I was so crazy about him, but I didn’t realize that my feelings were quickly spiraling into a legit love addiction. This is what happened and how I reclaimed my power.
Rejection became motivation. It’s hard to understand if you’ve never been in the situation, but feeling addicted to the guy I was dating was actually pretty toxic. I was so into him that I ignored the little ways he rejected me like ignoring my texts and ditching me for his friends. In fact, the more he rejected me, the more interested in him I was.
I truly thought I loved him. Meanwhile, I was pretty obsessed with the idea of having him. We’d been dating for a few months when he started to treat me badly and go AWOL from time to time. But because I was so invested in him by that time, I was blind to his flaws.
It was damaging to my self-worth. I was drained, I had no confidence, and yet I couldn’t seem to walk away from him. Whenever I did cut the ties between us, he’d reel me back in and I was like a puppet on his string. The worst part is that I let him.
I had to stop the madness. After he distanced himself from me and then reeled me in again for, like, the fourth time, I was totally done. I didn’t want to be this person who was addicted to his love. It felt sick and pathetic and so beneath me. I was showing him love but not showing myself any, and that had to change ASAP. So, I wrote a list of why I was a worthy human being. I kept this list handy so that when he made me feel rejected, I reminded myself why I didn’t have to be at his beck and call anymore because I was a valuable person who didn’t have to jump through hoops to get his attention.
I decided to set some boundaries. What did I want to give of myself to him and what did I deserve to keep for myself? I had to ask myself questions like this one because part of the reason I’d allowed myself to fall so hard for this guy who didn’t deserve my attention was that I was seriously lacking in personal boundaries. I was always giving of myself, but it was like throwing it down the drain. I decided that I wouldn’t lend him money or let him take up too much of my time, and that was just for starters. It was empowering to have these rules and standards.
I got tough with myself. It wasn’t easy to set rules because I really was crazy about him. I’d always end up breaking the rule and then hating myself for it, so I knew I had to get tough with myself. I started switching off my phone and giving it to my friend to keep so I wouldn’t be tempted to see and respond to his messages. It was torture at first but it eventually did get easier.
I forced myself to make other connections. I became addicted to the guy’s attention because I was always around him. It was too much! To break the spell he had on me, I’d force myself to get together with friends or make new ones so that I wasn’t cooped up in my world with this guy as my number one priority. It felt uncomfortable at first, but as time went on, I realized how much happier I was.
I stopped being a human yo-yo. If he said he liked something about me, I’d feel stoked. If he said he didn’t like something about me, whether it was my new hairstyle or something I’d said, I’d be down in the dumps. He had too much control over my moods and I was sick of it. To prevent his power trip, I’d focus on what I liked about myself instead and what I wanted or didn’t want. I had to remind myself over and over again that I mattered and I was the only one who got to choose who I wanted to be. In time, I started to believe it.
I became an ice queen. From being so passionate about this guy to the point of picking fights with him because I felt like he wasn’t giving me enough attention (cringe), I tried to ice him out. That had to stop, so instead of allowing myself to fight with him over something stupid, I’d write about it in my journal or tell my friend about it to get it off my chest and not let myself become so clingy. Over time, this emotional distance became easier and it made me see that I didn’t need him. It was liberating.
I choose to love other things. I always felt so full of life when I was around him and then empty when he wasn’t around. It sucked. I forced myself to find that lust for life in other things so that I wasn’t always waiting around for him but actually living my life. Whether it was beautiful jewelry that boosted my endorphins or a fun new activity that made me relish being in nature and doing something different, channeling my passions to other things was a huge help.
I cut off all contact. Sometimes, the only way to break an addiction is go cold turkey on it. That’s what I eventually did with this guy. After weaning myself off him with the above points, I realized that I didn’t want any ties to him, no matter how small or weak they’d become. At first, cutting contact was scary, but after a few days, it became so liberating to delete his number and all his social media profiles. I could finally move on.
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