I wish I could remember exactly what it’s like to be in love, but like an addict, all the days seem to run together. I remember moments, bits and pieces, and that sick feeling toward the end.
I remember screaming and crying in the street, dancing and twirling like a madman. I remember babbling -- lots of babbling -- about stories and secrets. I remember waking up, unable to move or breathe, hungover as f*ck.
Those days, they’re like a bad blackout. It was like waking up and downing a bottle of wine, enjoying a few martinis with lunch and ending the night with two six packs. You could say I was drunk throughout the whole thing.
But mostly, I remember the pulsing through my blood that made me feel like I could do anything. Because that’s what love is like, an addictive rush that you can't get enough of. It’s not just a bad Kesha lyric, it’s the truth. “Your love is my drug” and I was on a bender.
And we’ve all been there. We’ve all thrown up in our parents' bed and we’ve all been wildly love sick. We’ve all sworn off love once and for all and then fallen victim to it time and time again. Don't blame us, we just can't help ourselves, we're addicts.
Researchers at Stanford University proved that love is as dangerous and intoxicating as any stimulant. Using 15 participants in new relationships, the researchers showed them pictures of their loved ones to see the effect on the brain.
Scans found that the part of their brain that’s normally stimulated by cocaine and morphine was activated when shown the picture.
The researchers also showed the 15 participants photographs of their partners while delivering small stabs of pain to their palm with a hot probe. After rating how much pain they felt, the ones who were in love rated their pain lower.
Love, like cocaine or booze, increases our threshold for pain and leads us to believe things are different than they are.
According to Sean Mackey, associate professor of anesthesiology and senior author of the study, "We intentionally focused on this early phase of passionate love.
We wanted subjects who were feeling euphoric, energetic, obsessively thinking about their beloved, craving their presence. When passionate love is described like this, it in some ways sounds like an addiction. We thought, maybe this does involve similar brain systems as those involved in addictions."
There's no denying that love is addictive. There's also no denying that we look back on our stints of love the way we do a drunken night.
It's hazy, blurry and filled with things you can't believe you did. You were a madman, out of control and floating on a cloud.
It clouds your judgment
You don't remember what they look like, you just remember their glow. Like love goggles, you only see certain parts of them and those parts are all roses.
After you detox and get all the love out of your system, you see them in a completely different light. You see them for who they really are and can't remember what you saw so passionately in the first place.
You're completely and utterly exposed
Your inhibitions are down and you're exposing sides of yourself that you'd rather keep private from your coworkers or friends.
You have no filter, no emotional lid and you're stripping down naked. You're in your most vulnerable state, likely to believe anything and overanalyze everything.
You do things you'd never do in public
Only when you're love drunk will you make out passionately with someone in the street.
Only when you're completely and utterly intoxicated will you cry and fight and scream in front of strangers. Only when you're blacked out will you beg and threaten and swear in front of someone you've only just met.
You feel like it’s never never going to end
Like during a great night, you never want to go home. You think this high will last forever and you're determined to keep going until you can't go on any longer.
It’s the best you’ve ever felt and you'll be damned if you have to come back down. You will ride this until you crash -- until you're passed out, vomiting on the floor.
When it’s over, you can’t remember what happened
It's like a blackout, or at least a brownout. Time is warped and you have slight moments of embarrassment when you do remember bits and pieces of what you said and did. "Did I really ask her to dance in the rain?" "Why did I tell him he was my first?"
You don’t know when to stop
Once you start, there's really no stopping. You can't refuse a shot and you definitely can't refuse another invite.
You know you should take a break, go back to your friends and your family, but you can't get enough. You're in too deep and you want to see how far you can go before you choke.
The comedown is rough
I'd say a broken heart hurts more than your average hangover. It's not just days in bed, but week and months.
It's that nausea in the pit of your stomach and, at some point or another, someone is holding your hair back. Like getting a whiff of whiskey too early in the morning, you become sick with the memories.
You keep chasing that feeling
No matter how rough your last comedown was, you never learn your lesson. You want more even though you know it's not always good for you.
You keep looking for that perfect run, that perfect night, that perfect person. You're going to chase that feeling until it kills you.