be with somebody, can't be without them.
Now that's crazy.
There are 2 fears at work: the fear of abandonment
and the fear of intimacy. The fear of abandonment is based on poor bonding: neglect and abandonment- the things we should have gotten as children but didn’t. The fear of intimacy is based on poor separation: enmeshment and abuse- the things that happened to us that never should have happened to anybody.
In a codependent the fear of abandonment is primary i.e. hard to be alone, rejection=death. In a counter dependent the fear of intimacy is primary i.e. if you let people get close to you, they will hurt you or suffocate you or control you. They both feel the same way inside (scared) but the counter dependent is doing everything in their power to look like it's not true. No wonder we dance so well together.
Then depending on the person, the situation and our motivation:
we can switch back and forth! Beware of the flop. Many a strong, independent sober drunk has found the love of their life only to chase them away by acting whiney, clingy and needy or worse (critical and demanding).
How could love be so cruel?
So, what are we to do?
Two ding-a-lings don’t make a bell. Two sickies don’t make a well.
May I make some suggestions?
Friends first, don't sleep with anyone you're not really good friends with.
Good friends is a good start toward learning the communication skills that healthy relationships thrive on.
Then go slow 'cuz you might be losing a really good friend.
If two good friends decide to try to be more and it doesn't work out, they can always drop back to being friends. Don't forget God, a relationship founded on spirit has a better chance of growing wings.
Common interests, common values, common goals. When you have these things then you have something worth fighting for. Everybody has problems.
(Now, I would add good timing, dumb luck and the grace of God.)
Intimacy=Honesty So maybe fear is the biggest block to intimacy. (If you knew me like I know me, you wouldn’t like me either. How are they going to react? What are they going to think?)
Trust, respect, setting boundaries and negotiating differences.
Can’t be intimate with a dishonest person. Wouldn’t want to be intimate with an untrustworthy person. Well maybe if they were really cute…just kidding.
Assertiveness: asking for what you want without being addicted to getting it.
You have to know what you want.
Love at first sight is based on unmet need.
We are attracted to people who are similar to the people that wounded us so that we can heal. This time I'll be good enough. This time I will love them enough that they will love me back.
It’s infatuation. It does not last.
That’s why people in Hollywood get married and divorced every 2 years.
After that it’s who are you and why are you here?
Dynamic, healing relationships: the trick is to find someone who is self-aware and willing to work on it. The problems we have in relationships are caused by the baggage we bring to the relationship. With the right information and help, we can heal the relationship and the baggage.
Parenting: it would be nice if we stopped teaching our children to hate themselves.
We can’t teach our children to be better people than we are.
Do as I say not as I do does not work.
Instead of abusing our children when they remind us of us,
we could teach them humility, self-acceptance and tolerance.
To our wounded selves, abusing our children feels like the right thing to do. The next time you are tempted to raise your voice or your hand, you could decide to heal yourself instead of wounding your child.
How would our lives have been different if we hadn't been taught to beat ourselves up? What if we had been taught that we were precious and competent?
People in recovery can still be quite rigid.
We could teach our children
life skills like risk-taking, problem solving and coping with disappointment and failure.
There's something even better than doing the right thing and that is doing the compassionate thing.
Get some help.
Inner Bonding: a powerful, spiritual healing therapy
To learn to love in the face of fear instead of controlling in the face of fear.
Awareness is the key to happiness.
When you finally meet your knight in shining armor or fairy princess, the person who will be responsible for your happiness for the rest of your life and you lift the faceplate or veil-the face smiling back at you will be your own.
TO SEE EACH OTHER AS WOUNDED LITTLE CHILDREN. TO BE COMMITTED TO EACH OTHER’S HAPPINESS AND HEALING.