I Am Hopelessly Addicted To Love

I don’t want to be like this anymore, but I’m not sure how to change.

I know that I’m a love addict, that I care about finding someone and being in love more than I care about figuring out my life for myself. I know that I have serious attachment issues. Even though it’s not my fault, even though it’s a result of my upbringing and the traumas that happened early on in my life, I’m stuck with all of this dysfunction.

It’s kind of freaky, the way my nervous system responds to my attachment needs. Love is like a drug to me, and when I get my fix, everything is wonderful. When it’s not going my way, I live in denial, refusing to accept the facts right before me. If I don’t have contact with my ex—though I know it’s the right choice—I go for weeks on end with no energy, no hope, no desire to do anything for myself. I trudge through each day hoping that maybe if I just keep on moving forward without him, I’ll finally be okay. If I keep him out of my life, eventually maybe I’ll stop missing him so terribly.

But then, in a moment of weakness, I reach out, and it doesn’t matter how small the gesture. When he responds, it’s as if I’m healed. Simply knowing that I still exist to him, knowing that he still cares even a little, gives me renewed energy. Suddenly it feels like I have a reason to live again, which makes no sense at all. Nothing has changed. We aren’t together. We aren’t going to be together. And yet, despite all the logic in my head, the chemistry in my body responds resoundingly to a few typed lines from someone that I still very much love.

It’s fucking crazy. I hate that I’m like this, and I recognize how unhealthy it is. I recognize that my brain is actually wired this way from years upon years of traumatic experiences, and my response to that chaos. Seeing it so clearly, I’m incredibly frustrated that I don’t know how to create a different process.

Here I am, at 3 a.m., unable to sleep because my brain is whirling with this new emotional information. That alone tells me that the situation is completely unhealthy, but it’s happened, and now here I am. Here I am, all hyped over nothing, even though I am fully aware that it’s nothing. I tried meditation, I tried soothing music, I tried breath work. I even tried taking herbs with sedative qualities. None of it ever works in the face of my bizarre love-attachment adrenaline boost.

I’m realizing that I’m not sure what love and attachment are. I think perhaps I combine the two into a giant messy mish-mash of confused emotion and bruised ego. If someone grows up without any role models that demonstrate how a healthy relationship should work, how would they ever know how to have one themselves? That’s the frustrating reality that’s bogged me down my entire life.

All I know is that romantic attention gives me a feeling like none other. It makes me feel valued. It makes me feel worthy. It makes me feel euphoric. Knowing that is unhealthy doesn’t change it, and I’m at a loss for how to progress. So for now, I know I have to be alone until I can learn how to love constructively.

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Life is short. Speak your truth. Be kind. Stay present. Breathe. Follow Amy on Instagram or read more articles from Amy on Thought Catalog.

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