I recently had to sever a cord that tied me energetically to a guy I met years ago in AA when I first moved to Toledo in 2014. After many years of living in somewhat of a codependent and addiction-based friendship with this person, I recently came to an acceptance of how unhealthy it was for me to keep it going anymore and finally ended it.
Honestly, I should have done so years ago, yet I didn’t, all because of two reasons. One, was the fact that I really cared about him and understood much of the reasons why he acted the way he did towards me and others, and two, which wasn’t a very good reason at all, was the fact I found him attractive.
The biggest thing that I used to suffer from when my sex and love addiction was fully active in my life was developing friendships with those I found attractive, but who also had a lot of baggage in their lives that usually included confusion around their sexuality. The more I spent time around those type of individuals, the more I frequently found myself developing a love addiction to them, imagining myself being the savior to all their woes in their lives. Doing so, always kept the focus off of my own life’s baggage, and also made me feel really good anytime those people would tell me I was the only one who truly understood them.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see those sex and love addiction behaviors early on when I initially befriended this individual. In fact, we really had some great times together hanging out back then, going to meetings and grabbing a number of meals together, some even at my own house where my partner and I entertained him there.
Eventually, at one point, I was even asked to be this person’s sponsor, which was the period where I truly got to know this guy on a level I’m not sure anyone else has. I got to see his inner workings and the reason why he has struggled so much making friends. Sadly, getting this close to him also ended up making me a recipient for abuse, just like it often did in many of my prior connections. It was only after that brief stint of sponsorship did I begin to see unhealthy patterns emerging in my relationship with him.
Patterns such as being friended and unfriended by him numerous times on Facebook, being told how much I was a great friend one week and a terrible friend the next week, hearing how much I was a positive inspiration in their life, only to be told in a short period later how much I was toxic for them, again and again, always feeling as if I was being pulled in and then pushed out. Yet, I kept enduring it, constantly remaining unconditionally loving and accepting, thinking that’s what Christ would do. Knowing much of this guy’s deepest, darkest secrets, and pains and despairs of life, made me believe that I was meant to remain there in support of him.
Regrettably, I wished I had practiced what Al-Anon had taught me long ago though, which was to detach with love with people like this. Unfortunately, it took me going through a ton of pain to get there, both from keeping this friendship going, as well as from my health issues that had nothing to do with him.
Thankfully, my connection to this guy never once led me into a full-blown relapse with my sex and love addiction, but it did test my sobriety on a number of occasions and taught me a valuable lesson as well about some of the more subtler ways that my sex and love addiction often attempts to get a grip on me.
Nevertheless, while people who have suffered from codependency and sex and love addiction can befriend people in recovery they find attractive, it is very important to look out for any warning signs that may arise. Looking back, I see a lot of them now and have a far greater understanding of myself, which I know will help me in the future.
I learned a lot from this connection over the years, yet I feel so much freer without it now. I don’t wish to be on the receiving end anymore of someone else’s mental and emotional imbalances, nor do I wish to be someone else’s punching bag either. I deserve far better. I’m just glad I was finally able to sever a cord that still kept me tied to my old codependent and sex and love addicted life…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson