Something i learned and wanted to pass on:
Since my recovery has begun I have noticed a strange phenomenon. Some of my new behavior patterns do not feel comfortable or natural. They feel plain old odd. And i can tell i want to revert back to the old way of doing things. But then I realized, OF COURSE THEY FEEL ODD AND WEIRD! I am a love addict. I have adopted negative patterns of behavior and bad ways of doing things. Even though my habits are bad and not good for me, they are comfortable and familiar and because I have been acting out in negative ways for so long, it feels NATURAL to me to do so.
Changing behavior from bad to good– even though it’s in a good direction– will feel unnatural until you keep repeating the good behavior and VALUE it.
Example: my normal behavior pattern is to go running back to G for comfort, even though i am in a current relationship. I might have a problem that i think cannot be resolved in my current relationship so i immediately think to run away and go back to G. I will get drama and support from G immediately. I know this. And it feels good. Of course, after a month of his being super cool and nice, all will revert back to me being avoided and neglected. And I’ll be miserable again.
My not-so-normal behavior is to accept the wash of emotions that come over me when I am confused or insecure about my new relationship, to write them down and wait them out and to take some time off from seeing my new bf so that i can calm myself and understand what’s going on. This taking time off, even if only for one day, feels VERY strange to me. HOWEVER, it is much healthier than the alternative.
So…my point is…recovery will feel a little strange at times. Not calling G will feel WEIRD, like i’m not solving my problems. But that’s a trick of junkie thinking. Do not give up! The more you keep repeating good patterns of behavior, the more you are able to erase old, outmoded, destructive ones!
3 thoughts on “Does not calling him feel UNNATURAL?”
First of all, thank you for writing this blog. I discovered it recently, as I am coming to terms with my own love-addictive tendencies. I am giving myself the treat of reading your blog from the beginning onwards, and am just starting.
I love this post. I have been struggling with NC with my PoA for almost all of this calendar year. My PoA is a married man, seems to fit your archetype of ‘avoidant’, and is a borderline sex addict, and probably a love addict to boot. The fact that I would even consider being involved with a man like this shows you how messed up I am in the head! (Yes, the sex was amazing, blah blah blah). We were sexually and romantically involved for 1.5 years (the whole time he told me he was in an open marriage which turned out to be a lie. I knew, deep down, that it was a lie, and but too addicted to heed the red flag. I take full responsibility in being his accomplice). When his lies came to the surface, he followed his wife’s conditions for saving the marriage; dropped his lovers (plural), joined SAA, followed that recovery model, went into all kinds of therapy, etc. I was so addicted to him, I stuck by his side as a “friend” and “support”. Off and on over this last year, he has come to me for support, and I, being so addicted to him, give it to him. He’ll run hot, forging an intimacy (under the guise of friendship) over e-mail for weeks at a time, saying things like I was the only one who understood him, dropping that his wife, after almost 2 years, still wasn’t having sex with him, that they are staying together for the kids… then would fade into silence for another few weeks. I would feel really jerked around.
It was early this year that I started asking myself if I am a love addict, because while I’ve never been so caught up in such a red-flag situation before, I’ve been chasing love (and avoidants) my entire life. I started reading the literature and came across the concept of NC. I’ve known, deep in my heart, that I need real space from him to begin my own recovery. Yet, off an on again over this year, I half-heartedly would try NC, and it wouldn’t stick. I was a well-trained mistress in this affair, and quickly learned to not initiate contact. I would always wait for him. Thus, when he would decide to go dark for weeks at a time, I would call this NC. This wasn’t NC, because the second he would initiate contact, I would jump right back into his sphere. This was me being terribly passive, and more trapped than ever. It wasn’t enough for me to stop initiating contact. I still felt totally hooked into him, even when he ignored me weeks at a time.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that I realized that I had to take stricter, more proactive measures of NC. I implemented an e-mail filter, so I never see when he writes. For the first ten days, I would break down and would check the folder that caught and hid the e-mails from plain sight. Either it contained a message, and I would jump and reply, or it would be empty, and I would feel bitterly disappointed. Its only been in the last few days that I ignore the folder, as well. While its unlikely that he is trying to contact me, I feel free from the obsession/compulsion of constantly thinking about it. It’s liberating, but boy, is it uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable, but I feel very protected – not from him, but from my addictive behaviors.
I feel “by myself”, more than ever (even though I am ALSO in a half-baked protracted casual relationship with a man who has the same commitment issues that I have.). Its been damned uncomfortable… sitting with the boredom (due to lack of drama), having to take responsibility for my own happiness, realizing how little faith I have in myself. But, on the other hand, I am not obsessing over my PoA nearly as much. I no longer love/hate him. He is starting to fade to neutral. Sure, its only been a few days of REAL NC, but I have been preparing for this for almost a year.
I’m sure that I will fall off the wagon, but I am hoping that I will learn quicker in the future. I have also since enlisted the support of a therapist who is keen to work with me on my self-worth and my intimacy issues.
Pat yourself on the back for recognizing that you have a problem with love and that you are taking action to get healthier. That is ALL you can expect of yourself today. Isn’t that enough? If you think you will be free and clear of him and happy again within days, you are mistaken. Your biggest reality you have to feed yourself is that this will take a while, and that you need to be patient with yourself! If you read this blog from the early days, it took me 3 years to get through an addicted relationship and another 3 to really start living differently and change over to healthy behavior. Don’t be so hard on yourself. And don’t give up. You are worth the struggle!
Thank you for this! I look forward to more reading and more reflection.