When therapists and coaches talk about "addictive relationships", they are usually talking about a relationship with another human being. But have you ever considered that you could be in an "Addictive Relationship" with yourself? An addictive relationship is basically one that causes you pain, embodies a love/hate dynamic, and is frequently blown apart by drama, conflicts, and dissatisfaction.
It's called an addiction because even though you may be aware of how dysfunctional and destructive the relationship is, you keep doing the same thing over and over again. You keep participating in the conflict and the dynamics.
I think that way more of us are in destructive addictive relationships with ourselves then with other people.
Five Symptoms That You Are In an Addictive Relationship With Yourself:
1. You Talk Body Shame All The Time: You are never happy with your appearance. Whether it is your weight, your style, or your various body parts.
2. You are sure that you are not worthy of love. That there will never be the right partner out there for you because you are simply not enough. And you stick with a relationship that you know deep in your heart is not right for you, because you think that it can't get any better. After all, aren't you lucky that you "landed" this relationship at all?
3. You have repetitive negative thoughts about other women, and always feel like you need to compete or be better than they are.
4. You feel disconnected to your own sexuality while you have repetitive thoughts about how you "think" things could be better. You stay stuck in the constant thinking - but you never try anything new.
5. You are always reading self help articles and books looking for an answer to your own pain, but never seem to find it.
The only way out of this destructive, addictive cycle with yourself is to change your behaviors and take a good strong look in the mirror. I mean it. Go look in the mirror and ask yourself these questions.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Seeking to End an Addictive Relationship With Yourself:
1. What are you willing to put up with? Would you hang out with a friend that treats you and speaks to you the way you are treating yourself?
2. Can you name the ways in which you are abusive to yourself?
3. Do you pretend that you are not hurting yourself so that you don't have to change?
4. Can you entertain the possibility that you could love yourself right now - just as you are. Could you possibly believe that change can only come from a place of self love and allowing yourself pleasure? Can you name how you love yourself now?Your relationship with yourself reflects the best of who you are, and what you can get out of life.Take a good hard look. Are you in a destruction addictive relationship with yourself? Ignoring it won't make it go away. Pretending that you are not in an addictive cycle of self hate talk will not create the pleasure in your life and fulfillment that most of us seek.Instead you may find yourself stuck in anger, anxiety, depression, low libido and sometimes isolation.
You are the one who is stopping yourself from making changes that will improve your life, your options, your reactions and ultimately your future and every present moment in your life. How do you move out of this cycle?
1. Acknowledge the clearest truth about what you are feeling, what you are thinking, and what you want.
2. Stop worrying about what others might think about your feelings. Stop judging. Try accepting where you are right now and then decide what action you want to take next.
3. Acknowledge your own uniqueness. You have your own way of being. Your own views and opinions. You walk in the world your own way. See yourself with your own loving eyes - not through the eyes of others.
4. Write down how you would like to express yourself in your own greatness.
5. Take the next step. Make the choices and take actions that reflect who you know yourself to really be. Do not treat yourself with anything less than you deserve and don't let others as well.
Ultimately, it's really up to you. If you are addicted to emotional anguish, and never getting what you want - you can stay right where you are. But there is a world full of beauty, support, adventure and pleasure. You have to choose it.
You need to find the courage to not only move towards that reality, but to stay with it once you put your big toe in it. This may mean moving out of your comfort zone and staying there for a while. The familiar is comfortable even if it is painful. It's yours after all. You know it well.
Only you can choose to give up this tired old addictive relationship with yourself and the pain that can come with it. Are you ready?
Loving you from here,
PS. I would love to help. I am offering a "Letting Go of Addictive Self Hatred and Creating a Pleasure Plan" Package. Curious? Email me at Pamela@BacktoTheBody.com and put "Time For Change" in the subject line. What could be a better plan for 2014?