MORE OF MY CONVERSATION OVER ON FACEBOOK:
Hello, XXXXX! Honestly, at some level, I appreciate all three things you mention, knowing that on a *superficial level* they might be the only options in our making some kind of *temporary fix.* But, they would be just that, temporary at best, leaving the ‘heart’ of the problem untouched.
With any good treatment of standard physical ailments there needs to be a good ‘diagnosis’ first before a sound ‘prognosis’ can be had. Without identifying THE root cause…we just end up tracking down dead-end streets, only to find ourselves in an ongoing search for better answers, or just giving up in frustration. Nor will things get any better by our being ‘led’ by *emotions* (how we “feel” about this or that), for oftentimes they actually impair our understanding of what’s really going on. We depend then on the facts, moving hopefully from thinking well about the symptoms to grasping well a corresponding course of action.
Therefore, it is imperative that we get to *heart* of the problem! Anything less won’t due. Anything other is superficial.
In the course of our looking at this scenario (drunk-of-a-husband/nag-of-a-wife), I’ve made the observation that the *heart* of the problem is…one’s first-birth problem…an inborn-identity-crisis. To attempt to “fix” this *heart* problem by placing band-aids (i.e., tough-love, “self-love”, boundaries, etc.) on the outside is nothing short of bad medicine.
Again, I agree, there comes times when one has to “step back” (a.k.a, tough-love/boundaries), but these are mere external measures. What remains untouched is the *heart* problem; the root problem that bore all the bad fruit. No medicine, no talk-therapy, no manipulation will make the internal fix. Regardless of whether it is alcohol, drugs, sex, money, work, leisure, etc. that is in the picture, all of it remains very much external. All the so-called “abuse” is a mere symptom.
And, I agree, there is something to be said about so-called “self-destructing” or “self-loathing.” They are real, yes. However, I don’t believe they in themselves are the *heart* problem, but again, only another way of speaking of the symptoms.
It might help if we ask questions like: Why is this person in an apparent state of self-loathing? Could it be that they are merely feeling “sorry” for themselves? Could it be that they are so disappointed in themselves and others for this reason or that? Could it be that they began with too high of an opinion (expectation) of themselves, that they deserve this or that, but things didn’t turn out the way they thought they must?! Could it be that they simply can’t bear with reality (things not going “our” way)? Couldn’t it be they want control (of themselves, others, circumstances, etc.), but sulk (seek to suppress reality) when they realize it just ain’t so? Could it be they are fearful and/or prideful when faced with the “control” question…they aren’t ultimately in control? Could it be they can’t live sober (face-to-face with reality) so they mask (protect!) who they really are?
Granted, all of our inner-trouble speaks of a need for a proper self-image, but our wrongly *identifying* THE problem only creates more problems; all of which are a response that DEMANDS that others see us as we want to see ourselves. And yet, we are afraid to face the harsh reality that we ALL are but human, not all that different, and have a BIG problem. Nothing is ultimately fixed; the game goes on and on.
In sum, it’s always an *identity-problem.* We’re born with it. We struggle with it. We mask it. We dress it up. We dress it down. But, it always remains the same inside, an *identity-crisis.* Our jobs, our cars/houses, our marriages, our children, our bank accounts, our 401K’s, our parents, our friends, our hopes, our dreams, our talk-talk-talk, our experience(s), our education, our mere-religion, our country, our name, our so-called goodness, our looks, our stuff! are never THE solution, nor are they THE problem. Our-selves! Ourselves, our inner-self, our soul, this is where the problem lies and where the solution must be applied. Anything less is artificial, a mere masking of that inner reality of soul.
So as for this notion of “self-love”…I find it never to be a remedy but always a reality (natural), regardless of how distorted it becomes, we have by birth a distorted preoccupation with ourselves.
What’s ultimately needed then? Love from Above (vertical)! Not from within (internal) or without (horizontal). This is the source of everyone’s identity-crisis. We are born with broken hearts, suffering from a distorted self-love. We need a transplant! Not a pace-maker. We can’t perform it, nor can our friends and family, but only One.