Just write something. Words. Press letters. Let come what may come. I’m on a mission. Heated conversations break out on the bus when I commit to writing my blog. This is how it works. I start to doze off when my work load is heavy. I gather my strength to stay awake and focused. A light-hearted attitude helps. These people make me giggle. My battery won’t last through all their tales.

I’ve got to focus on the story that matters. This is the story of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection. It relates to my story when I am in the throes of romance addiction. His suffering is my experience of pain of heartbreak, betrayal and loss. His death is the end of my habits. His resurrection is my victory and new life.

On the road to romance recovery, my sponsor required I see a counselor while we work together. During sobriety, we deal with lack of physical contact, anxiety, overwork, addictive use of other substances, and depression. Dating enhances anxiety when we slow down, get to know someone, and become vulnerable. A counselor helps us navigate the rocky emotional territory.

My counselor and I had been working together for a few months when she suggested I apply for a job. J.O.B. was like a four letter word to me. I didn’t like to say it or think about it because it represented a system in which I didn’t belong. My energy sank as I remembered the difficulty I had in the past seeking employment. Nonetheless, I sucked up my pride and began the job search. The same week I started putting in job applications, I got an email from a friend in Taos about job openings there. The opportunity to move to Taos was a dream come true. I learned that for me, becoming financially secure was necessary before I could even think about dating since my self-esteem was entangled with my finances.

I hadn’t been in a relationship since Michael, two and a half years ago. I had a few deep connections that were fleeting. I finally met a good-hearted, stable man who loved me. He was with me while I sought God. He supported me when I was caught in my enabling habit. He took over and set good boundaries. He helped me find a job. He cheered up my son when we were having difficulties. He lent me his car for a month and gave me cash to pay my bills during my transition. He gave me companionship and affection. He was honest and humble. My body lit up when I was near him. I allowed myself to get close to him emotionally only to realize he was unavailable for a relationship. This hurt, yet I had my support system in place.

They told me when it was time to let go. They warned me when I would be in withdrawal. They gave me space to shed tears. They encouraged me to take care of myself and stay on the path. They showed me I had more work to do on myself. I was not yet available for a relationship. An unavailable lover is ideal for the romance addict because we fear intimacy more than anything. If we know it will end, we feel safe. I got to be honest with everyone about that and move on to the work in front of me.