They say that addiction is the continued use of a substance that alters one's mood and behaviour over a long period of time despite the obvious adverse consequences. The more we use, the higher our tolerance, and the higher our tolerance, the greater the dependency becomes. Whether it's alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex, addiction is all about surrendering to some kind of weakness in exchange for an instantaneous high, and while some addicts are fortunate enough to get help before it's too late, the power of withdrawal can sometimes get the better of us.
As I struggled to kick my own filthy habits in the butt, I started thinking about love and its striking resemblance to addiction. Just like any kind of drug, one hit is all it takes to be hooked for life, and in a world full of dealers and pushers, it's hard not to give into the pressure. You can deny it all you want but nothing compares to the feeling of confidence and elated sense of self that comes with falling in love. Racing hearts and butterflies. Everything is amplified from that first kiss to the moment you realise you've just made a significant connection. They don't call it a high for nothing.
But what happens in a situation where your number one dealer decides to leave you high and dry? What happens when he denies you a more potent dose of the good shit that you had become so dependent on? Do we simply move on and find ourselves another fix to fill the void or should we see it as a sign, a chance to admit that we may just have a problem?
"Hi. My name is Sarah and I'm a love-aholic." It took Sarah nearly fifteen years to come clean about her addiction to love. For as long as I've known her, she had been using as often as possible in any way, shape or form. She had recently found herself in one of those frustrating situations where girl meets boy, boy shags girl, girl wants more but boy couldn't care less. What started out as a casual hook up had turned into an ominous dependency, one that had noticeably transformed Sarah into an erratic mess. She had let her emotions get the better of her even though she knew that Mr. X was nothing but a bad habit in a cute disguise.
After carefully observing her own behaviour and the effect that this relationship was having on her heart, Sarah decided to go cold turkey. She had cut off all communication with her latest lover and was on her way to a speedy recovery. After a few short days of sobriety, Sarah started showing severe symptoms of withdrawal. Her sponsor was the first to notice the secret texts and
private rendezvous and it wasn't long before Sarah had suffered a massive relapse. Was Sarah merely hooked on hope or was her dependency actually becoming a problem? Was it time for lovers anonymous or was Sarah just in fact a functional addict like the rest of us?
When it comes to drug of choice, love is the crack of life. It's the ultimate fifty-fifty drug designed to take you up and bring you right back down. We're bound to shoot up eventually and even overdose at times, and even though the comedown from a bad trip can have serious long-term ramifications, there's no greater feeling than the initial rush of meeting a potential soul mate. Whether we're addicts or just recreational users, one thing is certain...when love is good, free and real, there's no greater high in the world.
When it comes to love, I couldn't help but wonder, are we all addicts?