Where Do I Begin?

[originally published October 23, 2015]


Today I woke up with energy and purpose. Unfortunately I also woke up with the crafty voice of addiction in my bones. 

Most people I talk to about this addiction have no clue what I'm talking about. To them, I imagine love takes many forms. For me there is only one: the Goddess and the Whore.

The Goddess and the Whore first entered my life in seventh grade. Before then, my first and second crushes (the brainy beauty and the sparkly redhead) were relatively chaste and even charming. I never spoke to the first and was friends with the second, and remained a friend to this day, though the crush has long since faded.

At a certain point in sixth or seventh grade, I discovered Playboy (Cady Cantrell, April '88). I was hooked. After that I began to see girls in a whole new light, as if under the clothes lay an exotic, erotic creature I could only worship from afar.

And then I discovered Penthouse. I lightly skimmed every issue in the staco until I found her. The one. She looked a bit like Stevie Nicks if Stevie Nicks happened to be 13 and in my science class. This girl (I'll call her the faerie princess) was immediately branded in my mind as a sexual being masquerading as a normal child.

From that day forward, two patterns emerged. On one side were the dreamgirls: your Karas and your Jennys, who I loved with all my heart; and on the other, the so-called secret sluts, who existed solely to fill my fantasies and drive my obsession.

As I grew older, I tried and failed to make things work with either category, in fact never even having a first date or a first kiss until I was nearly 18. Fantasy ruled, and the Goddess and the Whore grew stronger and stronger until I wasn't myself if I wasn't pursuing a powerful obsession that manifested as a woman or a girl who would alternately drive me to kissing and embracing to chasing and debasing.

I attended my first love addiction meeting this week, and fifteen minutes later I was pursuing a gorgeous hairstylist and watching a new live interest do standup. I messaged an old girlfriend the next day and began obsessively engaging the beautiful models of Instagram.

I return to the meeting next week and will have to admit that my self-control is weak, and these habits are overwhelming. I will have to be honest and tell them part of me wants to indulge my desires and beg for acceptance. And if I want to beat this obsession, I will have to renounce these habits I can only indulge when single, which I had planned to be for another 8 months or so.

I have a choice to make. And it won't be easy.