This bold drawing in four parts tells the story. Seeking OUTSIDE oneself for validation, love and esteem is the set up for addiction. How do you know it’s addiction? Because it fuels or feeds SELF HATE. That is the root of all addiction; how we hate ourselves and teach others to hate us too.
In the case of this particular oil pastel drawing we see the addiction cycle acted out as relationship addiction complicated by body image stuff. Feeling alone, fat like Jabba the Hutt, depressed and unlovable this individual finds someone, anyone who will make her feel better – sexy, desirable and loveable. It feels so good to see that self reflected in the others eyes! But acting out sexually in an attempt to integrate that loveable feeling creates shame and self-loathing. It awakens the confusion around sex and love and leaves “A” feeling sexy, yes, but still unlovable and back in a dark place. Medicating those uncomfortable feelings with whatever – food, more sexual acting out, alcohol or drugs will bring the predictable result…back at square one.
Seeing this cycle so clearly, seeing the inevitable nature of what always happens is a great first step. Recognize that Addiction tells us to look outside ourselves for affirmation; Recovery requires going within to discover lovability and self worth. Recovery requires starving the Self Hate by not medicating. It requires reviewing and forgiving the past. It requires forgiving ourselves. It requires establishing a relationship with a Power that loves unconditionally. It requires an investment in building a life from the inside out. Because Recovery is an inside job.