IS IT LOVE OR ADDICTION?

by Kyrian Lyndon

Some people are fortunate to have the discernment required in connecting with others. Many, despite their intelligence, self-sufficiency, and well-meaning hearts find themselves in unhealthy relationships. I see it happening often. Learning the hard way is a healing process, but I can offer a few warning signs.

Red flags have been waved and ignored.

We witness behavior that raises an eyebrow, things we don’t ordinarily condone. It could be cruel, inappropriate, abusive, or manipulative behavior, derogatory remarks, infidelity, and lack of boundaries or respect for boundaries. Sometimes a person admits to being a jerk, a bastard, or a bitch, and our first instinct is to contradict and thereby comfort them. Sometimes we think because a person can be sweet and charming to us, we are the exception, the chosen one who will make it all better. We’re not.

Someone is on a pedestal.

Your perception of this person goes from one extreme to another. He or she walks on water or is a monster. You have defined who they are—essentially, a paragon of the ideal. You decided beforehand how they should behave and respond. It’s not reality based, and it’s not love. It is obsession—a persistent and disturbing preoccupation with an unreasonable idea or feeling. What you’re feeling has nothing to do with that person. You can’t love someone you don’t see. They are no more than a channel for what you need. An obsession is an addiction. It distorts our perception and impairs judgment. It comes with denial and control patterns that become manipulation. There is no direct communication about needs and desires. Resentments build and fester then erupt into anger. When reality kicks in, it is a long tumble for that person up on the pedestal to the ground. Unrealistic expectations create devastating disappointment.

Unnecessary risks are taken.

You are willing to compromise yourself and your well-being when you don’t have to and sometimes the safety and well-being of others. You may rush headlong into a physical relationship with little knowledge and a good measure of denial instead of awareness, education, and caution.

Principles are compromised.

There is unwilling compliance to avoid wrath and rejection. You find yourself continually compromising your principles and lowering your standards.

You don’t recognize yourself.

You have an unbalanced self-esteem. You feel the other person could not possibly want to live without you. At the same time, you don’t like who you are in this situation or relationship. You don’t like who you are becoming or the way you feel, act or think. You were never this whiny, this jealous, this possessive, this hurt, this confused. You sometimes feel like a basket case.

The relationship impedes your progress.

The relationship distracts you from your goals or seems to have replaced them. It happens in new relationships, but if you are unable to get back on track or have abandoned your dreams entirely, it’s a problem.

You are often confused.

You don’t know what to believe because your judgment and perception remain clouded.

It’s stressing you out.

Eating and sleeping patterns may have changed. You are not properly taking care of business or yourself. You may feel more paranoid, more OCD, more anxious. People have a lot to work through in relationships. Stress is normal, but constant stress that renders your life unmanageable is not.

You feel like you are in bondage.

You try to fight it. You want to be free of this person. At the same time, you want nothing and no one to come between you. You may isolate to have more time to focus on your obsession. When what you want is dangled before you, you can’t resist. When deprived of it, you are sick—mentally, emotionally, sometimes physically. You may feel you cannot be honest about this relationship or situation with anyone including yourself. You continue to want the same thing from this individual not realizing that after a while, you don’t enjoy it, and maybe you never did, yet you still need it. The moments of comfort and bliss are fleeting. A feeling of emptiness prevails. It causes agonizing pain for you. You may feel as if you are in bondage because you are. At times, you can’t stand up for yourself because you are somehow at a disadvantage, at the mercy of your obsession.

Nine Inch Nails: The Perfect Drug (1997) from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.

This unhealthy connection can exist in friendships as well or in relationships with family members.

It helps to determine what the addiction is for you in this case. What is the payoff? What is the issue that has made you so vulnerable?

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Love is good, but to feel comfortable loving and receiving love in return, we must know we deserve it. We must know we are worthy. Getting to that place opens another door in the journey of our recovery from past trauma and emotional abuse. Beyond it, more beauty awaits, and more joy.

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 © Copyright May 24, 2015 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com. 

 Author: 

Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has published two poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, and Remnants of Severed Chains, as well as several articles for Rebelle Society and The Voice of Literature e-zines.

She is the founder and publisher of Moonlit Dawn Publications and Brave Wings magazine and also the editor-in-chief of Brave WingsBrave Wings magazine promotes healing and empowerment through the written word. “Its focus,” she says, “is on the human condition—whatever we experience in life that helps us learn, grow, and evolve.”

Kyrian has worked in executive-level positions, particularly with major New York publishing companies, including McGraw-Hill Book Company and John Wiley & Son Publishers.

She is forthcoming about being a person with many years of recovery, as well as a trauma survivor. Throughout her journeys, she has expressed her thoughts through poetry, embracing every challenge to triumph over adversity. In her conviction that learning, growing, healing, and evolving is a never-ending process, she remains as grateful for the dark days as she is for every flicker of hope and light. Her passion for awareness advocacy and sharing insight motivates her to entertain in ways that provoke, enrich, and inspire.

Kyrian has always been passionate about music (all kinds). She loves nineteenth-century British literature, parallel universe fiction, thrillers, horror, and dark romanticism. She is also devoted to fitness which is a must, she says, if you enjoy cooking (and eating) as much as she does.

Feature photo courtesy of Pixabay

Related:

9 Warning Signs That You Are In A Dangerous Relationship

What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself

 

2 comments

  1. Ah, warning signs we should have heeded. During marriage #1, I spent a lot of time discussing these with other women in similar straits. They were not even cataclysmic things like physical abuse or drug addiction. More like realizing the other person was completely self-absorbed and incapable of true intimacy. The only solution in such cases is to walk out the door. There’s a world full of better people out there. Great post!

    Like

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