My first love was many, many years ago. I’m not quite sure I was even in high school yet. I was crazy about him and was positive that one day we would get married. Many days at school, I scribbled his name on paper surrounded by hundreds of tiny hearts; my name was neatly next to his and, of course, ended with his last name. He was my Prince Charming, and my days were filled with thoughts of only him.
Drug Addiction & Love
A drug addiction, in a weird, twisted way, is similar to love: It plays with your emotions, consumes your mind, and makes you react in ways you never imagined. Here are 10 things drug addiction and love have in common.
1. It’s Addicting
Love is addicting. It feels good to fall in love. The brain produces chemicals that send positive messages to your body. It is so powerful that it can sometimes cure, albeit temporarily, depression and sadness. People who fall in love get addicted to the rush of that initial attraction just as an addict gets addicted to that first hit.
2. You Do Things You’ll Regret
Oh, the things you say and do when you are in love! With the wrong person, you might give up a job, move across the country, or lower your moral standards. Drugs will cause you to lose responsible judgment, and while under the influence, you might do things you never dreamed of doing sober.
3. Someone Is Going to Get Hurt
My friend in high school used to say, “With every hookup comes a breakup, unless it ends in marriage.” It drove me insane, but for the most part, she was right. Most relationships are going to end, unless the commitment is forever. With love comes great risk; someone might get their heart broken. Doing drugs comes with a price tag, and unfortunately, unlike love, there are no long-term rewards. Someone will get hurt, and that person is going to be you – and many other people, too.
4. Makes Your Heart Race
Falling in love is fun. It makes your heart race, your head buzz, and your body feel goosebumps and butterflies. Drugs make you feel alive: I am not going to downplay their effect. There is a reason they are addicting, and the reason is the physical, emotional, and mental impact they have on you.
5. You Count the Minutes Until Your Next Meeting
Waiting for that next text or phone call can feel like forever. When you are in love, you can’t wait to see your boyfriend or girlfriend. Drugs do the same thing; the minutes until your next high will feel like forever. You will count down the hours until you finally get to escape into the high of your drug.
6. It Comes First
When you’re in love, friends and family are put on the back burner. If I had the choice between spending my day with my boyfriend or my best friend, I almost always chose my boyfriend. Addictions also come first. They don’t have the patience to wait for others, and soon, friends, family, jobs, education, and hobbies will all be tucked away for later.
7. Your Nights Are Long
Whenever I am dating someone, I suddenly have no bedtime. I push the clock back another hour just to spend extra time with that special person. Addictions mess with your schedule, too; your nights grow longer and waking up becomes harder.
8. Your Thoughts Are Always On It
If you have been in love, then you know how consuming love can be. My first boyfriend was always on my mind. I thought of him before bed, when I woke up, and throughout my day at school. When I was doing drugs, my mind was trapped in my addiction. No matter how hard I tried to change my focus, I couldn’t.
9. You Worry and Become Anxious During Long Absences
When someone doesn’t respond to your text or phone call immediately, you begin to wonder why. Do they not like me anymore? Did I do something wrong? Long absences between highs immediately begin to worry an addict. They wonder if they can make it and when or where they will get more. The worry makes it almost impossible to focus on work or school.
10. Breaking Up Physically and Emotionally Hurts You
Last is the breakup. Falling in love can feel good, and many times it ends positively, but when a relationship comes to an end, it hurts. Having your heart broken is one of the most painful feelings you could ever experience. When an addict decides to break up with a drug, it is painful, too. The hours are long, and there are moments when it feels like the pain will never end. If you have had your heart broken, then you know how time heals it. An addiction is the same way: Every day that passes, you become stronger and further from those first painful moments. I hate comparing being in love with an addiction, but when you are an addict, you love the drug and have no room for anything or anyone else.
By Michelle Conway
Photo by: Mostafa Zamani (Flickr)