Are You in An Addictive Relationship With Yourself?

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 and put "Time For Change" in the subject line. What could be a better plan for 2014?

When Self-Loathing Comes a Knocking....

Most of us want to feel hot and sexy. We want earth-shattering orgasms - and to feel like those women look in those damn magazines sipping a Margarita with smoky eyes who are about to have the most incredible sex in the universe. Right? Maybe? Who knows - but I hate them. Seeing those images can make me feel confronted with what I am not and leaves me with this feeling that I am not enough. More than that - it is this feeling that I will never have in my life what I truly want because I just don't look like that.

And what is it that I want - you may ask? It's a simple thing really....I want to be deeply desired, and feel free in my body. I want to be able to know that I am sexy from the inside out and truly believe it - all the time! I want to be able to walk around naked and not worry about my ass shaking in a bad way! And don't give me platitudes.  I know them so well I could sing along.

I want to get so lost in my own wanton sexiness that orgasms flow from me like a water fall.  I don't want much - I just want to dance in my own inner sexy wildness! Is that asking for so much?

Lately, as I prepare to go on the first of many healing retreats, I have really been confronted with my own self loathing. It is shocking that I can still go to those places of calling myself names. After all, this true confession is being spoken by a woman who has professed to the world that I have conquered body shame and self acceptance by embracing my sexual pleasure. Am I a fraud - or am I simply real and honest? The fact is - that I have healed so much of the damage that I have walked around with for most of my life when it comes to my body image and my sexuality - but everyday as my feet touch the ground - it takes a little bit of courage to love myself just as I am. And that is the truth - to say anything else would be to over promise healing - like those 30 day miracle diets on television.

Several months ago in Wallstreet Journal there is a great article, Conquering Fear which is all about those nasty little voices in our heads that tell us that we are not enough - that we are fat and stupid. That our bodies are ugly - and that our boss hates us.

My book Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner (Rodale January 2011) is all about my funny, sexy, unconventional path to falling in love with myself again in the most unbelievable way.... And I did.

But  every now and then I get tweaked in an unexpected way. There are a few new videos that have been posted of me on You Tube from a conference that I recently spoke at - and frankly they make me cringe. I hope you enjoy them.  They make me cringe.

Every time I watch them - I get taken out of how I was "feeling" when I made those videos and I get stuck in how I believe I look. I hate my neck. My face is too round. I have a double chin in that angle. How did they shoot that angle? And I stop feeling sexy. Instead I get filled with self doubt - and worry. You see - I am a real woman. Isn't that reassuring? I am not going to give you pleasure platitudes and tell you that if you do this or that - all of your inner fears will go away completely. They don't. But it can get better.

This is what I can promise. If you work on embracing who you are - every single day just like a religious practice - things will change in your world.

In so many ways - it is like developing a healthy eating and exercising plan. There is a lot of self talk, and self encouragement that needs to happen. I have to do it too - even now.  Especially now! The voices of fear that tell us that we are not enough - or are broken in some way - don't ever really go completely away.

I hope that by showing up and being honest about how I feel and how I move through all of the hatefulness that I can throw at myself will inspire you to do it too. The fact is that most of the time these days - I feel smoking! I have a swagger to my step - and kick to my heels. I dress like a diva with a wink! And I still feel bad about my neck a lot.  You see - I still  have really big moments of self loathing. It's all a part of the process.....

Self loving is a practice. Let's practice together.