Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

 One
of the clients on Celebrity Rehab 4
is
Rachel Uchitel, who had a very successful career in the
hospitality industry before she ended up on the front page of a lot of
newspapers because she had an affair with Tiger Woods.

            That affair was
actually the second time she was on the front page. The first time, her fiancée
was killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New
York. She appeared on the front page of the New
York Post
holding a picture of him, and the photo was republished
worldwide.

            That tragedy
was not the only loss in Rachel’s life, and she has struggled with a lot of
sadness. When she came to Celebrity Rehab
she had some substance dependency, but her real addiction was to love.

            Does that sound
strange? How could love be an addiction? But it can be.

            A love
addiction can have a sexual component, but really it’s about romance and
relationships. The addict can’t do without them, can’t be without a partner.
There’s a terrible need for control and predictability in their life, a fear of
what will happen if they don’t have someone. The self-esteem of a love addict
is tied up in how other people see them–perhaps they’ll seem like a “loser” if
they don’t have a very attractive partner.

            Love addicts
often misjudge the depth of the relationship they’re in, and mistake drama for
closeness. Their perception of what’s going on is really a kind of fantasy love
affair–the kind of fantasy you might have if you imagined meeting your favorite
movie star and he or she fell in love with you. That’s a nice dream, but you
know it’s not real. But love addicts have fantasies like that about their
relationships, and think they are real. Some very new studies have shown that
when a love addict talks about their relationship, the same areas of the brain
are stimulated as when a person gets high.

            Like other
kinds of addiction, the love addiction is something that fills up an empty
place inside. Or rather–some people try
to
fill up the empty place inside with fantasy relationships. But it never
works. Nothing can fill up that terrible emptiness. The only way to deal with
it is to face it head on, to know your truth, and to see yourself and others
with profound compassion. I know it’s not easy. But when you do, the positive energy
comes pouring in and that gaping hole fills itself. 

             Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach and author of The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery for all addictions whether it is a  love and sex addiction, co-dependency, gambling addiction, shopping addiction, food addiction, an internet addiction or a drug or alcohol addiction. .  She is also the Life Coach featured on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1.  She has a private practice, see clients in her office and by phone all over the world.  Contact Sherry about her upcoming teleseminars, webinars,  and speaking engagements at sherry@sgabatherapy.com.



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