“The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s fear.” Says D.J. Diebold, a Behavioral Health Therapist in Scottsdale, Arizona. According to Diebold, Love is the most addictive thing in the entire universe, and in many ways, he is absolutely correct. There is even mention in the Christian Bible that correlates fear and Love in this manner. 1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in Love. But perfect love casts out fear because fear has to do with misery. They who fear have not been made perfect in Love.” When we feel loved our fears and miseries flee in its presence, allowing us to think clearly.
Love vs. Fear
“…our fear of not being loved is the number one fear in the entire Universe. We freak out.” When we feel unloved we also tend to feel unwanted, not good enough, and even depressed. Thinking that we are not good enough and may never be can lead to severe depression, anxiety, and, in many cases, could be seen as the gateway to substance abuse. Feeling unloved may cause a young teen to act out by getting involved in Drugs, Alcohol, or promiscuous sex. Feeling undesired by a significant other can lead to alcoholism as a coping mechanism. Think back to any instance that you were scared or anxious and the root of those emotions are more than likely to be based in fear of something. The roots of those fears dig deep into the fear of being unloved, unappreciated, and unaccepted.
So, Can Love Help an Addict?
The short answer to this question is “yes.” There are many underlying emotional factors and mental disorders that can contribute to an addiction – referred to as co-occurring disorders. One of them is and can absolutely be the fear of being unloved. Something that is regularly stressed during rehab is having a strong foundation and support system as we recover. Even if bridges have been burned, Love can repair and rebuild our relationships, re-establishing communication and the feeling of Love and support. If you know someone with an addiction, one of the best things you can do for them while they fight their disease is to regularly remind them that they are loved, desired, and even needed.
“…nobody will understand me, no one will appreciate me.” Yes, they will. It may not seem like it, it may seem impossible even, but there is always a community out there going through the same tribulations. With over six billion people in the world, it is nearly impossible for there to be no one capable of understanding, empathizing, and loving you. These terrors we experience, not being understood, not being appreciated, generally stem from long-term issues and deeply set emotional trauma.
Behaviors in Parenthood
“…and often times the abuse and their personhood have been attacked…but unfortunately the child gets the message of not only am I defective, but it seems I may be permanently defective.” This kind of mentality from early ages will often lead to depression and anxiety. When the fear of being unloved strikes early it becomes a part of the child’s development and grows with them.
“These are behaviors that need to be addressed…20 somethings have children without the proper education. All the proper information is out there, it’s just not taught.” While it may not seem like parenthood requires education, there are instances where people just don’t know how to respond to situations. Some may make the case that it is a disciplinary issue, which is its own can of worms, but the primary problems are the little things parents may not realize are affecting their children. There is plenty of information on the internet, there are even parenthood classes that can show young adults how to react to their children properly to avoid causing these deep rooted fears. Unfortunately, these fears continue to plague our youth due to a lack of knowledge by some parents and as Diebold says, “…that’s a shame.”