Laura (a love addict), describes her experience -
It was the most horrible summer in my life. I was 23 and I wanted to die. I couldn't understand and accept what was happening to me, that I was so dependent, so addicted to a man who clearly despised me and cheated on me, or who clearly just didn't know how to love.
I had been obsessed with a few men that I couldn't have before, but this was much worse. Because I thought I had lost this current boyfriend's love because I didn't deserve it; I was a bad person; an ugly and stupid woman, and I felt on the verge of going insane.
I had lost weight, I felt weak, broken, and my intelligence was paralyzed while my soul was in so much pain... At the worst times, I felt an intense desire to tear my hair out or pinch myself to distract myself from the psychological anguish.
I would often think: "This can't be love! It's surely a kind of mental illness... How could I love someone, want someone soo bad who mistreats me, lies to me, cheats on me, laughs at me in my face?" I thought I was crazy. I certainly felt crazy.
But my despair was such that I was ready to try anything... to get relief.
I kept thinking if I could just hear his voice, see him, and even just touch him with my finger tips, relief would come, at least temporarily. I tried. I would call, hang up, and feel a little relief; then call again. I would drive by his place which was like a "hit" of some drug for temporarily relief.
Even knowing he was sleeping with other woman (or not- I really didn't know) didn't stop me from wanting to have contact. It didn't make sense to me at all; none!
I was always attracted to men who didn't love me, or who were incapable of loving someone at all, men who often even barely knew that I was alive.
I thought I was a romantic- I was attracted to men who I thought was some kind of Prince Charming who would sweep me off my feet; make me feel loved and valued; they did, temporarily only because of my denial and delusion.
A couple of very nice guys suffered because of me because I couldn't love them back.
Now that I am in recovery I know I never was attracted to "nice" men because many of them were actually healthy men who had the capability of intimate loving.
I didn't know it then, but now I know I have feared the real love and respect and intimacy I thought I always desired. I was attracted to the men with issues, problems, drama, who I thought were exciting, enticing; yet the only thing I was enticed about was the unhealthy part of them all. Part of me knew this, but probably didn't want to face it. The attraction felt good- with detrimental consequences
For a while, I thought I would never be able to love a man who loves me back, so I stayed alone and away from relationships totally. I love men; I have a lot of male friends... But I thought I could never have a healthy romance with a man.
Therapy didn't help. Thinking back, I think therapy wasn't helpful because my therapist really never understood or even knew about love addiction and my core problems of my love addiction, so this was never a focus.
But I finally did find a specialist who treats love addiction, Jim, who made light bulbs go off in me with his insight and methods.
If you feel "damaged" as I felt like I was, there is hope for you, you are not crazy, and you can learn to love truly and in a healthy way... and to accept that someone can actually love you back.
P.S.-- I suffered a lot because of my love addiction. Despite my obsession and passion, I was finally able to stay away from the man I obsessed about so deeply ... I finally got the insight I needed- and I learned, specific tools and strategies that provided me empowerment and growth, I am making astounding breakthroughs. If that is what you need, I highly recommend getting some help from Jim. It hasn't always been easy, but it sure beats my old way of "loving" others and receiving love, and most importantly, loving myself.
Steps to recovery:
-- GET THE BOOKS
Unravel the intricate dynamics of relationships between the love addict and avoidant
The LOVE ADDICT in Love Addiction, by Jim Hall, MS
-- Self Help Workbooks
Learn the essentials of starting a healthy road to breaking your dependency...
GATEWAY to Recovery: The Beginners Recovery Book For Love Addicts
Overcome painful obsessive symptoms of withdrawal...
SURVIVING WITHDRAWAL: The Break Up Workbook for Love Addicts
-- Schedule a Telephone Session with Jim- Love Addiction & Relationship Specialist
Love Addiction Coaching with the Love Addiction Expert
-- Join Jims Weekly Love Addiction Recovery Group
Online-Telephone Love Addiction Recovery Groups
* DON'T FORGET...
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