Getting Your Life Back from Addiction? Learn One Thing You Can Do
I could barely choke out the words. But I was doing something I needed to be doing, acknowledging to a dear friend that I had practically worshipped, what he already knew. I was acknowledging his humanity.
I was recognizing the need to take him off of the pedestal on which I had placed him in my mind, and in so doing, I was releasing myself from the tendency to hold someone else responsible for my happiness.
I don’t remember my friend’s exact words when I told him I was finally taking him off the pedestal, but it was something like, “Finally!” You could hear the relief in his voice. Its a great burden to be in a relationship where you are expected to carry the other person emotionally.
He wasn’t the first, and if I am truthful, he probably will not be the last person I attempt to put on the pedestal in those crazy moments when my old brain decides to pick up patterns l have long since determined to be completely unhelpful. Oh heck, I’ll be honest- not just unhelpful, but destructive!!
My destructive patterns took root early in childhood.
Let’s just say I was reared by a visionary. My father, who I highly respect and love to this day, was the driving force behind everything our family did. He set the course and the vision and provided leadership towards reaching the goal. To me? He seemed like an invincible hero, someone who life couldn’t touch. I grew up worshipping my father.
Now my father continues to inspire me in many ways, but what could have been inspiration for me as a child, grew into an unhealthy belief that my father could do my life better than I could.
I couldn’t have missed the mark more.
Why am I writing about this on a sex and porn addiction blog?
Well, I would say there are more than a few of you reading that are idealistic.
You probably had great visions and dreams for your life. You may have fulfilled some of those dreams, pursued some of those passions. You may have a great life.
But chances are that many of you reading, aren’t happy with your lives.
Chances are that you are bound to your negative habits that keep you compulsively having sex, overeating, binge watching on Netflix, bemoaning your fate, getting high, stuck in a relationship with an addict, stuck in your negative belief systems, or stuck in front of the screen staring at porn when you could be doing something so much better with your life!!!
And chances are? You Believe That there is someone else doing life so much better than you are! And it you keep looking for that perfect role model, that person or situation that finally helps you reach the life you want.
Am I right?
Just ask yourself. Is there someone in your life (or many someones) who…
…you envy to the point of tears because they seem to have what you don’t?
…you call whenever you have a problem and hang on their every word yet do nothing they say when you hang up?
…you secretly admire and worship a little too much?
…you secretly hate because they seem to have it all together?
….makes you mad when they aren’t there for you constantly?
….you blame for not helping you do life better and seemingly focused on their own success so much that they dare to leave you behind?
…makes you angry when they call you on their crap because you know they have it easier?
…you feel you cannot live without?
I have had a lot of someones like that in my life.
Until about three years ago.
Three years ago at the age of 38, I started knocking over the pedestals and changing this very destructive pattern in my life. I still have work to do. This year I have started taking them apart piece by piece and burning them. Drastic times call for drastic measures.
If You Read nothing else, read this- Here is the ONE THING YOU CAN DO TO BEGIN TAKING YOUR LIFE BACK FROM ADDICTION. START TAKING APART YOUR TENDENCY TO IDEALIZE PEOPLE, CIRCUMSTANCES AND IDEAS AND WAITING FOR THE PERFECT COMBINATION TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!
What am I saying here? That admiring people is wrong? That aspiring to emulate someone’s qualities is wrong?
But it is a roadblock to living free from the influence and pain of addiction, either as the person trapped in addictive behaviors or the partner.
Being distracted by the people, ideals or fantasies is a huge roadblock because our lives do not exist in hopes and wishes but in the moment.
It is destructive for you to LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH SOMEONE ELSE.
Because LIVING Vicariously isn’t living!
When I lived in this space all of the time, I became more like a parasite than a person, desperately latching onto the hopes and dreams of other people. I did a lot of day wishing. A good sign you aren’t where you need to be?You do a lot of wishing and mourning… wishing you were like the pro athletes on TV, wishing for a love like you see on Netflix, mourning that you aren’t as attractive as your best friend, or wishing for the ideal sexual encounter. All the while, your real life is happening and ready for you to take it back.
When I took back my life, I felt immense relief. It hasn’t been perfect, but it is my life. I fall down frequently, but I choose to get back on my feet. I live according to my choices now, not according to what I wish it were. You can have the peace that comes from making your own choices. The responsibilities and pain you are scared to accept will seem less daunting the more positive action you take. Someday you can wake up and feel good about your life, and know that you are doing your best despite the difficult things.
It is destructive for you to EXPECT SOMEONE ELSE TO RESCUE YOU
Because the truth is, no one is going to rescue you!
Let’s just say you shouldn’t hold your breath!
And if someone is attempting to rescue you all of the time it isn’t healthy, for you or them.
This was such a difficult concept to grasp for me at one time. I had been taught to trust those around me more than I trusted myself. I even began to expect that God or any man who cared about me as a friend or family member would rescue me from all of my problems and mental health issues.
Believe me, I understand! Every aspect of my life was set up to support this idea that someone was going to rescue me from my own life!!! Guess what? No one did! One day, thankfully, I WOKE UP to discover that all of the people I had put on pedestals, and of the people who had genuinely loved me, could not help me. Why? Because I wouldn’t believe I could help myself! I am so grateful that I finally challenged that belief, and you can too!
It is destructive for you to BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO DO YOUR OWN LIFE!
Because No one else is able to “do” life for you but YOU! Let me ask you – Who is going to dress you in the morning? Who is going to get you out of bed? Who is going to eat for you? Who is going to laugh for you? Cry for you? Speak for you? Discern for you? Bring your unique passion and personality to life?
Who is going to decide for you will stop moping around, stop making excuses, stop wallowing in shame and guilt and regret of the past? Who is going to decide to begin healing for you from past abuse and trauma? Who will if you don’t?
You are the one who is has to act. And as hard as it is to accept, NO ONE ELSE CAN!!! Even if someone has wronged you in the worst possible way, and they attempt to make amends in your life, they cannot do away with your wounds. They cannot heal them. You must begin that work, as unfair as it may be.
IF you are in this same place that I have been so many times in my life you might be thinking…What next?
1. Don’t make excuses.
There are explanations for why you are where you are. There are painful circumstances and truths about what has been done to you. I get that. They are painful realities, yes. But if you use them as reasons for staying where you are, you will not realize your potential.
Become hungry for your real life. Think about how much better your life will be when you have embraced the painful realities and start to take action! You Can do This with the right support!
Please, don’t allow painful realities to derail you from the heart of what I am saying. Don’t dismiss this as something written by someone who doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about your life. We’ve all had pain and suffering, and I am no exception. Your OLD BRAIN is trying to keep you “safe” or so it believes. You have to get around that and SAVE Yourself! You have to open yourself to safe voices, starting with the voice deep within you that keeps telling you your life is being lived to its full potential.
2.Take responsibility for your life, forget about the people you admire for a moment. This is about you.
I am talking about being responsible for your own thought life, your own emotions, and your own actions. You can and no one else will. You cannot change the actions of others. You are not responsible for them. But you can choose your own course from this day forward.
3.Start burning pedestals.
Admire people. There are a lot of wonderful people who have helped me overcome the pain in my life. I am forever grateful for the part they played. But the truth is? Without me playing my part, the transformation in my life would have never taken place.
I hope you realize that YOU have so much untapped potential waiting to be used when you put people in their proper place.
Where is that place? A place of inspiration and not dependence.
Don’t live on the successes and lives of other people. Be inspired and go out and DO your own life. Start with breaking free from the idealism of porn if that’s your issue. Or if you are a partner of someone struggling with addictive behavior? Start breaking free of the harmful belief that you cannot do anything about it. YOU CAN. You can have a wonderful life free of shame, incessant regret, and misery. There is HOPE!!! It begins in you.
This sounds counter to everything I just said, but there are some things we shouldn’t do alone. That doesn’t mean that we give up our responsibility for ourselves as soon as someone else enters the picture. IT simply means that we now have support in taking responsibility for our own lives.
I KNOW we need help getting there! Otherwise I wouldn’t have spent thousands on coaching for myself! But FIRST I had to acknowledge that I was the only person who could decide to get help.
I hope you reach out today.