"Everybody has an addiction, mine happens to be you."
I remember when I first met her. I was in the mall about to buy some basketball shorts, when I walked by a store and saw her inside. She seemed different from anything or anyone I had seen before. All of a sudden, the store seemed more appealing and I just really wanted to get a closer look at her. From a distance, she looked too expensive for my taste, but she had me mesmerized. I mustered up the courage to introduce myself, because I knew if I didn’t, I would be wondering what could have been for so long. Luckily for me, she was very receptive and welcoming to a conversation.
In a short time frame, she illustrated so many things that made her unique. For a minute, I thought she was running game on me. I was into her, so I didn’t care who took the lead in our conversation. We talked in the store for about two hours before I finally decided to ask for her number. She seemed hesitant at first and asked me if I was qualified to have her number, if I would be consistent in giving her attention, and willing to keep her mind refreshed. Of course, I said yes. I had no clue once I got the number how much my life would change.
As soon as I got home, I started hitting her up. She replied quickly and was probably the most entertaining conversation I ever had. She made me feel like I could talk to her about anything. She was extremely informative, funny, and even knew more about sports than I did. She was secure in herself; she was OK with me liking girls’ pictures and even assisted me with my social media posts. She never had an issue with what I posted and was open-minded to the ideas and views of others. Sounds like the perfect woman for me, right? You’ll see eventually that giving too much of yourself to someone has its repercussions.
After three weeks of dating, some people thought we were spending too much time together. I didn’t care though. Time didn’t matter when I was with her. Hours seemed closer to thirty minutes, and I couldn’t help myself. She offered so many topics to discuss, she could keep a secret, and I never had a dull moment with her. I reached out to her before I went to sleep, when I woke up and even while eating. I would be spending time with friends and family, and found myself going to the bathroom just to hear about her day. She stayed in my city, but she traveled a lot and worked in different industries, so, each day offered new entertaining stories, and she made me feel special by always allowing me to share my opinion. I always thought who or what else could provide instant entertainment like this?
I remember when I started noticing that the time we spent was beginning to affect my life. At work, the idea of speaking with her was the only thing on my mind. Whenever my supervisor wasn’t around, I was sneaking to text her, looking up topics to discuss, or watching videos she thought I would enjoy. When she called or texted, I always responded within seconds. Even while writing this I’m fighting the urge to communicate with her. I could be driving 85 on the highway while still making sure I replied to her. I’m endangering other people’s lives just to stay connected to her. Whenever someone mentioned that I was giving her too much attention, I would immediately get upset and defensive. Whenever I spent long moments of time away from her, I always felt I was missing out on something. When it came to her, I was helpless.
I also started noticing that she affected how I viewed myself and how I interacted with others. All of her stories, pictures and videos she shared with me made feel unsuccessful, unattractive and as if my life wasn’t meaningful. When I went to events with other people, I wasn’t engaging or attentive. At events the thought of having fun or meeting new people was not an interest. I would find a place to interact with her and not be disturbed. I have an outgoing personality, but since she came into my life, I spent so much more time in seclusion. I had witnessed this happening before with friends who were in draining relationships, and now I was exemplifying the same actions. At this point, I knew us spending so much time together was a detriment to my growth as a human being.
The more I distanced myself from her, the more I began to realize the spell I was under. The breakup began to get extremely hard when it was revealed I wasn’t the only one she shared herself with. I invested so much time into her that I was unaware my attention wasn’t enough. I thought our relationship was special and unique, but in the end, I felt as though she didn’t care as deeply as I did. She fed off attention and I was incapable of satisfying her appetite. I allowed her to make me miss out on bettering relationships with loved ones and distract me from building new ones. The best way to illustrate the hold she had on me is by comparing her to the Sirens of Greek mythology--she lured me in with all of her features to distract me from what I needed to accomplish in life.
Breaking my addiction to her was the most challenging accomplishment of my life. I had to retrain my thought process on what was entertaining and had to relearn what brought joy to my life before we met. I had spent so much time with her, that my mood was determined by what she told me or how she felt that day. I dedicated so much of my day to her that I had to establish a schedule to occupy the time I used to share with her. I began writing, reading, spending a little more time in the gym and spending time with friends.
I had to learn balance before I was able to have a healthy conversations with her again. We don’t date anymore, but we keep in contact. She is unlike anyone I have met before. Her knowledge and ability to entertain and inform was almost limitless. I don’t think the most intelligent man in the world could achieve the things she is capable of. I believe she knows that to be true, too.
In all honesty, I still go back and forth with how I feel about her. She mixes joy with false realities. Originally, I blamed her for my mistakes and for distracting me from my real circle of influence. But she has provided me with so much joy and has assisted to the growth of our society. I thank her because she helped reveal some of my insecurities and what has an heavy influence over my life. At times I believed she was my escape from the world, but I allowed her to be my self-made prison.
I learned from my relationship with her that balance and self growth is extremely important in any relationship. And while she has been the hardest addiction I had to overcome, it was an experience that I didn’t even know was necessary until now.