Is My Neediness linked to My Insecure Attachment?

I am reblogging this blog again, from 6 months ago, because I find it still very pertinent to me at the moment and because another blogger commented on it’s pertinence to them in recovery as well. I have been in recovery a decade and have continually come up against the same issues over and over again. which are namely low self esteem issues, feeling less than or unworthy, and issues of trusting others which I believe to be the consequence of my own insecure attachment to my mother when growing up. As I will be blogging this week again about the power scars of the past can still exert on me I thought I would kick off with a well received blog from the end of last year. Unfortunately the issues seem as raw and resonant today as when I wrote this 6 months ago. I think this is because my awareness of attachment issues has risen throughout my recovery and I am probably the best placed I have ever been to delve, more deeply into these issues, however reluctantly. The same record playing in my head has become a bit boring over the months and years. It is also important to realise that there is an “earned attachment” out there with other recovering people too, helping others helps me, showing love helps me receive love etc. A secure base can be found in serving others. This is what I intend to do increasingly over the next 6 months. I intend to keep you all up to date with how it goes too. Perhaps we can only rewire our brains by changing our behaviours – perhaps to get the love we needed as children we have to show that love to others as adults. Perhaps we have to get what we need by giving it away? Paul x

The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism

I don’t know about you but I have previously been described on occasion, and still can be, as being a bit needy, a bit grasping of affection, a bit manipulative in attempting to coerce others into given me attention, affection and so on.

It is not a trait that I particularly like in my self. I believe it is directly linked to my insecure attachment based on an uncertain, unpredictable and sometimes conditional relationship I had with my mother, in particular.

My mother was affectionate at times, distant at others. You could never really count on her being there for you.

Her affection  seemed dependent (conditional) on how she felt. Given that she was probably experiencing some form of mental breakdown and had already started taking the Valium that would in later years become full blown dependence would explain her ambivalence to me and my emotional needs.

I have forgiven my…

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  1. lucy2610 · June 22, 2015

    Thanks Paul 🙂

  2. clairesuper · June 23, 2015

    earned attachment – I am working on this one. Helping others to help ourselves as a wise woman once said to me… 🙂

    • alcoholicsguide · June 23, 2015

      I have neglected this part, the face to face, in real life, helping others as I have been too involved online in that respect. But it is my intention to help others at a local treatment centre as well as in AA and report back on the effects on my attachment issues.

  3. lucy2610 · April 27, 2016

    Hi Paul I wonder if you might be able to help me with some research insights? As you know I am studying a Post Graduate Diploma in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling. I have an 8,000 word research assignment as the final part of my PG Dip and I am interested in researching adolescent addiction and attachment theory. There has been increasing amounts of research looking at attachment type and addiction in adults (mainly shared by yourself here!) but I have not come across much in relation to Child & Adolescents. I wonder if you’ve come across much in your PhD research? Any help or signposts would be much appreciated! 🙂

    • alcoholicsguide · April 27, 2016

      Hi Lucy, it is part of the article I am completing at the moment – does it have to be substance addiction? much recent research seems to be into internet addiction and also sometimes seems to include additional key words/related issues like alexithymia as a pathomechanims that links attachment to addictive behaviour ( both of which really relate to treatment success or otherwise) – if you research this in relation to alcoholism then this is very interesting from the perspective of genetic heritability as it is widely inherited in families of alcoholics. The researchers that I like most in this area are people like Fred Arne Thorberg
      Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
      Queensland University of Technology – he would be useful from a genetic disposition through to adolescence point of view. Let me know if I can be of more help!? 🙂

      • lucy2610 · April 27, 2016

        I’m more interested in substances rather than behaviours (particularly alcohol!). Like the idea of approaching it from an alexithymia point of view. Will do a search on the researcher you suggest – thank you 🙂

      • lucy2610 · May 14, 2016

        Paul is Fred Arne Thorberg working at Queensland or in Norway as his email address is Norway?

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