Thursday, 9 December 2010

Is Love an Addiction?



It was only until my second year at university that I discovered I have an addictive personality. Anything that tastes good, or makes me feel happy, I’m all over it like a magpie with a shiny object. I’ll try it a few times and then I crave it daily. This includes coffee, smoking, chocolate...thankfully not alcohol so no need to email me and inform me of where my nearest AA meetings are held.

At university, I discovered smoked salmon. I then had this every day, lunch and dinner. I couldn’t get enough, for at least a month until I next discovered prawns. King prawns, to be exact. Then it was prawns o’clock every hour, even at 11pm I’d send my boys to the local Tesco Metro to get me some prawns. Yes, I did panic I was pregnant and craving, but thankfully I was just totally weird and addicted to seafood. This lasted for a good few months until I find the next thing, and so on. The ‘Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough’ was a great phase. I would eat a whole tub in one sitting and within the space of two weeks I had consumed seven tubs. My housemates had to force me to say goodbye to the ice cream fridge in our corner shop so I could move on gracefully and remain a size 8.

What is significant that I have noted is that I hated all my addictions before I tried, gave in and loved them. For instance, since I was 15 I abhorred smoking. My young love was a smoker and he often found the filters broken away from the tobacco rendering his ten pack useless (brat is my middle name). Now, I’m a self-confessed full time smoker. You should see me if I haven’t had one for a few hours...it’s like someone unleashed a gruffalo! Alongside this, I only drank tea until I discovered a ‘Latte’ at the uni bar, now I’m on 3 a day and a train journey is nigh on torture without my morning coffee.  Acknowledging all of the above has led me to re-evaluate my behaviour and past relationships. I’ve begun to wonder if my compulsive behaviour is replicated when it comes to men too.

In essence, is love just another addiction?

Every long term boyfriend I’ve had has been the centre of my universe, my main focal point until it turns to shit. I suffer hard during a break up and I resent those girls who can just switch off and move on. I wallow in memories, crying to songs, creating texts that are never sent and discussing the ‘ex’ with my girls over and over until my mouth is dry and my wine glass empty. Then, hey presto, something snaps and after a month or so I wouldn’t be able to tell you his middle name. This leads me to believe that I become addicted to my leading man. The break up is the ‘rehab’ process, having his daily calls cut down to nothing is like going ‘cold turkey’.

Bizarrely, the concept of my addictions being something I originally hated also applies in regards to my relationships. When I first met the man I last fell in love with, I described him as a ‘loud egotistical power-hungry pig.’ His fashion sense was borderline diabolical and the less said about his social skills the better. However, after a fair few months of being around him daily, he grew on me. Fast forward two years and BAMN I’m hooked. I can’t get enough. His eyes were impossibly deep, his jokes too funny, his embrace was warmer than a summer’s day and his kiss would have made Romeo and Juliet jealous. I had despised him. Next I’m devastated without him.


After copious rows, complex circumstances and idiotic unnecessary dramas, we eventually cut loose. The first week without him was like taking a bullet. Then the second week struggles by, and then the third and suddenly I can’t recall if his eyes are blue or green or if he has two for that matter? Beats me. Oh wait...yes he did have two but I poked one. If I saw him now, I’d probably smirk at his attire and walk past without a second glance. It’s interesting, isn’t it? The concept of addictions that includes human interaction is strange and thought provoking. I assume this compulsive attribute is what leads people to kill, die or fight for love. To abandon families for ‘the one’. This then makes me wonder, do we ever truly love another or have they simply become part of our routine - a habit that we’re too scared to go cold turkey on?


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