BPD & Love Addiction: Escaping Pain through Craving & Dependency
The intense longing for affection experienced by individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can escalate into a form of addiction. The deep craving for love and attention drives them to escape from their internal problems and emotional pain. This addictive pattern can manifest in a constant quest for love and attention, as individuals with BPD seek external sources to fill the emotional void within themselves.
In this article, we'll discuss my addiction and the reason for most of my emotional pain, which is love. This is for the people who can relate, even if it's just a little bit.
BPD craving love addiction
I think a lot of us with BPD are approaching love the wrong way, which is convincing ourselves that love is the ultimate solution to all our problems: the things that make our past okay, that give us the direction for the future, and bring our everyday life meaning. I think love can be beautiful and exciting, but sometimes we use it as a way to escape reality. Don't get me wrong, I think that the desire for attachment, intimacy, security, and love are natural, they're human, and they're good. But sometimes, we do weird stuff in the name of love, like getting into crazy, on-and-off, destructive relationships or going on a date every free night with someone new. In this, it feels like loneliness or the need to escape is driving us more than genuine love. We are essentially running from ourselves to receive solace from someone else.
But the solution to our problems doesn't lie with someone else; it lies within ourselves. Because I think, sometimes, the melodrama that comes with love actually pulls us further away instead of bringing us closer to our true selves.
If you're someone who constantly craves emotional connection, like me, then it is likely that you value love a lot more than you should. We value affection above everything else and sometimes even believe that nothing else really matters. And as a result, when we receive any kind of attention or affection from someone, we can become obsessed and clingy. And this obsession can lead to anxiety, more specifically, fear of abandonment and rejection, as we struggle to naturally accept and let go of love. We believe that receiving affection from someone is the only thing that gives our life meaning and purpose.
When it comes to love, most of us aren't really thinking about becoming a better person, being kinder, having more integrity, or getting more grounded. That's not our focus at all because we're too busy looking for the next thrilling experience that feeds our addiction, that supposed greener grass, or an exciting new person to distract us from ourselves and our past.
''It looks like love, it feels like love, but when you delve deeper, there's no love to be found.''
I think the main convincing point for someone with BPD when we start falling for someone is that we feel like: "Yes! I'm not alone anymore." Because then, at the end of the day, we can lay in bed without stressing about our needs, wants, past, and all the other stuff that's really stopping us from becoming happy. Instead, we get caught up in this person. Our mind has someone to obsess about and focus on. In other words, when we're so focused on feeling better through romance, we're not really addressing the actual work needed to fix the things that are preventing us from becoming happy.
It takes us away from the real issue at hand. Because the real problem lies within ourselves. It's about our unrealistic notions of romance, the unaddressed needs we have, the painful past we avoid discussing, our desires, and our inability to get through one day without picking up our smartphone. When it comes to love and dating, some of us could really benefit from taking a break and resetting. Because after all, personally, I would want to know who I am again.
"Love addiction is the misguided belief that someone else can complete us, when in reality, we must complete ourselves." - Alexandra Katehakis
I had so much pain and shame in my past that I simply didn't want to face it. So, I ran away from it by indulging in love and fantasy. But I found after all that running I wasn't really getting anywhere. I was just re-creating the same mistakes and experiencing the same pain time and time again. I also realized that life already brings enough drama and challenges on its own, so there's no need for me to create more. I could simply let it go. However, it's incredibly challenging because when I stop running from myself, the pain becomes unbearable, as if my nerves are on fire, just like dealing with an actual addiction. And at that point, it is very difficult to resist the temptation of seeking solace through dating, love, or attention to numb the pain.
When you don't really understand yourself or love yourself, that's when you start craving love. It's like when you haven't dealt with those emotional scars you've been carrying around since you were a kid. That's when you end up desperately seeking love from others, and that's a sign that you need to work on loving yourself. The trick is to recognize your strengths and accept your flaws. That's how you can break free from the constant craving for love. It's about healing that emotional hunger inside you. Once you do that, you'll realize that true happiness comes from within. You won't need to rely on others to feel complete and satisfied in life. It's a journey of overcoming those emotional wounds and discovering that self-love is the ultimate source of fulfillment.
"Love addiction is a paradoxical longing for intimacy that often results in emotional disconnection." - Pia Mellody