“LOVE HAS RUINED ME. I CAN NO LONGER LIVE WITHOUT IT.”
This powerful statement strikes a chord at the core of my being.
For all the years I suffered with Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, and Porn Addiction, my soul was starving for love, from others and from myself.
My family of origin didn’t know how to love themselves or others. They passed this hobbling spiritual deficiency on to me. I am sure they suffered, and they taught me this way of being that engenders much of the unnecessary suffering that is so abundant in our broken world.
Hatred and cruelty are common defenses many people employ to avoid being vulnerable. And they often become a means of bonding -against a common “enemy.” Sadly, hatred and cruelty are becoming more and more dominant in our culture.
Having a serious mental illness (SMI), my tendency used to be to vacillate between participating in the cultural ‘norms’ of tribalism and dog-eat-dog, and, when I was highly symptomatic, isolating and barely treading water as I fought to stay functional. Ironically, I became vulnerable to people who were acting the same way I had been when I was manic or active in my addiction.
But LOVE came along and “ruined” all of that. In the form of therapists, fellow sufferers, coping tools that enabled me to negotiate the world in a healthy way, prescribers of medication, social workers, and the AA spiritual way of living in which I have immersed myself over the past 8 years.
Slowly but surely, living in sanity, stability, and sobriety (one day at a time), LOVE via AA and the Red Letters, has become the general basis of my unintentional counter-cultural life.
I often fall short of living LOVE as a verb, but I can no longer live without giving it or receiving it.
Photo Credit: MyKa McKinney