I must have heard that song a million times, but it never occurred to me that a person could actually be addicted to love. But it makes sense. And now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I am. Addicted to the chemicals, addicted to the validation, addicted to having someone to distract me from the emptiness. The fear I feel when I think it will be taken away, and the way I lose my mind when it is. Now that it’s gone I feel sick.
I sat down tonight and tried to remember all the times I’ve been single since the age of 17. And I can only think of a few weeks or months here and there. In total, maybe 6 months to a year out of 15 years. And during those breaks I was either frantically searching for love or chasing it. Often there was no gap between boyfriends, I would leave a relationship only if I met someone new. I was a chain dater.
Maybe this is karma. But that’s ok. I’ve never really been happy in any of my relationships beyond six months; even the last one, with him, I was unhappy. I was crazy about him, but I still always felt so empty, and desperate, and like something was missing. I had convinced myself that it was just my depression, and that the relationship was perfect.
So, I guess he did the right thing breaking up with me. Breaking up was something I brought up occasionally in a fit of desperation, an attempt to get more of something to fill the emptiness, but could never go through with. Both times he broke up with me, it was me who said the words first, and I always backed out. Those two times, he called my bluff. I guess it must have been disheartening for him. He didn’t know how to make me happy. And I didn’t know how to be happy. Everything I did was an attempt to make him love me more, and he could never give me enough.
I’m like a bottomless pit; no amount of love is enough. You give me more and it raises my tolerance, just like any drug.
I’ve realised that everything I do, I do in the hopes that it will make me more loveable. Everything I buy makes me envision some future where I’m happy and loved; everything I read I hope will make someone think I’m intelligent or cultured and therefore worthy of their love; every new hobby I take up is so I am more interesting to my partner. I rarely do something for my own enjoyment, in fact it’s hard for me to come up with a list of more than five things that I actually do enjoy.
It’s also clear to me why I’ve developed these behaviours. A childhood of physical and emotional, and it’s hard to write for me, sexual, abuse (by my father), both parents unavailable and working long hours, sisters who were much older than me with no time to give the baby of the family, and when we finally did leave my father (when I was ten years old) he continued to hunt us; we had to move several times which meant a change of schools and friends each time, which I stuggled to make.
I still don’t make friends easily; it’s much easier to get a boyfriend. But then I rely on him for all my emotional needs and it drains him.
I drained him. He made a lot of mistakes, even acted cruelly at times, but I played my part in the breakdown of our relationship too.
So, I could see it as karma. But I think karma sometimes has to be cruel to be kind. I’ve been given this opportunity to realise my issues, to address them, to heal them. For someone like me, it would have been next to impossible to deal with my issues while in a relationship. In a relationship, it’s like treading water, constantly fighting to keep my head above water. There is no energy left to heal myself.
So, this is time for me. I don’t like it, but I get it. And I’m not going to go seeking love again. I’ll leave it up to the universe to decide when it’s time for that.
Is there rehab for love addicts?