February 11

Are There Any Good Addictions?

February 11, 2014

Addiction

Denise could not live without the approval of other people, especially men. She tried constantly to please, but her efforts were never quite enough. She felt anxious all the time and began to use medications to control her stress, but that just led to more drug use and a sense of futility. One marriage collapsed, then two. After a long series of relationships, she despaired that anything would ever make her happy.

A friend recommended Real Love, but despite studying and attending conference calls, she was still frustrated. Eventually, she came for an intervention, and while she was here, she felt genuinely loved and happy.

“I have never felt like this in my entire life,” she said.

Upon returning home, her happiness continued for two weeks, but she missed the close physical presence she had enjoyed while we were together. Instead of calling me, sometimes she went back to what she knew best—winning approval, being sexually attractive, and pills.

In pain she called to describe her many recent mistakes, and I said, “That’s all to be expected. You’re still doing okay.”

“You’re saying that it’s okay that I feel like crap so much of the time?” she asked.

“Oh, I’m not enjoying your pain, but it’s good for you to see that you can make mistakes and still survive. You’re just going through the inevitable discomfort of withdrawing from your addictions, and if you keep moving forward you’ll discover you don’t need them.”

“So what can I do when I’m miserable in my withdrawal?”

“Call me.”

“But then I’m addicted to you.”

“Maybe, a little, but there’s a big difference.”

“What?” she asked.

“Your other addictions won’t let go of you—like the drugs. Drugs don’t care about you either. Other people need your pleasing them. I don’t need you to do anything, and I do care about you. That’s a big difference. Even more important, your other addictions won’t make you happy or heal you. Love will.”

In the process of withdrawing from our other addictions, Real Love could appear to become an addiction. But it’s not. Real Love makes no demands, and it heals us. It’s a great “addiction” to have.

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