What Al-Anon Can Teach Love Addicts
If you are a love addict, you revolve your life around other people. The most important thing to you is the sensation of being in love, but most of your relationships are turbulent and unfulfilling. You are usually drawn to people who are emotionally unavailable, and you have most likely had one or more relationships with a person who is an active drug addict or alcoholic.
While your partner doggedly pursues his or her drug of choice, you spend just as much time pursuing your drug of choice ─ your partner. You spend all your time thinking about him or her. You call or text repeatedly in an effort to establish a feeling of constant connection. On some level, you are aware that you aren’t getting your needs met. You keep trying to mold your partner into something he or she is not. In the meantime, you are miserable. People tell you that you should leave the relationship, yet the thought of being alone terrifies you.
Getting Help at Al-Anon Meetings
When you are addicted to an alcoholic, you might as well be a hamster on a wheel. You spend a lot of time and energy trying to force things to happen that are never going to happen, and all you are getting is frustrated and exhausted. You can’t force the alcoholic or addict to change, but you can work on your own problem with love addiction. You can start by going to Al-Anon meetings.
Al-Anon is a support group for friends and families of alcoholics. It is a program based on the 12 steps. Anyone who is interested in learning more is welcome to attend open love addiction meetings of Al-Anon. At these meetings you will be able to find understanding and support for yourself and talk about the way alcoholism has impacted your life. If you have been impacted specifically by drug addiction and not alcoholism, you can find similar help at Nar-Anon meetings, which are geared toward families of addicts.
Learning to Focus on Yourself
Many people are under the impression that people go to Al-Anon in order to vent about the alcoholic. This is not what Al-Anon is all about. For you to recover from your addiction to an alcoholic, you need to learn to focus on yourself. This is a hugely important lesson for love addicts.
The center of your universe shouldn’t be someone else. But focusing on yourself isn’t something that comes naturally to a love addict. You will need the support of other people to learn how to turn your focus on yourself.
Other Lessons From Al-Anon
There are many important life skills that those who love alcoholics or addicts need to learn. At Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, you can start to gradually learn about these skills from others who have experiences very similar to yours. For example, in your desperation to remain connected, you may be trying to shower your partner with so much love that you’re actually enabling him or her to stay addicted. You may be doing this by helping out financially or by making excuses or lying for the other person. You think you are helping, but you may really be prolonging the problem by not allowing the alcoholic to have to deal with the consequences of his actions.
You may be in the habit of driving yourself crazy trying to change your partner. You try to be understanding and supportive. At other times you blow up and fly into a rage, trying to get him or her to see things your way. In Al-Anon you can learn to detach with love. That means you can learn to hate the disease of addiction while still loving the person, but at the same time you focus on yourself and your own life. You will learn about powerlessness and that you will never be able to change someone else, but you can become empowered to change your own life.
As a love addict, you have probably been having one unhappy relationship after another because you are compelled to keep repeating your patterns, but it’s possible to heal from love addiction. The best place to start is Al-Anon.