What is an addiction to a person? How does it happen? When does it happen? How do you break that addiction?
To be honest, it's the same as being addicted to anything else. Drugs/alcohol, gambling, and spending are all things you can be addicted to.
Addiction means that you continue to pursue something although it's having harmful effects on your life. Looking at addiction, it's not a far jump to see how it's possible to be addicted to a person. You can continue to pursue a relationship even though it's having harmful effects on your life and maybe even other people's lives, but add a little bit more depth to the idea of what an addiction is.
Other addictive symptoms include craving obsession. The loss of control and an inability to stop. Let's clarify the difference between being addicted to a person and being madly in love with a person. There are some similarities there, right. You might have that craving, that obsessive fault.
What you don't have in the madly in love department that you have in the addiction department is all the harmful effects. What makes relationships addictive tends to be the inability to have that relationship. If you feel crazy obsessed with the person and they feel crazy obsessed with you back then, I would probably call that madly in love.
If you feel crazy, obsessed with a person, and they either don't feel it back for you or feel it sometimes, or feel it, but not as much as you do or they did feel it, but now they don't. That's when it's more likely that you could experience an addicted state. When you think about anything else that's addictive, like a substance or addictive behaviors, you get close to achieving this feeling state, but you can't quite get there in that is the addictive part. Or you get that feeling state, but you get it inconsistently, which then leaves you wanting it more and more and more.
The possibility of becoming addicted to another person goes up if you have a history of trauma from your childhood. Just like your chances of developing an addiction to anything goes way up in one of those unrequited love scenarios.
The two most common types of situations where people are addicted to other people are:
Let's start with the right after a breakup scenario. When you're bonded with someone, your brain becomes physically dependent on that person because you're getting your oxytocin needs met. Oxytocin is produced through closeness, bond, touching, and connection.
When that relationship is ripped away, you go into withdrawal, you get desperate. When you're in this situation, the risk goes way up, that you're going to make a decision that you later regret because desperation and fear lead us to make bad decisions.
There's this intense craving for that other person, you know, where you're making 20,000 excuses to have a reason to talk to them like, "oh, I found your sweatshirt, and you need to come to get it." We've all been there a time or two.
Can you see now just how closely this relates to being in withdrawal from any other addictive thing?
Why being in love with an addict can lead you to be addicted to that person.
When you're in a relationship with someone who has an addiction to something, a chemical, a substance, or some other type of behavior, it's like sometimes they're there with you. Whether they're physically there or not. Emotionally, they're connected, but emotionally they're not. I frequently tell people that if you're in a relationship with someone who has an addiction, you can at best be second in their life. It's the inability to find consistency in a relationship that leaves you feeling addicted.
Again, it's similar to breaking an addiction to anything else. The first thing you have to do is gain control of obsessive thoughts.
The rabbit hole. You'll want to go down into that deep, dark, obsessive rabbit hole. I'm telling you, there is nothing good down there. Now you may not be able to help that first thought that pops into your mind, but you can help whether or not to fuel that thought. The further down the rabbit hole you get, the harder it is to come out, as painful as it may be.
If you are trying to break an addiction to a person, the best way to do that is to go cold turkey. That means don't make reasons to communicate with them.
That means turning off social media and quitting stocking their social media. Now that's going to be against every instinct in your body, but that's what it's like when you're trying to break an addiction, and the more you don't give in to it, the more you refuse to feed it, the faster you will get better.
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