The Tempest of Love Addiction

Rushing to revive a lost tug living just below the surface. Rigged to another sputtering engine.IMG_3181_1492

A rudderless race. Roving with no true destination. Hitched to another’s helm for survival.

Love addiction. An addiction in its truest form: an anticipation of revelry, a fix realized, and the relief that follows. Without constant reassurance the love is there, the thirst builds.

Thirst for love, as with thirst for drink or thirst for money, can become an unquenchable desire.

I think of myself as a recovering love addict, and recovering comes with blunders of judgment and blows to the ego.

I realize true happiness comes from steering my own ship, to knowing my destination and facing the storm and sun with equal vibrancy.

Years ago, I hitched myself to another for happiness. Without direction or determination, we sailed through seven years and the crash rushed toward us faster than we could hunker against the storm. Burdens of reliability and personal responsibility crushed us and we both escaped to maneuver on our own.

As I floated, somewhat aimlessly, in the aftermath of the crash, I struggled to feel my own warmth under my skin. Over time I realized the eagerness I felt for another’s attention starved me of what I truly needed—an anchor within myself so I could stop and start as I pleased.

Within the cycle of love addiction, I strongly disregard my own needs. The more I sacrifice to hold on to a ship that’s either already sailed or firmly run aground, the deeper my need becomes to save it so I don’t approach the journey alone.

The temporary quench subsides. The parched anticipation returns.

I’ve spent years recovering from this addiction that I know I must conquer. I’ve anchored myself, claiming only me capable of making me happy. I’ve scoped out what I want from a co-captain, what I will allow and not allow, and what I will offer. I’ve navigated through turbulent times by remaining positive and constantly sailing forward.

As with any dark skies, the storm of love addiction takes many forms. It doesn’t always roar in with loud warnings and flashing red flags. Sometimes it brews under the surface, disguised as a summer shower. Once it finally opens, torrents fall on the exposed surface, and there is no time for reflection. There is only time for escape.

I realize, more each day, that these voyages are a choice. There is no requirement that I jump aboard any vessel. The only thing I must do is keep struggling against the current that urges me back into the cycle of love addiction.

Today, I find myself again floating, a solitary sight on the edge of dark. I am again resisting the desire to catch the next wave. I am again refusing the urge to take another tumultuous ride.

I rely on purposeful resistance and constant reassurance. I fuel my engine by loving myself, my friends, my child, my family. I affix my rudder and set my sights on the obstacles ahead. I ignore the lost tug living below the surface, as it does not bode well for the spirit gliding above.

This post was also published in the May edition of Front Porch Magazine. Thank you to Editor Rob Grogan for always being a positive force in my life.

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