The Addiction Cycle
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Love hunger most often begins in childhood. Anyone from a dysfunctional family is likely to enter adulthood with love hunger, but one can get on the addiction cycle later in life as well. A disastrous love affair, a severe disappointment, a trauma a work, a disfiguring disease -- any of these things can trigger the falling dominoes.

Low self-esteem is a symptom of having experienced a love-hungry childhood. Low self-esteem is felt as pain, and one searches for an anesthetic to dull the agony of the crashing dominoes.

In searching for a way to make the pain bearable, people turn to a narcotic agent that will anesthetize their pain, even for a short period of time. For some it's alcohol; for others, drugs or sex or rage or spending. For still others it's food.

Obsessive activity causes harm to yourself, to others, and/or to society as a whole. The obsessive person can try to deny them, ignore them, belittle them, justify them, or accuse others, but their heart still knows.

People caught in the addiction cycle are under the burden of false, self-imposed guilt and its darker aspect, shame. Parents can often start a child into a shame mode by repeatedly saying, "You should be ashamed of yourself." "You don't deserve that treat." "Shame on you." But the serious, even dangerous point is reached when the person tells himself, "I don't deserve to be happy." "I don't deserve to be sexual." "I don't deserve to be healthy." "I don't deserve financial security."

The obsessed person feels the false guilt, and the shame becomes unbearable. He must confess it and thereby dump it on someone else or carry it inside and dump it, with increasing weight, on himself. And here the self-hater will turn against himself and make self-destructive decisions. From the "I don't deserve to be happy" of the shame stage, the addict now passes to "I don't deserve to live."

The more shame addicts bear, the more they tell themselves, "I have no right to direct my anger at others", so they turn it back on themselves. This self-hatred carves out a hungry place in the addict's heart, enlarging the love hunger cavity and bumping its way around for another fall of the dominoes.

For a solution to this, see: rejection

edited: April 19, 2017