Here, Katy Moore, 40, tells the story in her own words.
T￼he traffic stood still, but my heart raced. Three cars behind, my man, Ben*, was just as excited.
On the way back to his place, he kept texting me – each ping like a jolt of electricity. Then suddenly, Ben appeared at my open window. So desperate to see me, he’d left his engine running – just to give me a kiss! He will literally stop traffic for me! I thought, smitten.
At 35 and recently divorced after two years of marriage, I’d felt worthless and unloved. Meeting Ben through a friend had changed all that.
But our relationship was a roller-coaster. The peaks were high and the troughs were so very low. If Ben didn’t text me back straight away, my brain would go into overdrive. What’s he up to? Who’s he with? I’d panic.
Frantically checking his social media, I’d find out where he was and ‘accidentally’ walk past. I even lurked outside a party, spying on him through a crack in the fence. I’m stalking him! I realised, disgusted. He hadn’t really done anything to fuel my behaviour, this was just who I was.
Calling it off with him, I hoped he’d beg for me back. He didn’t. So on a night out with the girls, I scanned the bar for my next eligible bachelor.
Zeroing in on my target, I flirted mercilessly. And when he invited me back to his place, a perfect fantasy formed in my mind – our one-night stand would surely turn into a Hollywood romance and we’d live happily ever after.
After spending the night together though, I snuggled in for a spoon and he rolled right over. What am I doing? I cried quietly.
It was always the same. Yet still, I’d try to engineer ways to meet the man I’d slept with. Knocking on one bloke’s door, I hoped he’d be happy to see me. Maybe he just forgot to ask for my phone number...
‘I’ve left my purse here,’ I lied, giving him the opportunity to ask me out. But after searching under his bed for an imaginary wallet, and with no invitation, I left, mortified.
Another time, I was visiting my mum whenI spotted a gorgeous builder working next door. I became obsessed with him, making any excuse to pop round. We did start seeing each other, but when that ended I tailed his ute, pulling up next to him at the traffic lights. ‘Hi, it’s you!’ I exclaimed. I don’t know what I expected – maybe he’d say he’d been thinking of me and couldn’t live without me. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.
Then on holiday in Bali I spent a night with a Kiwi named Matt*.
Back home, he was all I could think about. So I became a detective, hunting him down on Facebook without knowing his surname. He seemed genuinely pleased to hear from me. It would be so cool to see you again, Matt messaged. So, I cancelled plans to go to a friend’s birthday, and booked a flight to New Zealand for that weekend!
When Matt’s dad died soon after, I was so desperate to impress him that I stayed up all night writing his eulogy – without being asked. If I do this for him, he’ll never forget me, I decided.
But, a few weeks later, after waiting days for him to return a text, my throat began to constrict. I can’t breathe! I panicked.
Rushing to hospital, I was sent to the mental health unit. ‘You’re having a panic attack. You’re going to be okay,’ the doctor soothed.
Once I’d calmed down, I knew I needed to find out what was wrong with me. Heading to the library, I looked through the self-help section. Are you a love addict? one book read. There was a questionnaire at the back to help me decide.
Do you need to be complimented constantly? Do you stalk people? Are you putting yourself at sexual risk? ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ I gasped.
I thought sex addiction was an excuse celebrities used to cheat. But this made sense. I was an addict and love was my drug.
Finding support online, I went to my first Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting. Teachers, bankers, uni students and mums shared their stories. Like me, they’d gone to drastic lengths for love.
To get better, I was toldI had to make some radical changes. With the support of a sponsor, I had to go cold turkey. It meant staying away from blokes for a whole month.
After attending meetings five nights a week for three months, I saw a change in my behaviour. Confiding in my mum about what I’d been through, she burst into tears. ‘Katy, I’m so proud of you,’ she said, hugging me tight.
A year into my recovery, I met my boyfriend, James, now 25. He’s so supportive and our relationship is the healthiest I’ve ever had. Love addiction isn’t a joke – it’s real. And I’ve finally got control of my heart again.
* Names have been changed.
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