Lately I've been a bit blocked about what to write. I just knew I wanted it to be something that spoke to someone. Someone who really needed it. And now I know.
This is for the girl whose boyfriend makes her cry more than laugh.
This is for the woman who begs her partner to love and accept her.
This is for anyone who has been in the clutches of love addiction.
it is very real and very painful and it's hard to see when our eyes are clouded over with tears and disrespect for ourselves.
So I handed it to the phone guy and he took it to the back to find out what was going on and if he could do anything about it.
But when he brought it back to me he asked, "Did you drop it in the water or something? It's completely water logged and we can't fix it. I'm sorry."
No, I hadn't dropped it in the water. I had cried and cried and cried into it for the better part of a year. I had cried talking to someone I was addicted to, and it was at that point that I realized I had a real problem. My phone had stopped working because of the massive amount of tears that had seeped through.
There was one in particular. I gave him all that I was, all my dreams, all my passions in the hopes that he would accept and love me. My happiness completely relied on him and what he thought of me. Some days he wanted to marry me. Other days he said I wasn't the one. And I accepted that for over a year.
I don't even know why I was so obsessed. Maybe it was his charm or his humor.
I chased after his love because I didn't love myself. In so many words I told him, "I'm not good enough for you. Please accept me."
I wanted love so badly that I would have done anything for him, and the thought of being out of love was the most frightening thing of all.
At the end of it all, I looked in the mirror and didn't know who I was because I had melted into someone who could've cared less.
I spent hours in therapy learning to heal from love addiction and the vicious cycle of co-dependency.
"Like other addictions (drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, work, and the list goes on), the dependency to a person (their object- drug of choice) allows love addicts to feel alive- a sense of purpose- and to gain a sense of meaning and self-worth in the world: they are driven by 'a fantasy hope that the drug of choice - a person - will complete them." -Schaeffer
10 Signs you might be a love addict:
1) When a relationship ends, you feel your life is over and more than once have thought about suicide due to the end of a relationship.
2) You take on more of the responsibility to keep the relationship alive.
3) You are overwhelmed by loneliness if not in a relationship.
4) You feel inadequate if you are not in a relationship.
5) You try to be who your partner wants you to be. This often involves giving up your passions, dreams, activities you enjoy, friends, etc.
6) You are terrified of being abandoned.
7) You have an overwhelming need to check up on your partner.
8) You feel powerless when you're in love.
9) You are needy when in a relationship and tend to smother your partner.
10) You fall in love easily and quickly.
Self-esteem was my issue. I didn't feel complete without someone by my side.
With one guy I freaked out every time I thought he was checking out another girl. With another guy I craved his attention because I thought he was the best I could get.
And as soon as I let go of one addiction, I got myself into another one (an ex no less). Ann Smith puts it best, saying, "The problem is your pattern, not who you are with."
I thought by running into the arms of a familiar lover (and complete opposite of love addiction #1) I would find peace, but it was the same story. Constantly chasing and seeking and begging for love and approval.
I put up with someone who punched holes in the wall just for love.
I put up with someone who told me I couldn't date other guys even after we had broken up. And I went back to him!! Just for love.
After the last breakup I realized I had some work to do. I made a commitment to be alone for awhile and be responsible for my own happiness. And when I did start dating again, I didn't rush into it, fall into infatuation (put him on a pedestal), or make all the effort to sustain the relationship.
I let him do the calling.
I let him do the asking.
I let him say I love you.
I healed my love addiction. You know how I know? Because even though I'd hate to lose the great guy I'm with now, I know if it did end, there's life on the other side. I would be okay.
A few years ago I would have rather killed myself than be without whomever I was with.
Help is on the way
Love Addicts Anonymous
And if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.