Is it love or addiction?
This is the question I often ask myself when I am staring down a dark chocolate truffle before I devour it.
Many singers, poets and writers would say love and addiction is the same thing. However, I highly disagree!
Addiction is an obsession to a desired outcome that is unrealistic. It’s a fantasy-like train of thought that distorts our reality.
According to Psychology Today ” Sex and love addiction are so commonly bonded that there is a 12-step support group for the combination: Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA). Both love addiction and sex addiction are often viewed as disorders of intimacy.”
What we are addicted to is irrelevant but the fact that we may have addictive personality traits is what’s cause for concern.
Loving a narcissist is addictive because the effect they have on the human brain, psyche and soul of their victim fluctuates from the highest of highs and the lowest of lows just as heroine, cocaine and opioids do.
The rollercoaster ride of high adrenaline and the blunt blow of the fall riddled with low serotonin levels which are often attributed to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, obesity, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, chronic pain, migraines, and alcohol abuse. Negative thoughts, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, PMS, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also symptoms of low serotonin.
The highs are like no other, it feels like the best love, heaven-sent, breath-taking sex, endless orgasms, charm, compliments, gifts, attention and emotional availability.
A relationship with a narcissist is like an addiction to a drug because it’s nothing but consecutive highs and lows.
There is never a feeling of calmness, stability and consistency. It’s one drastic extreme to the next.
And just like a drug, it is extremely difficult to get over a narcissist once they discard you! Withdrawal is real. A support group and a team of loving friends and family members is needed to help you get through the struggle of withdrawal without relapsing.
Your body and soul gets so accustomed to the highs and the lows that it can no longer fathom or adapt to stability, calmness and peace of mind.
It can take months or years to re-stabilize after narcissistic abuse. It depends on how long the relationship was and how severe the abuse was.
I suffered from anxiety attacks out of the blue a few years back because I developed minor post traumatic stress disorder for being in two consecutive relationships with narcissist back to back. I left my narcissistic husband only to later get involved in another covert narcissistic relationship.
My recovery took years. And that’s okay. At the time I left my ex husband I did not know what the difference between covert and overt narcissist was so I fell prey to an opportunistic, manic-depressive, covert narcissist.
I didn’t know I was addicted to the drastic highs and lows. I left one, just to get a hit of another. My ex would break up with me out of the blue or when he didn’t get his way and it would hurt me to the core.
Then, out of the blue he would get back together with me professing his undying love. It was like he would create a catastrophe then come in out of the blue as a hero and save me from the pain he caused.
This is why the narcissist simultaneously switches from villain to hero. Similar to how drug companies make up illnesses and then create a medication that supposedly cures the illness but the side effects are more deadly then the illness itself.
I would look ridiculous when he would break up with me out of the blue. It would be after we went out with friends or to dinner or days after a minor disagreement. I would plead with him to reconsider. I felt ashamed and embarrassed that suddenly he could switch off his feelings like a light switch and just leave.
I felt like I cared too much. It was confusing and I was often shocked.
The shock is what kept me hooked and coming back for more. I wasn’t in love. I was addicted!
According to an article written by The Ranch, below is a list of all the signs that you may be addicted to love:
Typical signs of love addiction include:
- Mistaking intense sexual experiences and new romantic excitement for love
- Constantly craving and searching for a romantic relationship
- When in a relationship, being desperate to please and fearful of the other’s unhappiness
- When not in a relationship, feeling desperate and alone
- Inability to maintain an intimate relationship once the newness and excitement have worn off
- Finding it unbearable or emotionally difficult to be alone
- When not in a relationship, compulsively using sex and fantasy to fill the loneliness
- Choosing partners who are emotionally unavailable and/or verbally or physically abusive
- Choosing partners who demand a great deal of attention and caretaking but who do not meet, or even try to meet, your emotional or physical needs
- Participating in activities that don’t interest you or go against your personal values in order to keep or please a partner
- Giving up important interests, beliefs, or friendships to maximize time in the relationship or to please a romantic partner
- Using sex, seduction, and manipulation (guilt/shame) to “hook” or hold on to a partner
- Using sex or romantic intensity to tolerate difficult experiences or emotions
- Missing out on important family, career, or social experiences to search for a romantic or sexual relationship
- Using anonymous sex, porn, or compulsive masturbation to avoid “needing” someone, thereby avoiding all relationships
- Finding it difficult or impossible to leave unhealthy or abusive relationships despite repeated promises to oneself or others to do so
- Repeatedly returning to previously unmanageable or painful relationships despite promises to oneself or others to not do so
I can’t stress how important it is to heal from narcissistic abuse before re-entering the dating game otherwise you will attract another narcissist who is more covert, manipulative and deceiving.
Treat your break up with a narcissist like you are entering rehab for drug abuse and I promise you, the healing will be more efficient and expedient.
You don’t love the narcissist. You are addicted. Is addiction stronger than love? Yes, because it disguises itself as love and locks the brain and the heart into a state of perpetual confusion.
Janell Hihi copyright@2018