Surviving Withdrawal II

The break-up workbook for love addicts, by Jim Hall MS (a summary by Pat Evert)

Withdrawal contains the seeds of becoming a completely healthy person. The pain of withdrawal was a bona fide blessing

Addiction brings a diminished capacity to validate one’s self-worth. They do not see who their partner truly is. Love addiction, like any addiction, is a progressive illness, which is not curable but can be successfully treated, as long as one does the work needed. As withdrawal occurs and the fantasy is weakened; reality comes seeping in. In essence, the addiction was just a buffer to avoid and abandon the self. This is the sickness in addiction. You have believed falsely that you are not worthy of love

In order to get better, addicts need to grieve the loss of the addiction which provided comfort. You are experiencing that little child of yours crying out desperately for acceptance, worth and value. You internalize the lies which foster the carried childhood shame ever so deeper. 

Obsessive thinking keeps you at a ‘less than’ position— while keeping your ex partner at a ‘better-than’ position. The addict will not ACCEPT what is going on. If you want to heal and survive your withdrawal— trying to return to your ex or to escape with another addiction are the last things you want to do.

The following tools will help minimize and overcome many of your toxic-obsessive thinking processes. When we choose to be a ‘Victim,’ we choose to be powerless. Neither the addict or the avoidant can be relationally healthy, until they want and choose to heal and grow. An addictive relationship is not love. For mutual enjoyment of one another there has to be shared gratification. 

Journaling is an excellent way to express and vent angry feelings. The goal of an unsent letter is to discharge and let loose your anger. Setting boundaries with your ex is protecting yourself. Take care of yourself. HOW YOU TAKE CARE OF YOU IS THE ANSWER TO YOUR PROBLEMS

Setting and honoring boundaries builds self-respect and respect with those around us. Affirmations are one of the most powerful tools for recovery. It helps change how you feel, and also behaviors. 

  • Withdrawal will not last forever – and I will come out on top.
  • The world is a better place because I am here
  • You need to learn how to nurture and love yourself and face your feelings you have been running from for too long. 

YOU CAN AND YOU WILL SURVIVE, IT WON’T LAST FOREVER. Your avoidant partner’s behaviors and choices have nothing to do with her love for you. Why did she say this or that? The answer is that she is an AVOIDANT (counter-dependent) this is what she was before you ever started a relationship. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. THIS IS THE TIME TO STOP ABANDONING YOU!

Your brain (which has been in an addictive state for sometime) is in a period of re-balance.

  • It depends on how much you are fully engaged in your recovery. 
  • The longevity of your dependencies in relationships.
  • The trauma or abandonment you experienced in childhood. 

This time of withdrawal is a huge opportunity to make positive and powerful change materialize in your life

  • Develop your spiritual side, let your “higher power” replace your ex-partner. 
  • Become “selfish” in your recovery (healthy selfishness, esp. at this time). 
  • Use this time to really recognize your worth, recognize your strength… 

Urge surfing is to ride out the urge, not give in to it.