One of the great truths of the disease of addiction is the delusional thinking that accompanies it.
The handmaiden of delusion may well be illusion and for me I allowed one to convince me I was attaining the other. The delusional pursuit of an unattainable illusion in my relationships with others kept me lonely and unhappy. It created unrealistic expectations, fueled resentments, and denied the reality of human imperfection. Learning how to participate in an honest and “real” relationship with another person—working with others—is at the heart of my experience in recovery. In the past it was hard for me to be real or honest about myself or the other person.
The truth was evasive and when it did appear I often denied it.
When relationships become difficult, or my emotions painful, then I would disconnect from them through the fantasy world of my addiction. Unsurprisingly, until I become healthy I couldn’t successfully participate in a healthy relationship. I had to learn how to love and respect myself. Understanding and accepting my own flaws, learning how to “grow up” emotionally, allowed me to understand the imperfections of others and avoid the illusory vision of perfection in relationships. It opened the door for me to be able to participate realistically in relationships—which always includes a full range of experiences. I have learned that—within any relationship—to enjoy and sustain the “good” I must also be able to withstand the inevitable flaws, difficulties, doubts, fears and imperfections that are part of the journey.
(an excerpt from A Year of Days)