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You Can't Shame an Addict and Heal an Addict

There’s someone below the surface that we don’t often talk about. She’s a societal taboo so full of shame that we keep her closeted. We’re embarrassed by her neediness, by her lack of resolve. We try to sooth her with strategy and distraction, but she goes much deeper than that. We don’t introduce her to people, but she’s there behind the scenes pulling the strings. She’s subtle, quiet at times, but when she’s poked, she screams and rages. If you were honest, you’d like to disown her; somehow that feels easier.

You know her well, the Addict in you, though you may not have named her. She’s the one who feels hooked by and helpless in toxic love. She second guesses herself, has trouble distinguishing truth from reality, and triggers from actual red flags. She’s always seeking, always yearning, always needing and is on high alert for abandonment. She’s stuck in an anxious free-fall when in relationship. Out of one, she feels free but so lonely she weeps. And you are embarrassed by her. You think she’s weak. You think there’s something wrong with her, but the truth is, she is both your greatest pain and greatest teacher. ⁣

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