1 - Since my Addict Brain thinks the ONLY thing that matters is my love life, it tries to push my emotions about ANYTHING into my love life.
Feeling sad about losing my Mom? What I need to make me feel better is more love and affection from my man.
Disappointed that everyday life can be a dull grind? What I need to make me feel better is...
Anxious because I’m between jobs? What I need to make me feel better is....
You get the idea. Addict Brain has a one-size-fits-all solution to any painful emotion I might have.
2 - I get angry when changes happen that weren’t my idea, or that I don’t like, or that didn’t turn out the way I expected. - Finishing college and transitioning to work. - The aging of me and my partner, which took a toll on our relationship. This is probably natural and inevitable, but the hurt, angry little kid in me said, “That’s not fair! You changed the rules, and you didn’t even ASK me!” And I wanted to hurt my partner back, because I felt that he hurt me.
3 - I’m resistant to change. I was in denial about that, but it’s true. I think especially in U.S. culture, “resistant to change” is seen as a terrible trait, so nobody wants to see that in themself. I wanted to “embrace change” and “thrive on change” and all the other bull s h i t that U.S. culture, and especially U.S. business culture, tells all of us, all day, every day.
But - I’m not really that way. The truth is, I feel like not all change is change for the better. And even a good change, a change that was needed, is going to be somewhat difficult. There will be an adjustment needed to even a good change.
Another thing I’ve realized about myself: I have a problem with holding onto resentments and holding grudges.
I want to be this enlightened, forgiving person who lets go of resentments and forgives people, but many times, I’m really not.
Somebody does something I don’t like. Regardless of how I react immediately, I never forget what they did. I do almost always give people a second chance. But now I know what they’re capable of; and it takes a lot of time and a lot of good behavior on their part before I trust them again.
Remember the old Peanuts cartoon where Lucy pulls the football away just as Charlie Brown is about to kick it? I identify with Charlie Brown. Only, I’m not as nice as Charlie Brown. I want to kick Lucy’s a s s. My Inner Angry Child wants to punish that person for hurting me - and make sure they never do it again.
It really comes down to my lack of trust. I have a naturally suspicious mind.
How do you become a more forgiving and more trusting person, but still have boundaries and stand up for your rights?