After reading Jamie’s recent blog post on addictions, she lists many things one can be addicted to: drugs, food, pornography, tanning, gambling, etc. It got me thinking…can you be addicted to a person?
My mom doesn’t think so. But I do.
Because I believe I was for the past year.
I met him a little over a year ago, and I was immediately overcome by the chemistry I felt. We had an instant connection: similar to the one movies like to portray between two lovers, a connection electric and chemical and ethereal and all things otherwise unexplainable.
He became part of my life. We simply “fit” and it was easy and fun to be together. When, three months into dating, he told me he wasn’t looking for commitment or a girlfriend at the moment, I told myself I was okay with that. I would rather have a tiny piece of him than have none of him at all. Besides, he’d had major trust issues from previous life experiences and was probably just scared – surely I could prove to him I was trustworthy. Maybe he just needed time.
Like any drug addict, I made excuses. And I made a lot of them – mainly to myself, but they were excuses nonetheless.
I felt highs and I felt lows similar to that of an addict. When I was with him I was on cloud nine and when he left or mysteriously disappeared for a weekend, I came crashing down (*cue Katy Perry’s Wide Awake*).
He consumed my thoughts. And like a drug, he consumed me.
Finally I decided one day I’d had enough and I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore. I was sick over the thought of not getting another fix but I had managed to stick with it for a while.
Unfortunately, there aren’t support groups or withdrawal medication for toxic relationships (trust me, I ate my way through way too many Ben & Jerry’s pints before I realized it just wasn’t cutting it). Enter: Relapse Number One.
I was out in Boston with my best friends from high school dancing the night away at a club called “Guilt” (seriously, how fitting a name is that?). In a moment of drunken weakness, I texted him. With his near-immediate response back, I felt that rush of serotonin I had felt with him all those times previously. In a mere moment, with just one hit, I was hooked again.
Back in April, I decided it was time to quit him again. I even started dating someone else and I was beginning to realize how much he was lacking, not only in the way he treated me, but as a person. Things were going well with my new guy and I thought I had shaken him for good.
Well, after a month, my relationship ended with New Guy. The day things ended, I went for a run at the park. The minute I stopped running, I get a text, lo and behold, from my former addiction, who I had deleted from my phone just so I wouldn’t be tempted to contact him. He was at the park too and saw my car. And suddenly, the person I had finally walked away from was walking toward me.
Enter: Relapse Number Two.
We met for a drink that same night and it ended as innocuously as our initial encounter that day. We caught up on life and went our separate ways. But the thing about addictive substances is that in order to really quit them, you have to remove yourself entirely from them. An alcoholic can’t just have one drink. An ex-smoker wouldn’t have a cigarette here and there. And I certainly couldn’t be friends with him.
So our “friendship” lasted several days and after a night out together, I found myself intoxicated on rum and cokes and also intoxicated on him…again. Everything came rushing back and we picked up right where we left off.
This was two weekends ago.
Two days ago, I discovered he has had a girlfriend since December 2011.
Sometimes you have to nearly overdose to realize how evil the substance truly is.
And that’s what it took for me. After a year of bingeing on M, feeling highs, lows, and not much in between, I finally saw the whole picture, the missing puzzle pieces. I won’t crave him anymore because I’m not sure he exists to me anymore — at least not the person I thought had existed previously. It seems more like a dream now than real life, and you can’t re-enter your dreams. They are transient and eventually fade. And so has he.