I had to think on this one all night. Unlike the alcoholic or the drug user whose abstinence from his addictive behaviors lies in putting down the bottle or not taking the hit, a love addict’s abstinence from his or her addictive behavior is not clear. It is SELF-DEFINED. However, I realize now that one must abstain from that behavior for which he is trying to ESCAPE. Just like the alcoholic who tries to escape his reality by drinking, so too does the love addict try to escape her reality of pain by any number of things (like jumping into another relationship, or calling a PoA who does not want to be called etc.)
When i first read this question I thought, “how can you abstain from love?” But that is NOT what a love addict needs to abstain from. Her (my!) addictive behavior has little or nothing to do with real love, but rather, trying to escape pain. So…all that being said, abstinence (from my own addictive behaviours, as identified by me) IS the most important thing in my life, WITHOUT exception. Not because I am doing the steps, not because I am sick of repeating patterns or because i am in recovery. But because my life depends on it. Because, if I want to feel and BE better, it is the only way.