Author Jo Piazza knows what it’s like to be a love addict.
“I was a complete neurotic dater when I was in my 20s. I used to Google stalk my boyfriends, drive past their houses, and I went completely insane during some breakups,” says the author of the new book, “Love Rehab: A Novel in 12 Steps.”
But Piazza knows she isn’t the only girl in the world who has done crazy things for love. While researching the book and her main character, Sophie, Piazza discovered actual love rehab centers where forlorn women are coached through their obsessions. They get help to overcome past relationships while also learning how to be independent.
“Sophie became this combination of my own experiences, my friends’ experiences and stories from around 500 women I interviewed at different rehab centers,” Piazza tells Metro. “I also contacted an anthropology professor. She told me the feelings you get from love are the same you get from cocaine. When those feelings go away, you go through withdrawal in the same way [as when you quit drugs]. It’s a novel but there’s a lot of research behind it."
Piazza points to our generation’s preoccupation with social media as to why anxiety surrounds many women and their relationships. You can really keep an eye on your current boyfriend (or your ex) thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The life-snippets and images they promote let the imagination run wild.
“In rehab, women actually get to identify their addictions. They realize that everyone does the same things,” she says. “Most women in rehab don’t want to get out of their relationships even though they are really bad for them. They are scared of being alone, and that fear drives so many women to bad behavior.”
For Piazza, writing “Love Rehab” was her own cathartic experience. “While I was writing this book, I really evaluated my self and my relationships," she recounts. "I thought about what I had done wrong and right; in a lot of ways, this book puts me in a very good place. A place where I have met a good guy who treats me really well and with whom I haven’t had any drama — fingers crossed."