Is It Really Love or Are You Just Addicted?
There is a lot of commentary as to issues of addiction- is it a real disease? Is sex addiction a ploy to excuse adulterers? Is there really relationship addicts or is that just another excuse from people who love the drama? The answer to all those questions is a simple- yes, Virginia. Those are all real addictions.
When we think of addiction, we picture an emaciated person with bad teeth asking for money at a freeway off-ramp. We look at drug addicts and see the physical ravages of how the body has reacted to a substance. We never see the emotional toll, unless, of course, you are related to them. We hear of the need for more and more to sate their addiction and then the horrible withdrawals that are physically devastating. That is what we expect with addiction because tolerance and withdrawal are the hallmarks that are shown in every Lifetime movie. Relationship addiction may not look like that but it is still an addiction. The difference is that one is a drug addiction and the other is a process addiction.
Process Addictions are those that are behavioral in nature (ie. Gambling). The true mark of addiction is this- are you willing to die for this? The answer to the addict is a resounding, ‘Yes!’ So, yeah, Bryan Adams may sound all romantic and stuff to you but to me, he is a Relationship Addiction pusher. You may think that having a person tell you they would die for you is beautiful but, to me, that is creepy. What I hear is this, ‘you mean more to me than I do to myself thus I am nothing and your love is my everything.’ Ew!
We were raised on this hokey crap and we perpetuate it with more hokey music and movies and stuff. We tell little boys and girls that ‘he/she hits you because he/she likes you’ and that making up is the best part. We tell children that ‘Love is never having to say you’re sorry’ and ‘Love hurts’ and ‘Love makes you feel sick’ and ‘Love is a beautiful thing’. Well, which one is it? The bottom line message to all that is that relationships need to have pain so that we can make up because that makes it all better. Ew!
It isn’t any wonder that we grow up to be so weird with relationships and play games and keep secrets and do really stupid things like fight to make up and say stupid things like ‘do you think he likes me’ and ‘don’t call yet because you don’t want to seem needy’. People this is relationship addiction. You keep going back for more and keep making the same mistakes bigger and worse than before (tolerance). The moment he or she breaks up with you go into a funk, get irritable and become irrational (withdrawal symptoms). It wasn’t enough that you had a screaming match at the Cheese Cake Factory last time, this time you will have the cops come to have you settle down (tolerance). Then you feel so down that you think if you are not with him, you will die (withdrawal).
Now, you may keep all your teeth and you may even not lose any weight but tell me, what was the emotional toll of your last break up?
Come back tomorrow where we talk about sex addiction!