Yes, not even halfway through Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, I found two passages that, as usual, seem to have described me directly, either today or at some point in the future.
Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never even dared to admit that you wanted — an emotional speedball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with the hungry obsession of any junkie. when the drug is withheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but who now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore — despite the fact that you know he has hidden it somewhere, goddamn it, because he used to give it to you for free). Next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have that thing even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you. He looks at you like you’re someone he’s nver met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is, you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You’re a pathetic mess, unrecognizable even to your eyes.
Probably it’s a plus that most of my “addictions” were unrequited because I swam through the addiction alone. My dealer, if you think about it, has been myself all along. Ugh, I hate metaphors. Then this next one, I am not ashamed to admit that I have been/would be, when that little something called falling in love struck me again. Just like the passage, I am not proud of it, but I charged it to experience. Yes, I did crazy things because I thought I love(d) someone. I wonder where he is now. To the next one, lucky you. I just hope you would not be a total a-hole, because I’m a gem, hahaha.
I have boundary issues with men. Or maybe that’s not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries , one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time. my devotion, my ass, my money, my dog’s time — everything. If I love you I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.
I do not relay these facts about myself with pride but this is how it’s always been.
Wow. I still have more than 300 pages to read yet I was already moved. I must say, I made the right decision picking this up from my TBR (to be read) pile because it’s such an awesome tool in my path to self-awakening. I’m in Operation:Growing Up remember?
Taken from pages 25 and 86 of a paperback print of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search For Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. Published in 2006 by The Penguin Group, New York.