Nar-Anon meetings begin with the reading of several pages from our Nar-Anon literature. One night, a newcomer asked, “What does, ‘To watch is not to love’ mean?” I could not give her a clear answer. I knew that I constantly watched the addict in my life. Therefore, if ‘to watch is not to love,’ what was I feeling for the addict?

Being the logical type, I looked up the definition of love: “Love is an intense feeling of tender affection and compassion.” I examined the feelings I have for the addict. I had to agree that they are intense, but many of them are neither affectionate nor compassionate. I must love him; he is all I think about. I had heard before that many of us are obsessed with our addicts, so I went back to the dictionary again to find the definition of “obsession.” “Obsession is an idea or feeling that completely occupies the mind.” That certainly described the feelings that ruled my behavior when it came to the addict.

I remembered another reading that states, “We have learned that addiction is an illness… It is a two-fold disease: a physical allergy coupled with an obsession of the mind.” I then looked up the definition of “addiction.” There were two; one explained a physical dependence on drugs, and the second was more general…“great interest in something to which a lot of time is devoted.”

Thought for Today: When all I can think of is the addict in my life, I remind myself that the meaning of addiction is much closer to the meaning of obsession than to that of love. Today, I will choose love.

“To watch is not to love.” ~ Carl G. Jung