Emotional Security

Another list involves wrestling with our need for emotional security. First off, we are created to long for and receive emotional support. We are created to be interdependent, working together to depend on one another as the situation dictates. The Kingdom of God is all about providing all kinds of support, including emotional support, to everyone - especially those for whom the world is least likely to be gracious.

The problem arises when we become obsessed with grabbing for emotional security. This problem takes on many forms. We can become overly dependent on other people to meet needs we are supposed to be taking care of for ourselves. We can allow others to control us, which is also a problem. Or, we might be exerting our compulsion for security by controlling other people.

Overly dependent people may get jealous, use relationships as crutches, and may even resort of disrespect, emotional and/or physical abuse to grab for security. This is confusing for everyone. The dependent person is looking for love and is quite startled when others find their clinging ways disturbing.

Whether you have been a clinging vine or an authoritarian control freak, eventually this causes other people to distance themselves from us. If they are unable to leave, they will certainly become resentful or even afraid. None of this provides emotional security - just an illusion of closeness.

These are descriptions of two extremes are used only to illustrate the spectrum upon which we can evaluate our relationships. Whether we are clinging or clung to, bossy or being bossed, these issues around relationships can have a serious impact on not only our sobriety, but on our overall quality of life.

Created to be both loved and loving, learning how to have healthier relationships is an essential element of recovery work. Before we start working on that in later steps, we must get honest with assessing our current relationships.