Addictive Patterns and Relationships

Dear Rosa,

I would never admit this to anyone face to face, but I cannot seem to keep from going physically near where I had an old (bad) relationship. I have stopped seeing this person who was totally someone I did not need in my life. I have not had any contact with them in over a year and part of me is relieved and proud of myself. I know staying away from this person is the thing to do. There is a tendency toward addictive stuff that I have and this person does not hold back on those things. I do not want to start something again, but when I am lonely or in a bad mood, I find myself driving toward this person’s house, hoping to get a glimpse or just pretend that I could walk in to their house again.

-       Boomerang

Dear Boomerang;

I am reminded of Paul in the New Testament referring to doing things he did not want to do. There is an accomplishment in what you write, however, that must not be overlooked. You have NOT actively engaged the person who is “bad” for you face to face. So far, you keep yourself away from the behavior that could snare you. The challenge is that you flirt with the edges. To come this far, you have had to exercise a measure of self-control. That type of self-control comes from cooperating with God.

My guess is you would not have written unless you are ready for the next move toward health. Let’s go by half steps. The first half step is to have compassion on you. An addictive situation is created by a need that you thought would be filled by this person. Love, comfort, escape, feeling good…are promised by addictive behavior. Things you now know at some level are empty because this is unwanted behavior. So, the second half step is to stop going where you know you must not go. To do this, you need accountability and wisdom. Support is a must. Pray for support. God, another person, a group…a network of trust. As you continue eliminating enslaving ways (behavioral, emotional, spiritual) share and seek counsel with those who have come through similar patterns. Keep on keeping on. God hasn’t brought you this far to let you down.

-       Rosa   



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