Growing up I remember my mother talking to me about drugs and alcohol. She warned me repeatedly about the dangers of smoking and getting drunk at parties. She spoke, and spoke, and like a sermon I would hear her preaching every time I left the house.
But my mother failed to talk to me about the most dangerous drug known to mankind: Passion.
When I was 23 years old I learned the dangers of passion for the first time, the destruction it can cause and the powerful addiction it can create. Passion will draw us in with its alluring high. It will consume every part of us and when we find ourselves addicted, it will spit us out and leave us to die under the hot sun. I know it might sound like an exaggeration, but anyone who has experienced such passion knows that this is exactly what it does.
Do not fool yourself. Passion is not love. Passion is its evil twin. The one who likes to fuck with our heart and play with our emotions. Passion is that intense irrational feeling we get that makes us act like complete lunatics just so we can secure another dose of its high. It makes us addicted to the most vile people because for some inexplicable fucked up reason they are the ones holding the last drop of what we think is life itself. Passion makes us addicted to the drug dealer.
So how does passion become such a powerful evil force in our lives? It comes down to biology and psychology. Science has proven the affect of sex on the human brain is like a drug. That cloud nine feeling we get during sex is the body flooding the brain with neurochemicals, which create emotions, feelings of attachment, and even… argh..love. And this is where things get fucked up: During an orgasm, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (whatever that is) SHUTS DOWN. This region is considered to be the voice of reason and controls behavior. During an orgasm the brain of a woman is said to look much like the brain of a person taking heroin, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
How fucked up is that?
So this is how passion forces itself into us. Through really good sex.
Most of the time we know that charming person we met at the bar is not good for us. We’ve all heard their stories of bad luck, lack of money and crazy ex girlfriends. By the way, have you noticed how every asshole has a crazy ex girlfriend or/and 100 ex wives who monstrously keep his 100 kids from him? They are all unlucky victims of the world and mean women. Just poor souls with bad luck. We all know those men. They are charming, exciting, sexy and extremely complicated. They fit every characteristic of a sociopath but we don’t care. They are the famous bad on paper men. The ones we end up choosing over the boring good on paper men our mothers try to set us up with. We know they are bad for us the moment we meet them, and our brain warns us to keep a safe distance because it knows attraction is not nearly as destructive as passion.
But most of us don’t listen to our brain, we listen to its slower friend: the heart. Most of us believe that the charming soulless wanderer is just a victim of society; a poor soul misunderstood by the world. And we decide to sleep with him. If only just to know what it feels like to sleep with someone so sexy and exciting. And that’s when all hell breaks loose. The passion will take over our mind like a San Francisco fog in the middle of July; leaving us completely blinded by its high. The sex will be so good that we will start to fantasize a relationship and start to project upon him all these great qualities that he never cultivated in himself.
Way too often, a person will find herself completely devoted to this poor soul who in reality is nothing more than a destructive self centered baby, not capable of loving anyone but himself. Passion will literally suck the rationale out of us, turning us into delusional beings who blindly believe that one day this baby will magically turn into an adult capable of leading and raising a family. We put them in a pedestal and we idolize them. Passion convinces us that they are good souls who just need to be rescued. Passion turns us into those rescuers. And once we officially became a rescuer, passion turns us into even bigger addicts. We start to believe we can fix them and we turn the challenge into a reflection of our own worth, which makes it even harder to quit. After all, by quitting we are admitting our defeat and our failure.
But passion is not all about the bad, otherwise it would be easy to set ourselves free. There needs to be good. A reward. A high. Because just like every other drug, passion’s addiction lies on the cycle of the ups and downs. The good and the horrible. The pain and the reward. Passion thrives on those rare moments of calmness and connection. It’s those rare moments that make the drug even more addicting than it is. Those rare compliments and those rare calls shoot you through a rocket trip through the solar system. You forget all the bad and you start to live for the good, like a junkie. And you crave that moment forever. Long enough for it to come crashing down on you for the hundredth time, leaving you even more depleted than the time before.
And that’s passion. It’s highly seductive and dangerous. And I know this because I am a recovering addict, struggling daily to overcome my addiction.
January 14, 2015 at 11:28 pm
I enjoyed reading this and can relate to it deeply. That is why I have made a decision in my life to not listen or care for that stupid feeling called chemistry, which is nothing but our brain recognizing something familiar. Or lets just say, recognizing mr. wrong in all levels of fucked-upness! I am out!!!
June 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm
Wow. Yes. This. I didn’t have a child with him, but I’m recovering from a ‘passion addiction’ over a similar type of man. I found you through your article on Tiny Buddha. Thank you for writing about your experience. 🙂
June 5, 2015 at 2:24 am
Holy shit!! YES!!!! I am a huge addict……ever since that first amazing sexual encounter. I chase and chase for that very same high…..every time i am left empty, alone. Your article touched me…I too am a work in progress.
June 26, 2015 at 4:26 pm
Please don’t ever stop writing. You have an amazing gift.
I connected and identified with almost everything you have written deeply.
I love this article. Passion is the reason I decided to stay celibate while I “figure it all out”
August 1, 2017 at 5:07 am
Will we ever figure it out? I had been celibate for 4 years. Tired of dating men, just to date, because the real excitement never showed up. Then one average day it arrived in a nice, ego boosting, incredibly addicting package, who always said the right thing. I forgot what i was missing, this is how it feels to be alive!!!. Then he would not call, or not show up, or distance himself for no apparent reason. How could i be this high and him act this way. I pulled away so often for weeks at a time, but he would not leg go and send fake sweet texts ” I miss you” never mind how he stood me up the night before. The excitement of forgiving him was so much more powerful because it allowed us to reunite, until the hurt continued, over and over, up and down, and me always taking this emotionally charged drug abuse. And him, not noticing how much pain he was causing me, or caring that he did. I think he is my combo passion, narcissist. I once wouldn’t speak to him for a year because my intuition knew. And then we went for round 3, after 4 years of celibacy . Back to square one pulling away for emotional safety. All i could think was this man loves me because he cant stay away. What a high until its NOT… Ahhhhh How do i learn to love safe and boring men?
August 1, 2017 at 5:15 am
Love in this form is really ego masturbation. A MIND FUCK!! And i feel like the victim believing the lie or acting in his play. I get high just talking about how much passion and excitement i felt. But i felt no compassion or value from this person or real love. IT is real love’s evil twin.
January 17, 2018 at 4:17 pm
Beautifully written! I found your post while searching for advice on how to make a breakup/withdrawal easier. Thank you for me being so bold and honest. It was like you were writing about me.