I’ve written about addiction several times. I don’t have an addiction, except maybe to coffee and I do love sugar. Oh, and lately I’ve been addicted to my evening walk. I’m thankful that the things I crave are sugar, caffeine, and exercise but I realize that I could just as easily be under the spell of drugs or alcohol. This is a subject that is close to my heart and I hope I do the struggle justice.
The crazy thing about an addiction is that it is such a comfort. It is not what those on the other side would suppose, an ugly and ferocious competitor, a monkey on the back of the oppressed, something to be shaken off, trampled and kicked to the curb. No, that’s not how it feels. Your addiction is your friend, your confidant, no one understands you like your addiction. No one is as fun as your addiction. No one gets you like your addiction. It is a constant companion and a comfort. The thought of losing your security is terrifying. How do normal people function without it? How do they get up in the morning and face another day without the thought of it to alleviate the boredom and the fear? It’s not that the battle is just against the addiction. No, the real battle is within yourself to want to get rid of it. To see it how others see it, destructive and ugly, because that’s not how it looks on the other side. It is a beautiful sweet relief, and rest. To fight the battle of life without addiction’s armor to protect you seems impossible. The deception of it all, is that now that you have tasted the forbidden fruit, the rest of your life will seem anemic and hopeless without its color. Pale and dull. scary and empty. To realize that you are entrapped and need to free yourself is the mountain. To spend a minute, an hour living life and not letting your mind slip to the reassuring grove of your addiction seems like an accomplishment. “Well, I did it,” you might think it, “I went a whole day without it.” But then it hits you. Like a punch in the stomach, a day is not the goal, a week is not the goal. A lifetime without, is the goal. Forever, is the goal. How can you go forever without your friend, your comfort. How can you do this? What’s the point?
Here’s the point. Your family and friends are the point. They are depending on you, counting on you to pull yourself out of this slimy pit, because they need you more than you need your addiction. You are their comfort, their shield and their armor. You are what makes their life colorful and full. You are the comfortable groove that their mind slips to when they are feeling afraid or overwhelmed. Is this a burden? Will the weight of someone else’s happiness weigh you down and pull you under? No. Because someone’s dependency on you is not an anchor, it is a life jacket, It will pull you up. even as your addiction will tell you that is pulling you under. These people, or this person is here for a reason. The reason is that they need you, yes, but more than that, you need them to need you. The thought of disappointing someone else, might be the only thing that keeps you going. You might slip up, you might run back for one sweet, terrifying minute, but you will be back, and the pull of being needed will keep you going, without your addiction. Some day it will hit you, that your loved one’s happiness, and need of you is truly what makes life colorful and worth living.