Believing that everything comes at a price is not necessarily true. In fact, I think it is faulty, negative thinking. Yes, you must struggle for certain things and yes you must work hard for others. But certain stuff is simply given to you and you either enjoy it or you don’t. You recognize its value or you don’t. I happen to have a really great mother. We have a great relationship. She was just given to me. I was born to her and I didn’t have to pay much of anything to have her love me. The same can be said about my brothers and my children and my strong mind and able body. Sure! I have to work to keep those things in tip top shape at all times, but the work comes naturally to me and thus, isn’t much work. Why then, do I always think that my relationship with D is too good to be true? Why do I constantly worry that there is disaster around every corner? Why do I feel fatalistic, like D will die or I will, after finally finding real love? Why am I oftentimes consumed with doubt that I am capable of having a healthy relationship even though this past year as given ZERO indication of failure or doom or wrongness of any kind. In fact, the relationship keeps getting better, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Not in terms of a straight line (like, first we date, then we move in together, then we marry, etc), but more in terms of width and vastness. The longer we spend together, the more real and comfortable “we” become. Why then, is it so hard to just say, it is what it is, and accept it?
Oh, but of course. I still have the remnants of junkie thinking: Nothing good can come to me. I don’t deserve happiness. Life is essentially chaotic. Drama and suffering must be present in all relationships in order for them to exist. I am not capable of “normal” and “healthy.” These are thoughts designed to impede a more complete recovery and quite honestly, they get to me sometimes when I am not paying attention. But they are myths. They are untruths. And anyone devoted to recovery should be at an intermediate to advanced level when it comes to thought stopping and knowing how to change negative thinking into positive. Advanced recovery, after all, means that if you don’t have it inside you to complete a task or figure something out on your own, you have the ability to do so via the resources you have stock-piled.
One such resource is Howard Halpern’s “Finally Getting It Right: From Addictive Love to the Real Thing.” Susan Peabody refers to this book all the time as being one of value for the recovered love addict. In it states that ending a bad relationship is sometimes the easiest difficulty to overcome and that the real work lies in actively living out your recovery and maintaining a healthy Self in the face of reality.
Another resource is recognizing that your difficulty does not lie in your PoA and why he did or didn’t call you, why he does or doesn’t love you. Your difficulty lies in your addictive NATURE and the value and significance you give to mundane or destructive acts. If you don’t come to realize the underlying nature of why you do the things you do, you will remain an addict.
Thought stopping and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is another strong resource at this level of recovery. The more you turn negative thoughts into positive ones, the happier you become. I am slightly neurotic by nature. I worry about planes crashing and bridges collapsing. I worry constantly about my own death. In order to combat this, I repeat over and over that “worry will not change my circumstances.” And soon enough, I am calmer and less worried. I can apply this same technique to my relationship with D. I can convince myself that everything does not have a price. That good things can and DO happen to good people. That sometimes, you’re just lucky.