Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

badWhenever we get into a new romantic relationship, it’s natural for us to be infatuated and want to spend a lot of time with them. For those of us that are codependents or love addicts, we can become dangerously obsessed. The problem is that we don’t have anything to compare ourselves to, so we can’t see that it’s normal. That’s why we need to be able to recognize red flags. When we pay attention to the warnings, we can make sure that we don’t put ourselves into situations or relationships that are unsafe.

What are the red flags we have to look for then? Have any of your friends told you that you disappear whenever you have a partner? Do you become flaky and start missing out on things you normally wouldn’t have? Sometimes we become so obsessed that we forget about the other relationships in our lives. Relationships need to be nurtured to thrive, and a lot of times we can lose touch with close friends in the throes of a new relationship. You can look back to recent events, and ask if there are any important ones you’ve missed. What were you doing instead? Oftentimes we are afraid to upset the balance, so we will just go along with what our partner wants. If we look back and see we’ve missed important gatherings, it is probably a sign to take a step back and evaluate the amount of time you’re putting into relationships. Another red flag to look for has to do with how your time is being spent. Do you find yourself waiting around for your new partner? Are you choosing to spend time hoping they will call, rather than being out and doing fun things? This is a major red flag. The only person that we should be putting any part of our life on hold for is ourselves. Waiting around on the off chance that the other person will want to connect with you gives them the power. You allow them to dictate the terms of your relationship, and it turns you into a martyr because you feel

As though you’ve put so much aside for this person. We owe it to ourselves to live our lives, and not spend them waiting around for another person to show up. The person we are meant to be with will be able to join you on your journey, not stop you in your tracks.

These are some of the red flags to look out for when getting into a new relationship. It even can help to ask ourselves these questions in a relationship that’s not so new; taking inventory of things is never a bad idea.

The only way to overcome these red flags is to start noticing them. Pay attention to your body. I find that we often feel things in our gut or intuition that our brains don’t process, and tapping into those feelings can help us become aware of things we’d like to work on.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/

luv adLove addiction can mean so many different things to people. There is no set diagnosis for it, and no list of things you *must* have or do to have it.  For those of us that know we are love addicts, think back to how hard it was to find out, and then come to terms with.  We can’t truly recover if we deny our problem.  Love addiction is just like everything else: it can’t to me. Oh, how wrong we are.  The only way we can step out of our denial is to recognize, acknowledge, and accept that we are love addicts. Here are some things love addicts do (there are MANY more):

Obsessing: I think this is sort of a hallmark of love addiction. We constantly think about the other person, and never pay full attention to ourselves.

Fantasizing: This can go with obsession a lot of times. What happens with fantasizing is it can set us up for pain. We think about the world that we have this lover, how they ask us out, where we go, etc., and we become upset when their response doesn’t align with our fantasy.

Ignore red flags: the beginning of a relationship is always the most fun. There is so much to learn about and do with this exciting new person. Sometimes, we let irritations or warning signs slip by us because we assume that if we are together, nothing else really matters and it will get fixed. Always heed warning signs!

Taking their word:  Nice words mean a lot to us, because we generally weren’t treated nicely in past relationships.  We want to love this person so badly that we forgive their actions if they can talk their way out of it.  Make sure they can walk their talk!

Being devastated by the end of the relationship: Obviously mourning a breakup is normal and something that everyone goes through. As love addicts, a breakup can upend our entire worlds. It throws us into a depression so deep that we feel unworthy and at our lowest when we feel that the person we love doesn’t return our affections.

These are just some of the ways that Love addiction can manifest in people. There are so many other ways, and the more you delve into it, the more layers you will ultimately find in yourself.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/

Colours_of_Happiness_3Most people are aware of what is known as the placebo effect. This is a phenomenon that occurs when someone is told that a pill or a medication they are taking is a cure for a health condition even though it is just a simple sugar pill with no medicinal qualities. People that believe they are taking a “cure” actually have mild to extremely positive results from taking the placebo, leading to a partial to complete cure of the condition without any real medical intervention.

The placebo effect is, in reality, the medical proof that the Law of Attraction really works. The Law of Attraction simply says that what you focus in on in your life is what you will receive. In the medical case the patients taking the placebo focused in on becoming healthy and overcoming a medical condition, which is exactly what happened. Some people believed so strongly in the effectiveness of the placebo that they were completely cured. Some people were not “cured” but they no longer focused in on the negativity in their life and their ongoing health issues, instead they became happier and more mentally healthy. This in turn led to a better quality of life that significantly improved their environment and enjoyment of the world around them.

It is essential for us all to consider the placebo effect in our physical and mental health. If we see ourselves as healthy, happy and full of life that is exactly what we will be. If, on the other hand, we see ourselves as sick, aging and declining then we will become that person. Looking for laughter, joy and beauty in the world around us is an internal attitude that we can develop on our own. Not only will it bring us joy and pleasure but it will also impact the lives of those around us, increasing their positive experiences and making the world a brighter place for all.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/

– See more at: http://sherrygaba.com/looking-laughter-joy-beauty/#sthash.ES0WWuLA.dpuf

pickOne of the most important aspects of our lives is the relationships we have with people. Biologically, we seek out mates and are social creatures.  We crave companionship, be it from family, friends, or a partner.  It is part of who we are as humans.

As love addicts, we obsess and worry about our love relationships constantly.  We seek out other partners immediately after a break-up, and never stay single for long. What’s the longest you’ve ever been single?

Part of recovery is building loving and healthy relationships.  What are your love relationships like?  How have they made you feel?  My relationships haven’t always been positive. I have been emotionally abused and settled for addicts, disregarding boundaries to feel what I used to think was love.  It made me feel worthless to constantly want be with people that were emotionally unavailable. I was always attracted to the addicts.

When we choose people to be in our lives, we often choose people that feel safe and comfortable to us.  We subconsciously pick relationships that mimic what our relationships in our childhoods were like (especially with our parents).  When I first heard this in recovery, I was shocked to find how well it fit my life.  That was when I realized my picker has been off! Does it hold true for yours?  Are there any patterns in your relationships that you’ve noticed?

Since we emulate our parents’ relationships in our own, dysfunction feels normal for people like us.  It’s what feels safe, and we gravitate towards it. Figuring that out can help you stop picking the wrong people!

Figure out what feeling it is that makes you choose a particular person. For example, I always went with people that always made me feel a certain way. Those are the people I try to steer clear of now.  Instead, I don’t go with the initial feeling I get for someone. I try to wait it out and get to know them, letting my interest grow.  Eventually, the feeling will come!  The most important thing to remember when choosing the people you want to be in a love relationship with are keeping your boundaries with yourself.  What sort of boundaries can you set? Tell a friend, your sponsor, or therapist your boundary in order to have someone to be accountable to if you find yourself struggling. Don’t settle for anyone!

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/