Every human being comes into the world wanting to be loved. Without love, we are left with heartache, pain, grief, regret, shame and guilt. This is not how I wanted to live my life.
At 26, I set out on a journey to help others as a licensed psychotherapist. I set up shop in Seattle and attempted to do the best work I could possibly do. I wanted to help heal others of heartache, pain, grief, regret, shame and guilt. It was a challenge that I wanted to overcome. “How will I do this?” I often pondered. I hadn’t yet healed my own wounds.
Trying to be present for other people’s issues was the most challenging effort of my life. I was not only a therapist but a teacher. My clients looked to me for education, guidance, and reassurance that life wouldn’t always be so cruel. I couldn’t offer much reassurance, but I could offer one thing: I would be present as long as they showed up and did the work. And they did…
As my clients were showing up and my practice was starting to take off, I felt this nagging sensation buried deep inside. Something was missing. I still didn’t feel like I was loved. This was a deeply rooted feeling that I couldn’t shake. As I tried to fight it so I could stay present for my clients, I sunk into an abyss of shame.
The shame told me “I am not good enough”, “I don’t deserve to be loved”, “and I will be a failure in this business”. How was I supposed to manage now?!
I hit bottom and realized that I didn’t love myself. That was what I was missing. I had no earthly idea how to genuinely love myself. With the guidance of a therapist, I ventured into a space of self-discovery.
I came to understand that several of my negative thoughts and behaviors were caught up in an addictive cycle. I am codependent person and a sex and love addict. First, I placed my value dependent on what other people thought about me. I was raised in a less than nurturing and sometimes abusive household. I grew up believing that I was “worthless”, “only good for taking care of others”, and “never going to be loved”.
Secondly, I spent most of my life caught up in other people, places, and things that were distracting me from my goals of finding love and happiness. The shame that was deep-seated kept me believing that I would never, ever be loved, by anyone.
Lastly, sex became my most important need, because I learned that if I had sex I would be appreciated and accepted. These false beliefs almost cost me my life.
It was all bullshit. I had to learn that I am worthy of love. I found out I was lovable, loving, and loved by trusting in the power of 12-Step meetings. I found a community that accepted me for all my traits, including my flaws. I found a sponsor that guides me on a journey of self-discovery that is natural, loving, and healing.
Through my own work, I have been able to truly be present at my practice. I now help others find out who they are and determine who they want to be. No fairy tales here; just real life work by real people wanting to be loved.
I chronicled my life and journey to healing in my latest book, I Just Wanted Love: Recovery of a Codependent, Sex and Love Addict, available on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. For a limited time, I Just Wanted Love is available on a Kindle for a reduced price. Get it today http://bit.ly/ijustwantedlove
I never truly knew what “courage” meant while in addictive addiction. I thought I needed courage to try new, exciting, and exhilarating activities that were harmful, destructive, and disrespectful to myself and others. I thought I needed the courage to be better and to do more.
Courage was always something I thought I had. Being in addictive addiction and acting out in addictive ways was not courageous – it was self-will run riot. I was a total mess and because of denial, I couldn’t see it for myself.
I was so lost in the pursuit of love, safety, and belonging – I was chasing a false high and reality. Today, I still pursue love, safety/security, and belonging but in healthy ways.
Today, I have the courage to say “no” when someone attempts to cross a boundary. I have the courage to try new, healthier behaviors, like online dating without attaching having sex as an immediate outcome.
I also have the courage to stand up and state my truth to people in my new book, I Just Wanted Love: Recovery of a Codependent, Sex and Love Addict. I am amazed how many people have written about the powerfulness of my book. I recognize that by writing it and publishing it, I have been courageous. I am no longer scared of who I was, who I am, or who I will become. I know that I am perfectly imperfect and I am okay with that.
I know now that I am a courageous person. I have the courage to be D.J. one-hundred percent of the time.
I am forever grateful to all of you for being a significant support.
This entire website is about me. I think you know just about everything you could ever possibly want to know. If not, here goes: