A Subtle Addiction

Not so subtle

My sex and love addiction can be bold and blatant, like a belligerent drunk getting kicked out of a bar. More often than not, though, it’s subtle, like a functioning alcoholic who drinks all night and still manages to show up every morning for work and do his job.

It sneaks in.

“You went more than three years without talking to Anthony, you can be friends with him now,” it says. Then, “It’s okay to talk to him every single day. You’re JUST friends.” “Phone sex isn’t real sex. It’s fine,” it whispers in my ear.

So now I have this thing going on with someone I thought I had completely exorcised from my system a few years back. We’re not fucking, and that’s how I justify staying in contact with the guy. But it’s just as bad, if not worse. I talk to him every day, and sometimes for hours on end.

I sometimes think that if Anthony were 15 years younger and just a little bit less… weird, he would be my soulmate. We would probably be married by now and have three kids. I told this to a friend in program recently and she said, “So if he were a COMPLETELY different person he would be your soulmate?”

Um, well, when you put it that way…

The thing is, I don’t even believe in soulmates. But my addiction does. It tells me that it doesn’t matter that insert name here is married, or that he is a sociopathic liar, or that he is 21 freaking years older than me and he’s a swinger. He (whomever “he” happens to be at the moment) is the ONE!

This is bullshit.

I care about Anthony probably more than I have ever cared about any man I have been romantically linked to. That’s why it’s so fucked up that I am using him for a high. The last time we talked Anthony (who knows I’m in a program for sex/love addiction) said something like, “I guess I’m flattered by all the attention you give me and how fixated you can get.”

“Don’t be, because it’s bullshit,” I replied. “You could be anyone. I have given this level of attention to men that I hated. Obsession is nothing to be flattered by. It’s all about me and has nothing to do with you.

“Once I stop contacting you, then you should be flattered. Because that will mean that I authentically care about you enough to stop using you.”

But it’s not that easy. I do authentically care enough about Anthony to stop using him. I genuinely care about him so much. But true affection isn’t enough to override addiction, obsession, and compulsion. No matter how much I care about anyone, I am still powerless over all this shit. I can’t stop on will power alone.

It’s now been just over 24 hours since I last had contact with Anthony. And to anyone who thinks love addiction isn’t a real thing, well fuck you, because I’m currently going through a physical withdrawal. I’m shaky, I have a headache, and I feel like I’m going to throw up.

Maybe some day in the very distant future I will be healthy enough to have an appropriate friendship with Anthony. I hope so, but I can’t think about that right now. I need to concentrate on filling the space in my life he took up with my higher power, and getting through one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, Author: Landii

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5 comments on “A Subtle Addiction

  1. O. says:

    “You went more than three years without talking to Anthony, you can be friends with him now,” it says. Then, “It’s okay to talk to him every single day. You’re JUST friends.” “Phone sex isn’t real sex. It’s fine,” it whispers in my ear.

    Jesus, I’ve had those exact same thoughts, but for me it’s always about the same guy. Can you suffer from love addiction and have it be directed towards only one person?

    • Imperfect says:

      Hi O! Thanks for finding my blog. Yes, you definitely can be a love addict and just be addicted to one person. Check out some of the links on the side of my blog if you want more info about sex/love addiction.

      • O. says:

        I checked out the SLAA online meetings and read the 40 questions and 12 steps, but I was a little turned off by all the mentions of God, no offense if you’re religious it’s just not really my thing. Do you know of any recovery programs that are secular?

        Also, you should check out my blog http://sayitwithbullets.wordpress.com if you’re interesting. It’s new, I only have two posts so far. Kinda itching for some actual reader. Haha.

      • Imperfect says:

        I’ll definitely check it out!

        Most 12 step groups have a spiritual basis, but not a religious one. Meaning, you define your own higher power. I know many agnostics and atheists who have found recovery in 12 step groups. The Big Book of AA even has a chapter for agnostics and atheists.

        I’m not a religious person, but do believe in a higher power.

        I’ve never done the online meetings so not sure what they are like If you went to a meeting with a lot of god talk, my suggestion would be to try another one.

  2. O. says:

    I meant “if you’re interested” not “interesting.

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