Healthy love: what it is, what it’s not, and how the fuck do you actually find it? In case you missed it, I’ve recently discovered the gift of a real, loving, trusting relationship, so everyone give a hearty welcome to Drew. I figured it was time to officially introduce him to this sphere of spiritual space I love so much, and show you first hand how self-healing can help you find a truly awakened partner.
Who is this mystery man I’ve been teasing you with for weeks now? To put it simply, he’s an addictions coach, but if you’d like to go the complex route (if you’re on episode 55 I think you would) addiction can be so many things- it’s a spectrum of behavior. I think one of the worst things to happen in our society is painting addiction struggles as black and white. While Drew did struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, the idea that everyone else who isn’t a literal alcoholic is fine aka has no work to do to improve the way they live their lives is detrimental to everyone’s respective journeys.
Think about it, you could be addicted to food, disassociating, people-pleasing, toxic relationships (how’s that for segue skills?)…
…addiction is really just another word for distraction- it’s the various ways all of us choose to distract ourselves from who we are, and the work we need to do to get better. It’s turning on Netflix, instead of sitting down and figuring out why we just can’t seem to find healthy love in our lives.
That’s why over the years, Drew has somewhat taken a step back from the addictions world (in terms of illicit substance abuse) and is instead focusing on helping people reconnect with themselves in general. Interesting that I too, have a program that’s all about connecting with yourself, specifically the feminine. It’s like we both figured out connection to the self is the key or something, and then we found each other. Imagine that.
Drew Wild is an Addiction Coach whose mission is to change the way this planet looks at and approaches addiction and to tear down any stigma with that word.
Drew works with men and women who struggle to break free of their vices, who want to live a life of freedom without needing to lean on alcohol, porn, social media, pills, food, weed, drugs or anything else that leaves them feeling regretful, empty and unfulfilled.
Just when you thought this would devolve into a mushy pod episode/blog recap about how much we love each other, nope! It’s time to talk trauma and how in order to find you some healthy love, you have to do the work and understand yours.
Sure it sees kismet that we met and fell head over heels, but really you have NO idea the amount of money, time, and effort we have both put into understanding why we kept repeating harmful patterns, while finding ways to break through them in our relationships.
Drew is nothing if not an expert in dissecting the wounds that bring us to the worst versions of ourselves. Typically they stem from 2 different types of trauma:
Acute– Which is, in fact, anything BUT cute, and stems from an actual event you are able to pinpoint. On this day, at this time, something terrible happened and now it lives in your brain forever and affects your daily life, thoughts, feelings, and the ways you relate and connect with others.
Developmental Trauma: This guy is less severe, and less overt, but equally damaging. This is often borne of a repeated pattern- it’s almost a learned way of being from trial and error in terms of the environment you grew up in. It’s typically given to you from your parents or caregivers (thank Ma!), and it’s the way you learned to achieve or keep homeostasis in your day to day life. You probably can’t even zero in on a specific event that taught you that in order to be loved you had to be quiet, or good, or small, or never need anything. But over the years, you learned that in shrinking your own needs and meeting those of others, you were able to be loved by those who should have just loved you no matter what. Everything was conditional, and the condition was that you became what they needed.
In relationships, developmental trauma looks like: You seeking out people to continue this dynamic because it’s all you know; it’s your roadmap for achieving love and approval. It means either consciously or unconsciously you choose to disconnect from yourself and what you need, to contort into whatever your partner wants. You are a never-needy anxious bundle of self-sabotage, and you typically go for unavailable men because then the stakes are nice and low. Doesn’t matter if they wise up and realize you’re not a person, but are instead an amalgamation of every Manic Pixie Dream Girl they’ve ever fantasized about, because you never really let your guard down with them anyway.
You poor, chameleon bastard. You don’t even know what you want.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but if you’ve gone through man after man and it never seems to work out…then sorry sis, but I don’t think it’s all the men. I think the common denominator is you.
It’s not fate. It’s not everyone else that’s wrong. The universe doesn’t hate you. It’s you and your pattern that probably served you really well growing up- it was survival physiology and it kept you safe. But now it’s just keeping you lonely.
There’s a huge difference between needing a relationship, and wanting one. You need one because you have no idea how to validate yourself, and the only way you know to get approval is through meeting others’ needs. That’s not a relationship and it’s not connection, it’s you reenacting a trauma bond.
With healthy love and attachment, you genuinely like yourself as you are, so you can recognize that needing someone isn’t love. It’s enough to simply want them, and have them want you back; because that means you both know you have worth outside of a burning, all-consuming (truly unhealthy) “need”.
To start attracting relationships that not only allow you to be you, but the BEST version of yourself, you have to put in the work and take responsibility for your own behaviors. You have to identify your patterns and be willing to admit where you’re going wrong in the pursuit of love. This is often super hard to do on your own- perspective is vital, and there are coaches out there like Drew and myself for a reason. We can offer you that perspective, space, time, tools, and sometimes a kick in the ass, to get up and get started. To keep going. To help you see the possibility of a forest when all you see are dead trees.
Just remember, you are your only constant in your life. Yet so often, I think that the “self” is the person we know the least. Find out why you’re afraid to know you, and then work on loving you instead. And don’t think this process is ever over. The work evolves and continues for your whole life. But if you’re willing to work, it’ll be the best journey you ever take.
Figure out what you want and need from life, and from love, and once you’re clear on that, and you’re done dragging around all your traumatic, toxic baggage, you will be so much lighter and capable of healthy, lasting love.
Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to connect with me more over on Instagram, I’d love to hear what you thought of this post and what your major takeaways were! Or head over to my website to learn more about how we can work through your relationship journey together.
And don’t forget to join my signature 12-week program, The Connected Woman, if you’re ready to go from anxious & insecure in your relationships to setting boundaries, healing yourself, and living your dream life!
Or maybe you want some one on one action? Try out The Intimate Woman for some private coaching realness: https://michellepanning.com/the-intimate-woman if you’re ready to go deep. Go hard. And dive into creating the life you’ve always wanted, with me by your side with calls, motivations, and most importantly, calls on your bullshit. Stop getting in your own way, and let’s do this.
Or MAYBE you want to connect with Drew (it’s fine, I’ll allow it). Check him out at:
Podcast episode about Drew’s journey: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0g2TbaGJSKMrhwAYFf4R5G?si=3ede67da47704add
See you back here in the next one!
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”