If one does not work through the core reasons why an addictive behavior presented itself, more than likely it will come out in another manner. True and lasting healing is possible when one takes the initiative to be transformed by the renewing of the mind.
John Asks Nancy:
“I have found myself unable to stop making abusive comments to my girlfriend. I used to think that she was being too sensitive and it was only my way of being playful. On reflection, I do not think this was relevant because essentially I do not want to hurt her.
I used to think I was seeking her approval by trying to make her laugh, but this does not make sense and now I feel I am a bully because I could not stop myself from belittling her, ultimately like an addiction. I have parted with my girlfriend to reflect and figure out what I need to do to change my behavior, because as a recovered alcoholic, I firmly believe is possible.”
The reflection you have already had is a step in the right direction. You traded one form of addition for another and it is good that you saw the unhealthy aspect of your behavior towards your girlfriend. The key to all addictions is to figure out the source, the core belief which started the spiral towards addictive habits. What are you trying to escape? It is this barrier to love which is keeping you from experiences a truly emotionally healthy relationship.
Even though the alcohol is not present in your life, the way you relate to others is still present. To turn your life around, you must change your way of thinking and line it up with the Word of God. Fear is a powerful driving force and by pushing your girlfriend away and those you love through abusive comments, you only strengthen your defense mechanism. These are formed early in life to protect yourself from whatever it was that made you fear being vulnerable to others.
The good news is that your mind can see the goal or healing and restoration. Half the battle is having the vision of the goal and seeing yourself in an emotionally healthy relationship.