Archive for the 'Addiction' Category

Confession Mondays: my coffee addiction

November 8, 2010

So, I made my re-entry back into the world of coffee without much of a glitch, save a bit of shame for being such a hypocrite, telling the world I would never drink “the crap” again. I had originally quit because of headaches and a near-complete dependence on the stuff, a la a pure substance abuse. I couldn’t wake up without it. I couldn’t get through my day without a second hit. And I couldn’t feel a part of American culture if, like everyone else, I didn’t have a tall soy latte in my hand while coursing my way through an intersection.

I had made it an entire month without it, and felt pretty good, despite some migraines the first week, for which I needed to see a doctor.  I substituted with green Kombucha tea, Yerba Mate and red rooibos–all of which did weird things to me. But, soon enough, I felt cleansed, unpolluted, alert, and mostly, free from the ritual of having to hunt down a Starbuck’s every where I went so as to recharge and make me feel part of humanity again. But my digestive tract had become so dependent on the caffeine (from roughly 300 mgs per day down to about 25 mgs or less) that for the entire month, horribly unmentionable things were happening to me. OK, I’ll mention them: burping, belching, farting, constipation, IBS and so on. Not only that, but, without caffeine, I craved bad foods. Usually my diet is very healthy: slow-cooked oats for breakfast, salad for lunch, chicken, veggies and a starch for dinner. Every once in a while  I’d have a sweet. But when I stopped drinking coffee, it was as if I had this Get Out of Jail Free card for eating burgers, fries, potato chips (something I NEVER eat), crackers, and other junk. It’s as if there was this yin and yang within me…pulling at me to do something bad to counteract all the good I was accomplishing. There’s only so much a green tea and Andrew Weil a girl can take, you know. I was too cleansed, too pure, too unpolluted. Not to mention all my friends were on my case, insisting that I needed a vice. “Live a little,” they said. As if drinking coffee, and vices in general are the mark of a satisfying life.

In a way, they were right. Coffee keeps me balanced. And  I don’t mean my digestive tract. Coffee keeps the bad girl in me alive. It keeps me a little sullied, a little uninhibited, a little wild.

My sis-in-law was over last night and we were discussing the documentary “Babies.” She was saying that too much care can cause an individual to weaken. Too much hand sanitizer, for example, can keep us over-protected from being able to build up an immunity to viruses and bacteria. In that sense, I’d like to think that my coffee addiction keeps me dirty enough that I can actually exist among society.

But the truth is, I’ve decided to try quitting again, after the holidays, when I can spend a month or two alone, isolated and insulated from the rest of the world. Detoxing is a slow, meticulous process, which needs time and patience. And the fact of the matter is, I feel better without it, physically and mentally. And though I’m sure to substitute my bad girl coffee habit with something equally bad (shoplifting? sex addiction? loitering in front of the “No Loitering” signs around town?), at least I will no longer be a slave to the ritual or dependent upon a substance that has a little too much control over my life.

But for now, the coffee maker is brewing my usual french roast and my Starbuck’s card is fully loaded and ready to be swiped.

Help me figure out what to write next!

August 4, 2010

Where do I begin? I am lost. I have about 17 unfinished projects on my desktop and no inclination as to where to begin or what to tackle next. This is what I’ve got….

  • A story about a husband who loses his job due to the recession and so he takes another  job as a singing banana telegram. But things go awry and he refuses to take off his costume to the point where it starts to jeopardize his marriage. (fiction)
  • A story about a woman who goes nuts trying to have a baby (this is in editing stage) Fertility (fiction)
  • Boob Girl (personal essay): about breasts and identity
  • Boob Job (personal essay): breasts and how they have shaped a life
  • Joe Boxer (personal essay): this may be finished, may not…about a pair of stray underwear I found in the laundry one day
  • Bits and Pieces of a Marriage (fiction): a collection of one page flash fiction pieces that create a larger work about the end of a marriage but the beginning of a woman
  • Oacoma (fiction): about a woman and her son
  • Greenland (fiction/personal essay/creative non-fiction): travels, tales of bartending on the ice cap
  • B, the story of a 17-year-old who loses her virginity (fiction)
  • Twelve (a story of the meaning of the number 12)
  • Where Refrigerators go to die: about a Brazilian cleaning lady obsessed with labels.
  • How Ed did it: personal essay about growing up with a con man as a father
  • Mary Jane: a story about my father’s love slave
  • Money: personal essay about growing up with a con man as a father
  • The Love Addict (fiction) (could be combined with “B” (see above)
  • Untitled 1 (A road trip about a retired couple who decide to separate or stay together) (fiction)

And on and on….none of these are even remotely finished. HELP! WHat sounds remotely interesting. I need someone to tell me what to do!

This post is “lovely”

June 23, 2010


Someone said it at lunch. A student. I can’t remember now who. It was a warning to vulnerable, over-sensitive student-writers with flimsy self-esteem: “You gotta toughen up for these workshops.”

Twenty years ago when I took my first writing class at a college in North Jersey run by Dominican nuns, I would have agreed. Sister Bridget was a fairly kind-hearted woman but she’d rip you to shreds in front of your peers if you failed to put together a story with some semblance of meaning. But times have changed and now, successful writers with huge credits to their names (New York Times book review, New York Times Op Ed section, Granta, Harper’s, three published books, etc.) forewarn their workshop groups to be “compassionate,” “sensitive,” and to “discuss the piece’s finer points.”

We don’t want to offend anyone, now. Do we?

Here’s my gripe: The pros, who are all having nightmarish flashbacks of their MFA workshop experiences are applying these nicey nice terms (Great, Lovely, Has Potential) to everyone’s work. It’s not just my stuff that’s “great.” It’s John’s, and Jane’s and Larry’s and even Juanita’s who’s never taken a writing class in her life. We’re all “great,” and “lovely.” And there’s no distinction among us. And while this is great and lovely for our self-esteem (God forbid anyone’s sensitivities are offended) it doesn’t do squat to help us learn, grow or trust the validity of our professors’ opinions.

Granted, I’ve only been to three workshops so far this summer, but inevitably, they all begin with the same recurrent address: “First off, let me say that overall, this was a lovely piece of writing…I really enjoyed the bit about the blah, blah, blah, and I love the way you intuited blah, blah, blah…Also, I think you have a lot to work with here as far as blah, blah, blah goes.” If we’re lucky, the lecturer says this: “I have one criticism…”

Inevitably, when I’ve been workshopped previously, that “one little criticism,” no matter how clearly it comes across (which, usually it doesn’t because no one wants to offend me), no matter if I take notes and write it down in my binder and later, circle it and put arrows around it to mark its existence, goes in one ear and out the other. It evaporates. I’ll tell you why. Because I don’t want to be a writer that has to go back and edit her work. I want to be a writer who delivers a work of art on the first draft. I want to be the diamond in the rough. I want to be a star. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but I think others are like this too. Heck, who doesn’t want to be told that what they’ve created is a flawless shiny ball of fuzzy perfection?

But the trouble is, none of us are perfect and only maybe one or two of us (yes, that’s it) have submitted a publishable piece that has real potential at the moment it is being workshopped. And we as students know this. We have to read all the manuscripts as well and comparatively speaking, we all know what’s crap and what isn’t. So two things occur: cognitive dissonance—we recognize something as being black, but then we are told it’s white, and an internal prompt to follow the herd and be nice too. No one wants to offend anyone else. No one wants to step up to the plate and go against that social construct known as correctness (political correctness, social correctness, etc.). And why should we? We’re taught, so as to bolster our self-esteem of course, that Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury was rejected 20 times before someone published it, or that no one wanted to publish Bukowski for years. Not only that but the very nature of art and creative writing is subjective. Who’s really to say what’s crap and what’s not? And who am I to be so presumptuous?

And yet, this is our business. This is our life’s work. There is standard in the industry that, as students, we need to know if we are to attempt to reach it. My guess is that Obama will not “gently suggest” to McChrystal that he should resign. My guess is that Ben Bernanke got where he is by virtue of a lot of hard knocks and struggles, not by a gently cresting sea that propelled him forward with “First off, let me say that overall, you’re a lovely person…”

Bullshit.

In yesterday’s workshop I felt Big Brother was watching, controlling what we said and how we said it. And we were not given enough credit for trying to be humane on our own. We were forced into using words like “lovely,” “great” and “nice,” even if we didn’t mean it. Everyone was on guard. Even men like ______ held back their idiomatic language and bold criticism that for an entire year, inspired me to work harder and strive for better.

I am not suggesting that we denigrate or disparage individuals. There’s no place for “you suck.” But work is another matter. Work cannot be taken personally, despite the fact that it is the product of the individual. Work is in the public realm and when you put it there, it is up for criticism.

There was this kid yesterday whose piece was about to be discussed, until we were reminded to be nice. He spoke up and said, “I can take it,” but by then it was too late. Instead of a more accurate discussion of his work, he got the “this is lovely” version. And to add insult to injury, everyone talked it to death out of nervous energy. Truth is, it wasn’t bad. If he held his focus, if he removed the immaturities and judgments in his voice, if he tightened up a few parts and expanded on others, it would have read better. Would he believe me amid the phoniness that ensued? Could he trust anyone brave enough to tell him the truth? I don’t know. I hope so. Because that’s what will make him a stronger writer. And if he’s able to identify with and trust the judgment of people whom he admires, he just might be led in the right direction.

Teachers have an ethical responsibility to students not only to foster an environment conducive to learning, but to tell the truth. We need to know when our work works and when it doesn’t. The problem is, no one wants to suppose that there is one truth or that they have the right to judge. And maybe there isn’t one truth, and maybe they don’t have the right to judge. But someone needs to step up to the plate an offer up what’s known as an OPINION. Because there is a standard of good writing, and opinions count, and if a teacher is not willing to cultivate someone’s work, a student has to be willing to seek out the truth, even if it hurts. As for me, I’m looking for the truth in magazines. One thing I can be sure of is that the publishing industry isn’t afraid to tell me if my work sucks or if it truly is lovely.

Confession Mondays: it’s Tuesday

May 25, 2010

I confess. I haven’t been all that faithful to Confession Mondays. Truth is, I am living a rather somber, uneventful life and have little, if nothing to confess. Not even a tempest in a teapot. And speaking of tea, perhaps the most lurid detail I can share is that Starbuck’s frappuccinos make me crazy. Especially the java chip. This is due in part to what DL (a friend of mine on FB) attributes to the fact that I’ve never done hard drugs. My system is delicate, granted. But it may also be due to the fact that  Starbuck’s may be adding extra shots of caffeine, mocha and sugar to these drinks that throw me overboard. Whatever the case, I am an addict.

Notes from my conscience

April 28, 2010

There’s humor in here somewhere.



1. Do not eat meat. It rots in your gut. It is seething with bacteria, growth hormones and feces. And if you can help it, don’t eat any animal products.

2. Stay away from white flour. It has no nutritional value whatsoever. It’s the devil.

3. Sugar will rot your teeth. Avoid sugar. More importantly, avoid sugar substitutes. They cause cancer.

4. Processed foods cause cancer also. They will kill you. Processed foods are a good example of man’s inhumanity to man.

5. You can eat fruits and vegetables, but only organic and only locally grown. Stay away from corporate organic growers in Ecuador and Costa Rica. The travel time and energy it takes to ship these organics foods to your local market depletes the ozone layer.

6. Soy is a scam. Avoid soy.

7. Fish isn’t safe anymore. There’s mercury and PCBs in the water. Don’t eat fish. Take omega-3 vitamin supplements instead, but with a few rules: don’t buy just any over-the-counter fish oil. Check the amount of EPA and DHA of each capsule and what fish they use when extracting the omega-3s. And by all means, make sure you get a pure brand that uses molecular distillation.

8. Stay away from plastic containers. They’re toxic and made with polyethylene terephthalate. Polyethylene terephthalate when ingested is like eating arsenic. Drink tap water instead, but only if your water has been tested for bacteria.

9. Keep away from coffee, sodas, caffeinated products, chocolate, alcohol, drugs and sugary sports drinks. They destroy your hormones and upset the delicate Ph balance of your system.

10. Only wear clothing that is 100% domestic, organic clothing. Do not buy from Anthropologie, Gap, Old Navy, Abercrombie, Free People, Lucky or any other big name brand for that matter because they disregard child labor laws and operate in foreign countries, bastardizing the local culture and community.

11. Do not buy Pitbulls as pets. They are bred for destruction.

12. Corn and other fruits and veggies are genetically modified. Did I say fruits and veggies were safe? They’re not.

13. As for religion, disregard all organized religions, especially Christianity, Judiasm and Islam. Religions are notorious for misleading the general public into the false belief that man rules the world. Religion moves us away from adapting to the environment to forcing the environment to adapt to us. Bad news. Stay away from religion. Buddhism is not a religion. It’s a philosophy, so it’s safe to think about. But don’t organize a group around it. Like in Tibet where Buddhism has become a “depraved Shamanistic religion where Lamas tell fortunes for alms, by the haunches of mutton, or dice; they beg and cheat; to mystify the ignorant, they mutter squeaky conjurations or play with human bones.”

14. Do not watch television or stare at a computer screen for longer than 20 minutes a day. The radiation will burn your eyes out.

15. Masturbation is OK. We now know it doesn’t blind you or cause calluses. Although some blind people do masturbate.

16. Transportation is destroying the environment with CO2 emissions. If you must get from point A to point B use a bicycle, horse, skateboard, surfboard, pogo stick, sail boat or simply walk. Hummers, thank God, are no longer being sold. But electric cars are bad for the environment too. Dead batteries end up in landfills.

17. Use fluorescent bulbs only.

18. Collect rainwater in a cistern or a bucket to lower your water bill. Don’t drink it. It’s contaminated with mold, bacteria, algae, protozoa and small particles of dust not to mention lead, arsenic and pesticides.

19. Keep your shower to a three-minute maximum. There will be no drinking water in 90 years.

20. Do not wear perfume. It’s poison and it causes bees to lose their sense of direction.

21. Avoid make-up. It causes skin cancer.

22. Do not go into the jungle without a face mask. Humans are spreading diseases to the gorilla populations in Africa.

23. Do not pay federal taxes. 54% of your tax dollars go to military spending. War causes global warming. Then again, it causes death, which controls the population. Note to self: rethink not paying taxes.

24. Avoid soaps and shampoos with Sodium Laurel Sulfates.

25. Don’t use cleaning products or bleach or harsh, powdered laundry detergents. Don’t flush these chemicals down the toilet and or dispose of them in the trash.

26. Don’t accumulate trash. The more trash you accumulate the more trash ends up in a landfill.

27. Do not have children. The planet is overpopulated. Children are responsible for generating 1,600 pounds of garbage a year. Children eventually turn into adults and end up generating 128,000 pounds of garbage in a lifetime.

28. Do not buy paper products or use them.

29. Recycle.

30. Do not shop at Wal-Mart, it rapes local economies the minute it sets up shop in town, keeps its employees at the poverty line so as to maintain its profit and “costs federal taxpayers $420,000 a year” by not paying its employees enough to get off public assistance.

31. Do not buy a house with more square-footage than you need. It’s a waste of resources.

32. Don’t travel or buy travel literature. It causes global warming.

33. Don’t smoke.

34. Do not marry. Marriage causes children. Homosexuality is safer for the environment as it doesn’t result in children. So, become gay, but stick with one partner. Many partners with unprotected sex causes AIDS and condoms are environmentally unfriendly. Remaining single and masturbating is safest.

35. Don’t spend money. Money generates more productivity. Productivity generates energy, products and ultimately waste. Don’t buy anything ever again. Re-using is safe. Except maybe disposable diapers. In that case, use only cloth diapers and wash ’em.

36. Above all else, avoid McDonald’s. McDonald’s soaks their fries in trans fat, uses lethal poisons to destroy vast areas of Central American rainforests and takes away farmland from poor, third-world countries to fatten up Americans. One meal from McDonald’s is contaminated with urine, feces, blood and vomit and linked to breast cancer, bowel cancer and heart disease. Stay away from McDonald’s.

Worry

January 14, 2010


How many times have I been through this? I book my flight, I pack my bags, I clean my house, I tie up loose ends, I pop a diazapam and I hop on a plane heading somewhere. No big deal, right?

Wrong.

The more I fly the more I seem addled with worry and anxiety. It’s like I’m a victim of the law of averages; the more I fly, the more I’ve increased the probability that I will, in fact, die by means of death by plane crash. And I can’t seem to get over this faulty thinking. Nor can I even play it cool in front of others when it comes to exposing my emotions. What is it about me that simply cannot enjoy travel, movement, adventure without it having some element of doom?

Oh, right, of course. Remnants of a childhood of chaos and instability.

But, come on.  I need to get over this. I need to just be done with my fear of death once and for all. So what if the plane crashes. So what if we all die. It was bound to happen anyway, right? I’m more apt to die in a car crash, right? Not as far as my brain is concerned.

A little over a year ago, when I was single and feeling abruptly alive I took a flight to Nassau to spend the day with my brother so as to do some work on our house. And while there was anxiety building up to the trip, there was an eerie sense of calm once I hopped on the plane alone- no hand to hold. I was fearless. Remember that one? If not, it’s here. And re-reading it almost leads me to believe that it’s D’s fault. When there’s no one in my life, I’m FINE. I don’t fear flying. But when I am dating, I am overblown with gut-wrenching fear.

OK….I don’t really believe it’s D’s fault. It’s my own. And just as some people have to get over their fear of waking up every morning, or applying for a job, or being a good mother, I have to get over my fear of flying.

But you see, it’s this script that plays and has played for many years, and it reads like this:

Beautiful, upper-middle class woman with two children, had it all, finally got her life together, the envy of friends and acquaintances (OK, I’m flattering myself) suddenly, by some stroke of predestined irony, a la every depressing French film you’ve ever seen, died today during a routine flight with her boyfriend and their kids to a cutesy little condo in Naples, Florida. What was meant to be a fun little family vacation, turned into a nightmare. Services will be held at blah, blah, blah to mourn her death and celebrate her life– cut so tragically short.

This is the script I must abandon. Otherwise, I forfeit my happiness and the happiness of others.

So…is there a moral to this story? Will she end it on a good note? How about this– The nurse practitioner just called and approved two diazapams for me. Two. So I firmly responded by saying, “That’ll get me to the airport. I actually need to get on the plane.”

XO

Confession Mondays: Sex obsessed

August 3, 2009

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with sex. Based on my last post it seems I shift from one extreme to the other. It’s got to be the beach and the fact that I see D all day long but can’t touch him (too many kids around, too many adults around, etc.). What an unappeasable temptation. Not to mention the fact that I’m probably on the hormonally insatiable side this week (was that a paralypsis?)

Coffee, wine & sex

July 23, 2009

I told D he was not allowed over for at least two days. I really need to recuperate. I have once again started up with my coffee binge (that’s two espressos a day instead of my usual one). That’s not good in itself as it leads to dizziness. But then when I go and add alcohol and sex to the mix (and lack of sleep) it becomes lethal. It’s only a matter of time before I run myself into the ground. I actually left Kelly’s class twice this morning because of dizziness. I thought I was going to pass out or die.

She talked about “balance” in class today, about the importance of balance and how your mind, not just your physical body, needs to work extremely hard to achieve physical balance. When I start eating junk and drinking excessive amounts of coffee, I am truly upsetting the balance. Mind, body, spirit; all of them are affected. I need to pull back, rest, and reset my mind to focus on balance.

I’m currently reading: “Buddhism for the West.” It’s a rather old book and smells horribly old too. But it’s good. It talks about clasping your hands together to pray or bow. How that symbolizes the “coexistence of two inseparable worlds…two aspects of one Cosmic life.” I liked that. It leads me to believe that the strife, imbalance and addiction, at times, inside me, belongs there, but can be quelled and coexist with the more peaceful side of who I am.

Dream of the week: bees and recovering alcoholics

July 3, 2009

Alex2_Wicker_Man-500

I slept like crap last night and nearly had a panic attack. When I finally did go somewhat under, I dreamed that I was being attacked by bees. They were covering my entire body and head as if I were a beekeeper, and the only way to get rid of them was to dive into a pool. D and I were covered together and constantly trying to hide from these bees.

I woke up, took aspirin for a bad headache, and fell back to sleep. In the morning I dreamed that I was in a huge parking garage in New York City which had many exits leading to the street, but some you had to walk through malls or bars to get out. I was with a bunch of business men and decided we we’d go through a bar before heading home and once inside, Alcoholics Anonymous was having some kind of convention. Everyone was drinking juice except this one guy. He looked much like BJ and he was drinking beer in a shots glass. Everyone was trying to convince him to quit drinking and he kept laughing at them saying, “you think your ways are right, but I’m the one that’s happy…”

More on Pernille

February 10, 2009

I honestly thought I would not hear from  Pernille Rose Grønkjær again, after several months of no contact, but I received a wonderful e-mail from her this morning regarding the film. Quite surprisingly, she had sent me both the trailer and the pilot, which included her interview with me and George as well as interviews with other therapists and professionals like Pia Mellody, author or Facing Love Addiction and The Intimacy Factor. 

This is not the actual documentary. I still don’t know if I will be included in the documentary. What this is, rather, is a teaser for submission to the Danish Film Institute so as to get them interested in funding the film.

As much as I would love to share her work here and post the trailer, I will not.  I do feel as though I was somewhat misrepresented. I do not fault Pernille for this. I think she has an idea for her film in her mind and she is pulling only those lines of mine essential for her vision– she is not, however, creating a clear picture of “me.” 

I have to say that when I watched the trailer (not so much the pilot) I felt a little sad for myself. It portrays me in a much darker, more desperate light than I view myself. It’s surreal to see how others interpret mine and George’s behavior. It makes me seem dangerous and “pathological,” whereas that was not the case at all in my real relationship to George. Yes, I clocked a few more hours of obsessing over him than I’d like to admit, but my way of managing his rejection was to leave him, to run away. Not to chase after him or call him incessantly (actually, he would do that to me). The professionals, however, that pop up in between segments of George and I, describe love addiction as this desperate, “pathological” behavior where love is a fantasy only in the mind of the love addict, not shared. They relate behavior as stalking, chasing and so on as characteristic of the “disease.” Though that is true in many cases, it is absolutely false in my case. George and I loved each other mutually. He wasn’t going any where. And if he did, he was free to. Many times I was quite happy to be rid of him, actually. But, he never ran away or broke up with me. He was, however, unavailable in certain ways (not emotionally, ironically, but physically). The way this stuff manifested itself in me was that I knew he was not a good choice for me, but I stayed anyway. Or rather, I kept going back. And the only reason I went back, was because he made it so easy for me and wanted me back. I guess we were both quite lazy. But as for stalking or Fatal Attraction kinda stuff. I find that to be very ugly and scary and do not want to be viewed in such a light. 

I think part of the disconnect is that the therapists, though they touched deeply and exactly on certain issues, (that love addiction is very much about fantasy, not about love) they hyperbolized other characteristics of this issue (the stalking, the pathology, the danger etc.). There are of course those extreme variety of love addicts that will commit these more anti-social behaviors, but I would have to say that most love addicts are simply burdened by obsessive thinking and worry (this is the case with me). They have low self-esteem and allow men to treat them badly, but they are rather passive in their behavior and do not have that desperation to chase or hunt down. I think the key word here is “passive,” and I would even go as far as to say “submissive”. Most people who can be written into this kind of diagnosis are passive and/or submissive, and simply make bad choices based on insecurity and low self-esteem.  At least that was my case.  George’s love of me was quite controlling. If he said jump, I said “how high?” He stripped me of my identity on the one hand, on the other, he brought out beautiful things in me and helped me through a lot- as I did for him. But I do not know many women who are overly aggressive or actually attack men and go after them.

As per the documentary, I believe Pernille wants to focus on these latter, extreme cases. And well she should. Drama sells. She wants to make a film that people not only respect, but fear. She wants to shock. But what troubles me deeply is that I do not relate to this kind of behavior, nor do I want to be perceived in that way. There are MANY different varieties of behavior. Not all women (and men for that matter) behave the same way. And so too, there are different stages of development as well. I’d like to think that I am a little more advanced than some of these cases where the police are called in. Ew. Ugly. Gosh, I’m even thinking of that scene in “He’s Just Not That Into You” where Gigi misreads Alex’s signals and thinks he wants her. She hops in his lap at the very end of his party when no one is around and practically rapes the poor guy. He responds by pushing her off and saying something like, “whoa babe, you got the wrong idea.” I can thankfully say I have NEVER made that same mistake, or anything remotely like it.

I mean truth be told, the whole George-thing may have merely been some sort of “post-traumatic-stress” reaction to the dissolution of my marriage. My marriage was abusive. it was dramatic. It was filled with rage and pain and suffering. Coming from both parties. George was mellow, peaceful, hard working. We never fought. I was disgruntled, but willing to put up with no sex for the sake of that kind of peace. 

I think as far as a “main message” is concerned, Pernille focuses too much on love addiction as it relates to the relationship between the couple and how one or the other acts out. This is not accurate. Love addiction is really about avoidance of the Self, not, as you might think, obsession with some guy. Like the “avoidant” who avoids dealing with his partner in a relationship, the love addict, avoids dealing with his or herself via the focus of someone else. We so often tend to see these two (the love addict and avoidant) at opposite extremes of the spectrum and yet, they are two different sides of the same coin. In order to understand “love addiction” we must understand that it is merely a mode to avoiding the pain of the Self. Just as alcohol is not the underlying cause of alcohol addiction (it’s only the vehicle or the symptom), the same can be said for the person a love addict is addicted to. The person, the relationship is not the problem. the Self experiencing the relationship is. 

I will have to say that my “work” with Pernille has been extremely eye-opening and enlightening. She is a brave, artistic and inspiring woman, and I am fortunate enough to have gotten to know her. I plan on helping her further with the film (as she has asked)  and I am so glad I am at a place in my life where I can help.

We all suffer at times. We all struggle,  feel pain or insecurity in different areas of our lives. To overcome those difficulties is to climb mountain. I still cannot say I have perfected myself in the area of love and relationships. But I do feel quite proud of how far I have come, how high I have climbed. And how peaceful knowing that I can help others along the way. I believe that Pernille and I share that basic hope. That through the telling of my story, and through the creation of her documentary, together we can help many woman better understand not so much their relationships, but rather, themselves.