Miriam had a seemingly successful personal life and a thriving career in the fitness industry.  Her life became unmanageable and she suffered a complete breakdown. She is now being treated at The Living Room for gym and love/relationship addiction.

My life was completely unmanageable. I had hit my rock bottom in both of my addictions (love addiction and gym addiction) even though I was highly functioning. I was reaching the top of my game within the fitness industry; I was travelling a lot to America where I was doing fitness shows and photo shoots.  However, looking back I can see it was all a big fantasy that fed my love addiction. I was completely obsessed with the gym and the lifestyle around it – it consumed me. Having that perfect body together with the make-up gave me validation with men. And it fed my ego- big time. It gave me the validation I needed because of the types of men I was meeting in that industry. I was completely love addicted to someone who I had known for five years but hadn’t seen for two years. My home life was completely chaotic.

I couldn’t actually get anything done because I was stuck in fantasy and couldn’t live in reality and the fitness industry that I worked in fed that.

The reality kicked in with my addiction when I found out my husband had taken my inheritance and I went into psychiatric melt down. I came to The Living Room through SLA [a fellowship]. They told me to come here and go into the relationships group. I didn’t even realise I had a gym addiction – to me it was health. On the outside I looked like the picture of health but on the inside I was dying and my head was exploding.

I got dropped by that industry because I am in The Living Room. I had top level people following me because of my culture and my success. In effect, they loved me because of my addiction. As soon as I am in rehab I am dropped because I am getting well. I was so obsessed with that that if I hadn’t come to The Living Room, I probably would have ‘topped myself’.

The fitness industry didn’t like what I was becoming because I wasn’t obsessing about the gym or food. They didn’t like that at all because I was told to get to the top I had to do those things. That's what I was doing because I was getting to the top and I was seen as being genetically gifted and so they snapped me up. It fed my ego, which fed my addiction, which fed my low self-esteem and made me think I was worth something.

Getting fame and validation was even more important than my own child. I spent a lot of months in The States without her. I was in the gym most evenings so I was never actually with her. She never really saw me.

I am nearly five months into my recovery journey and I haven’t relapsed.