I know. Only me, right? Why can’t I be an alcoholic? It sounds so much cooler. But, no. No, not me. I’m a fucking love addict.
What the fuck is right.
Trust me; I’m right there with you.
Well, apparently this is a real “disease” that people (me) suffer from. I found out about it by watching Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. One of the celebrities (Rachel Uchitel, Tiger Woods’ former lover) suffers from an addiction to love. When she started telling her story I thought, gee, that kind of sounds like me. Wow, that really sounds a lot like me! WTF?
So I started researching the condition. Turns out it’s totally me.
I burst into tears. “What the fuck is this??” I yelled to my husband. “Seriously, I can’t be an alcoholic? Something “normal”?”
My husband laughed and said, “It’s better than being Bi-Polar.”
These doctors don’t know what they are doing. Yes, I was told by one doctor that I was Bi-Polar, which I vehemently denied. I’ve been called an alcoholic by my old counselor. I’ve been called a manic depressive by the Crazy Shrink. Then I suffered violently from the Post Partum Depression, as my blog readers know.
I’ve worked very hard on myself; taking meds and going to counseling to try to overcome all the anger and sadness I have been plagued with to be the best mother I can be to Eva and the best version of myself for me.
But, I still wasn’t happy. In fact, I was miserable. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. People started telling me how happy I should be. How so many women would give anything to have what I have…to have my life; my baby, my husband, my house….
My head started going crazy.
What is wrong with me????
I decided I was moving away. Eva and I were getting the hell out of here. We needed to escape. Go somewhere…anywhere. Then I figured out it was me. I needed to escape. But from what? From me? From the pain? From all of my “issues?”
This is when I started researching “Love Addiction.”
As I write this blog I’m scared and embarrassed and confused. What will you all think? Will you all laugh at me? Will you all think that I’m a freak? Part of me wants to laugh and part of me wants to cry.
But I have to write it. I have to face this. My first reaction, of course, was complete denial. I’m still in a stage of denial, really.
What a fucking joke.
What is a love addict you ask?
According to Wikipedia, love addiction is described as: a human behavior in which people become addicted to the feeling of being in love. Love addicts can take on many different behaviors. Love addiction is common; however, most love addicts do not realize they are addicted to love. Love addiction can be treated with various recovery techniques, most of which are similar to recovery from other addictions such as sex addiction and alcoholism, through group meetings and support groups.
Another, more simple description is: when love is your drug of choice, your obsessive need, your high.
“With a love addiction at first you can think of nothing more than being with the one you love. You want to touch and hold and care for the other person. From the moment of first passion – the moment in which you are utterly convinced that you have found the love of your life – you are in ecstasy.” (By Rita Wilson, on www.theexaminer.com.)
It’s that feeling of ecstasy that hooks me…like an alcoholic taking their first drink…like a drug addict getting high…that’s what happens to me. Only it starts and ends with flirting….but I’m a huge flirt.
But please, let me clarify, there are different kinds of love addicts, and love addicts are NOT sex addicts. I’m not out sleeping around on my husband.
The truth is I form inappropriate friendships with people through flirting, and then I find myself “falling” for them to get that high…the euphoria….that “drug.”
I then start to question everything about my life. My happiness. My marriage. My own sanity. I contemplate completely throwing my life away …leaving my husband. Leaving Chicago. Going somewhere. Anywhere. That I can be happy. But no such place exists.
This is what I keep telling myself, what I know and understand – that I can only find happiness within myself – but I can’t quite seem to grasp it. I’m struggling with that and have questioned whether I’ve been happy at all in my whole life?
I’m sure I have been….at some point.
There are even several different types of love addicts.
- Obsessed love addicts
- Codependency addicts
- Relationship addicts
- Narcissistic love addicts
- Ambivalent love addicts
- Torch bearers
- Seductive withholders
- Romance addicts
Dr. Stanford Peele says (on http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/sex-and-love-addiction) of the seven top addictions, love is the hardest to break. He says, “Love. Ah, Love is the hardest addiction to quit. It certainly causes more murders and suicides than any other addiction. And if you think people miss smoking, consider what people are like when they break up with long-term lovers or get divorced – even when they hate their spouses!”
What are some of the signs of a typical love addict? According to www.ezinearticles.com signs include, but are not limited to:
– Feeling isolated, detached from parents and family;
– Compartmentalization of relationships: Do you keep your romantic relationships separate from other parts (and people) in your life? Do you have a double life?
– Do You Try to avoid rejection and abandonment at any cost?
– An abiding fear of trust. Do you have trouble truly trusting and giving up “control” in a relationship for fear your partner will disappear?
– Relationship Necessity: Do you feel it is imperative for you to be in a relationship at all times?
– Feelings that a relationship/sex makes one whole, or more of a man or woman;
– An Escalation of High Risk Behavior: Are you willing to take chances, break laws or even risk personal humiliation to see or connect with your partner?
– Intense need to control self, others, circumstances; Do you feel helpless when situations, or outcomes are out of your control?
In Googling “Love Addiction” I found that these were the basic signs of a love addict, however, different websites did have some differences in their assessments.
How do people become addicts?
According to www.pureintimacy.org “Unresolved family trauma is at the root of most major life conflicts facing individuals and families.”
Again, in doing my research for both myself and for this post I found that many websites blamed “family trauma” for addictions.
I’m not saying this is my family’s fault, but those of you who really know me know that I went through a very difficult time with my family. I think that in turn gave me a fear of abandonment, which has in turn caused me to have a love addiction.
I’m working closely with my counselor to get help with this…I’m not sure what that will entail yet. A 12-step program? Rehab? I’m not sure…but I need to do something because I’m destroying my family, and I’m destroying myself.
Stay tuned…you all know everything anyways so I might as well keep you posted. Thanks for the support, Readers.
** Obviously I’m not a doctor. If you think you or someone you know suffers from love addiction, please consult your physician.