I am an addict. I have been an addict from childhood. My addiction was fueled by the media and my situation. It was used as coping mechanism for my struggles. It got me through some difficult times and caused countless difficult times to occur.
My addiction isn’t alcohol. It isn’t cigarettes. It isn’t food. It isn’t sex. It isn’t gambling. It isn’t drugs.
My addiction has the ability to cause and has at times caused secondary addictions to all of those things. My addiction is love. More specifically, the promise of love.
All my life, I’ve believed love will solve everything. Love will conquer all. Love will make me feel whole. Love will complete me. Love will bring me joy and purpose.
I am focused all my energy on finding it. I have prioritized it above all things. I have neglected responsibilities and lost countless opportunities because of it. I have lost scholarships, become ill, become broke, become broken, and become depressed because of it.
If I don’t have it, I feel lost and deprived. I binge eat, sleep too much, engage in seeking behaviors, settle for sexual encounters that I don’t even really want and treat my body like shit.
When I do have it, I’m able to accomplish anything and everything. I can focus and thrive…
that is until it is no longer felt… until it is no longer enough… until it is lost again.
And the cycle repeats itself.
I have been a serial monogamist since the age of 17 and I have never felt comfortable being single or alone.
Why don’t we talk about this? Why don’t we address it?
Everyone else gets to discuss their addictions openly and freely. Everyone else gets help. My professor of Mental Health Nursing made a joke saying, “The best place to find a date is at Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.”
Are we seriously pretending this doesn’t negatively affect anyone’s lives?
Have you seen the number of people “settling” for whatever comes alone just to avoid being alone?
Have you seen the number of relationships that go on despite horrible treatment by one or both parties for fear of being alone?
Have you seen the prevalence of STDs, cheating, sexual exploitation, porn, romance movies and Cinderella stories?
If you’re in your 30’s… How many of your friends are single? How many of them are married? How many people think it’s acceptable to be single after 30?
Our society is built on finding a monogamous person to build a life with and succeed with as a unit, a team, a force. We are not encouraged to build a life on our own. We are not encouraged to be enough by ourselves and therefore sufficient support systems are not put in place.
I don’t know how to battle this feeling but I’m going to. I hope at least this can spark some conversation about it. Maybe others like me can come forward and offer or ask for support.