Is Love Addiction Real? (August 2020, Part 2)

Now that Lori is recognizing the themes and patterns of her deeper longings, what are the tools and strategies she might consider?

  1. It truly takes a village to heal and move forward from this well-worn path of suffering. Consider the following supports: psychotherapist, coach, sponsor, Higher Power, emotionally-reliable friends.
  2. If you’re not able to trust your gut instincts, rely on a dependable confidant to help recognize your fantasy patterns more clearly and efficiently. Practice humility and ask your confidants for help when you need it.
  3. Going through withdrawal is a real phenomenon, which occurs after the intoxicating effects of the fantasy are behind you. Know that this is a necessary phase of healing. Be kind and patient with your adjustment from fantasy to reality.
  4. Find a relational therapist who thoroughly understands the intricacies of these entrenched fantasy patterns. Ask friends for referrals or shop around to find the right fit for you.
  5. Group therapy can be a tremendous resource. It’s usually best to wait until you’re out of crisis, but once you feel ready, a group experience can be a very rich way to learn more extensively about yourself as you help others learn about themselves.
  6. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship focusing on the integration of sex and intimacy. By attending a meeting, you will already feel less alone in your pain. And if you hang around long enough, you can develop dependable relationships with those who have gone through similar suffering.
  7. When you’re in fantasy, you will often feel expansive but quite ungrounded. When you’re feeling better, the most powerful state you can experience is both expansive and grounded. Build awareness to know when you are feeling regulated or dysregulated. Savor your calm, peaceful and grounded internal state.
  8. Learn how to date in a calm, soothing way. If dating feels turbulent, it’s not the right time. If you’re using the dating apps, find an accountability person so you can check in regularly with the fantasies that inevitably show up.
  9. Meditation is one of the best anti-anxiety strategies available. Feel free to use a meditation or relaxation app or try some guided self-compassion meditations. This will help you build a tone-setter for each day as you learn to listen to the rhythm within.

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