Episode 121: One of My Favorite Books

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you survived the New Year, especially New Year’s Eve. It’s very difficult when you love somebody that drinks too much or suffers from substance abuse. Those kinds of “holidays” or “celebrations” can actually turn into nightmares for women like us, but you’re here, and you got through it like I knew you would.

A lot of women in our secret Facebook group community ask me all the time for book recommendations, and I want to tell you about one of my favorites.

First of all, I think it’s important for me to give you the disclaimer that I am addicted to books. I’m not even joking. I consider myself a pretty generous person, but I am super stingy when it comes to books. Don’t ask me to borrow. I’m not going to lend you my books, because I write in the margins. I highlight. I take notes. My books look like they’ve gone through a war when I’m done with them. I will buy you the book, but I’m not gonna lend you mine 🙂

One of my new favorite books is called “A Return to Love” written by Marianne Williamson. I have to tell you guys, even if you’re not a big reader, this book is doable.

One of the most profound things Marianne writes is, “Relationships are assignments.”

I truly believe my relationship with my ex-husband was absolutely an assignment. It was painful, sacrificial, it could’ve killed me and it could have destroyed me.

But, instead, my relationship with an addict helped raise me. It helped grow me into the woman that I am today, that I always needed to become.

I consider myself extremely blessed, lucky and fortunate that I was once married to this great guy who still struggles with addiction because I was able to learn lessons I was called to learn.

I believe that what some people would call “codependent traits,” those people-pleasing, caretaking characteristics were like a magnet and attracted me to a man who needed to be taken care of, and who really wanted me to work hard to please him.

Those traits make me an incredibly intuitive, loving and thoughtful mother. They make me an empathetic friend. They make me a thoughtful business leader.

And my relationship with an addict helped me learn when to use those loving traits with others and when to hold back.

When I was younger, and I had very little self-esteem, I would use those “codependent traits” with anybody and ironically never with myself.

I remember walking my dogs down the street in Boston and looking for acceptance from random people that I would never see again. I would look them in the eye as they passed by and think, “Are they okay sharing the sidewalk with my two big dogs? What do they think of my outfit? Am I smiling hard enough for them to think that I’m friendly and kind? Do they see that I have poo bags in my hand and that I’m a responsible citizen of the city?”

These are the thoughts that I would catch myself thinking. How exhausting is that?

But now? After navigating through this addictive relationship and coming out the other side a stronger, happier and more healthy woman, I can walk down the street, and it doesn’t even occur to me to think about other people’s opinions. It doesn’t even cross my mind.

That’s how I know that I’ve come a long way and I know that my pain and suffering were absolutely purposeful and were the greatest teachers of my life.

That’s how I know that this relationship you’re in is full of lessons and wonderful, amazing blessings that you need to soak up like a sponge and remember to be grateful for.

Don’t lose those “codependency” traits. Don’t think that your ability or your heart’s desire to please someone is a bad thing. That’s a wonderful thing. You just need to make sure you’re trying to please the right people. You’re in the process of a resurrection, a rebirth. And I promise you that one day, you are going to look back on this time in your life and you’re going to be so grateful.

You are going to be so happy that you survived this period in your life and it helped refine you into a healthy, happy woman.

As a surprise, I want to give you a copy of this book. I’m going to be sending one listener a copy of “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson in the mail. All you have to do is leave a review for this podcast. Then send us a screenshot of your review by email at Info@LoveOverAddiction.com. If we select your review, you’ll be receiving a free book. That’s just my way of saying ‘thank you’ for helping us meet our goal of a thousand reviews. It’s also my way of just saying thank you for listening. I’m so grateful. I love you, and I will talk to you next week.

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