Are You a Love Addict? Are you in a Break-Up from an Addictive Relationship?

There is no doubt that for most people, “breaking up is hard to do”… for love addicts, breaking up is especially difficult. One of the most disturbing and defining features of addiction is withdrawal and obsessive withdrawal is the ultimate confirmation of love addiction when a relationship ends. You may feel paralyzed in your grief, locked into the past, totally obsessed and unable to move forward. The pain feels unrelenting.

These steps will give you some ideas about how to get over an addictive break up and turn surviving into thriving in the quickest way. If you’re not a love addict, read this article and you’ll know exactly how to help a best friend or buddy who is love-addicted and withdrawing from a break up.

1. Breaking out of Denial

One of the hardest things for love addicts experiencing a break up id breaking their denial. Denial is the PRIMARY psychological symptom of addiction. Denial is one of the reasons that recovery from love addiction is seldom effective. You cannot overcome a problem unless you come to fully accept that it exists.
• Denial comes in the form of:
• Ignoring how unhealthy the relationship actually was
• Believing getting back the relationship will solve all the problems.
• Convincing the self, it will “be different” next time.
• Not accepting the relationship is over.
• Believing the avoidant partner can be someone different from he or she is.
• Holding on to the fantasy created from the beginning of the relationship.

Come to accept your powerlessness over your love addiction and the chaos and unmanageability it has brought into your life.

2. Feel your Feelings

You’re already feeling your feelings- yet, you may feel the emotions are too much to handle. When you feel overwhelmed and in a panic because of a break up you try to do things to repress, ignore, and abandon your feelings. However, this is the wrong thing to do.

Feeling and acknowledging your feelings is an essential part of the healing process.
Love addicts really struggle with feeling certain feelings. Anger (a feeling) may help to temporarily keep painful feelings at bay, but to heal, we must allow ourselves to grieve the loss (unhealthy loss or not). I’d encourage you to share your feelings in a support group; with a professional counselor; with close loved ones who are trustworthy; and express your emotions on paper through Journaling. Write about your anger, sadness, fears, etc.

Don’t shame yourself for ANY feelings you have. If you’re feeling depressed, guilt, shame, hurt, inadequacy or loneliness--- accept and acknowledge these feelings. Accepting your feeling does not mean you accept them as truth (feelings aren’t always facts- to believe this is a distortion). You accept them as neither good nor bad- feelings just exist and are part of being human.

3. Stop Giving Up Your Personal Power

One of the underlying core characteristics I write about in The LOVE ADDICT in Love Addiction is how love addicts give their power up to their partner. It’s one reason why the feeling of “I lost myself” is so common when a breakup occurs.
Take responsibility is a way to take back your power. Take full responsibility for whatever decisions you’ve made and those in which you make. Blaming, Persecuting, Offending, or taking the Victim position is only evidence of giving up your power. By owning the decisions you make (right or wrong), you keep win back personal power. When you do this, it will help you see reality and the truth much more clearly—and this will pay off in a big way down the road.

4. Rid your environment of triggers

If you spend your time feeding into the obsession about the loss of your partner – guess what? You’ll feel miserable. That is why, once you’ve dealt with the real signals that the emotions give you, you must do as much as you can to focus your mind on things that please you.

Take the practical steps necessary to remove any reminders of your ex from your environment. They will only act as triggers to obsess about him or her more so. Instead, when you see a reminder, use it as a trigger to get rid of that reminder – IMMEDIATELY! Delete the telephone number, remove the pictures, and store the gifts. I’m not asking you to destroy them, just put them where you won’t see them on a day to day basis. However, if you feel a need- do destroy them or toss them in the trash.

5. Engage in Self Care

Part of the healing process for love addicts is learning to better care for the 'self'. Take care of your eating habits; exercise; do fun leisure activities—these are all things that help to engaging in self-care.

Generate a healthy eating plan. Plan out a weekly schedule to exercise 3 to 5 times a week (walking 30 minutes is a good start if your new into exercising). Exercise is a great way to boost your mood, even if t this temporary during this period. Write a list of leisure activities you like or love to do. Leisure activities may be hiking, taking a drive, going to a concert, taking a fun class, skiing, biking, etc. Make sure to write these things down on paper. So- when you’re obsessing or focusing on things that are painful or making you feel sad, you can run for the list, pick something off it and go do it. It’s a good way to speed up the process of healing.

6. Understand What Healthy Relationships Are About

Ask yourself if the following characteristics were part of your relationship. Would you like these in your relationship- and if so, use these as reminders of some of the qualities you want with a love partner.

• Each partner accepts who the other person is.
• Each partner values his/her self and does not hide whom they are (their reality) from their partner.
• Each partner supports the other partner’s goals and aspirations in life.
• Each partner is honest and communicates congruently which engenders safety and trust for each other.
• Each partner practices healthy and open communication.
• Each partner has healthy internal and external boundaries.
• Each partner takes responsibility for their actions or behaviors; takes responsibility in communicating wants and needs in the relationship.
• Each partner is open to the others point of view.
• When problems arise in the relationship, both partners are open and willing to negotiate and compromise form solutions to the problem (this is engaging in one form of intimacy).
• Each partner accepts the others right to his/her feelings, wishes, opinions, activities, friends, interests, and beliefs- valuing the other as an individual.
• Verbal and physical threats are never used to manipulate and get needs and wants met in a relationship
• Does not fear will lose partner when problems arise and don’t give up on each other; they seek solutions to resolve problems.

7. Positive Affirmations

Love addicts become dependent to another person because of a false belief of unworthiness, un-lovability, or inadequacy. Positive affirmations will help to start changing this bologna. Doing the work of daily affirmations is vital to start changing the internal messages and the way you feel.

Affirming ourselves, (an act of self-care) is a way to help us change attitudes and beliefs that tell us we are unworthy, cannot make changes, not lovable enough, etc. Positive affirmations are a powerful tool to apply in recovery to help us to begin rewiring our minds from dishonest messages we received in the past. It is a way of deleting the inner critic like deleting files from our computers and replacing them new files. By applying affirmations—we begin to form a new relationship with ourselves by re-parenting ourselves in a healthy and nurturing manner.

The following is a list of five positive affirmations. Use the list as a tool. Apply this tool by repeating these affirmations 10-20 times a day quietly or out loud (saying them out loud can be much more effective). You can also record the affirmations and listen to them as often as possible. The more you read them to yourself and hear them, the better. You can also add or replace new affirmations to your list.

Positive Affirmations:
1. I accept and love myself fully
2. I am a valuable, amazing, and worthy human being
3. I’m worthy of love, abundance and peace
4. I allow myself to experience joy and peace in my life
5. I deserve healthy, caring, loving relationships

Taking these eight steps is a powerful move in the right direction for healing. Nevertheless, surviving an addictive relationship break up should not end here. Enhance your path to recovery by seeking counseling with a love addiction therapist and/or a professional recovery coach with a love addiction specialist.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Hall, M.S., is a Love Addiction Specialist and founder of a popular recovery website, www.loveaddictionhelp.com, a cutting-edge site for the love addict who want to recover and heal.

He is an Author on Love Addiction and Recovering. He also coaches Love Addicts how to recover, heal, and break their addiction to relationships, online at www.LoveAddictionHelp.com.

Jim authors several popular Books on love addiction and recovery, available on one of the best love addiction recovery websites- www.loveaddictionhelp.com. Or click on the links to learn about the books:

- Surviving Withdrawal: The Breakup Workbook for Love Addicts.
http://loveaddictionhelp.com/surviving_withdrawal

- The Love Addict in Love Addiction
http://loveaddictionhelp.com/about_book

- Gateway to Recovery
http://loveaddictionhelp.com/ebooks

Jim is currently completing a Love Addiction Rehab Recovery Program series for love and relationship addiction which will soon be available on www.loveaddictionhelp.com. Also on his website are free articles, tips, and other related information on love addiction, recovery and relationship issues: http://www.loveaddictionhelp.com/