CONFESSIONS OF A LOVE ADDICT
‘Growing up, I always wanted to be in a relationship. As a teenager, I would sleep with my friends’ boyfriends and thought nothing of having one-night stands. I was obsessed with the idea of falling in love, and yet I was terrified of intimacy.
Throughout my twenties, my behaviour only became more extreme. It wasn’t until I was sexually abused at the age of 24 that my parents saw for the first time how unhappy I was. I was at my lowest ebb when my dad took me to a yoga retreat in Thailand. I remember coming across a book called Women
Who Love Too Much – I opened it at a random page and started reading. It was like everything in my life suddenly made sense. When I was a child, my parents had both used drugs, and the book explained how children who grow up in such environments often go on to have dysfunctional romantic relationships. I’d always told myself that my parents were the ones with the problem, not me. It was the impetus I needed to change for good.
Back home, I started a 12-step therapy programme, and over the next 18 months I committed to abstaining from relationships. There was no one else to validate me, and that was so important.
Having that time on my own meant that when I met my current boyfriend, in 2015, I approached the relationship differently and I was upfront about my relationship history straight away. We’ve been a couple for two years now and we’re about to travel the world together. Our relationship isn’t perfect (whose is?), but it fills me with hope that, after having gone through so much, I’ve been able to move forward.’