A moving memoir of a love affair with an addict, weaving personal reckoning with psychology and history to grapple with addiction, codependency and our appetite for obsessive love.
'The disease he has is addiction,' Nina Renata Aron writes of her boyfriend. 'The disease I have is loving him.'
Their love affair is dramatic, urgent - an intoxicating antidote to the lonely days of early motherhood. But soon, K starts using again. Even as his addiction deepens, Nina stays, thinking she can save him. It's a familiar pattern, developed in an adolescence marked by family trauma - how can she break it? If she leaves, has she failed?
In this unflinching memoir, Aron shows the devastating effect of addiction on loved ones. She also untangles the messy ties between her own history of enabling, society's expectations of womanhood and our ideas of love.
She cracks open the feminised phenomenon of co-dependency, tracing its development from the formation of Al-Anon to recent research in the psychology of addiction, and asks uncomfortable questions about when help becomes harm and how love really works.