Trading in the Addiction

Why are some types of addiction not only acceptable, but even encouraged and admired? Ultimately, they’re all the same thing, aren’t they?

If I were to go out and toot five lines of cocaine every day, I would have a problem.

But if I were to go out and run five miles every day, I would be a paragon of virtue.

Maybe those are a little extreme.

***

In my early twenties, I did some cocaine. I feel like anything I can possibly think to say after that statement has just become suspect, but there it is. And here’s the followup: honestly, it wasn’t that much.

My roommate had a problem. It was serious enough that we stopped getting along, and she moved back in with her dad, quit paying her half of the rent, and got me (technically us both, but she didn’t live there anymore) evicted from the coolest house I ever rented.

It had an awesome kitchen.

I went back by the Pizza Hut dumpster with the cool kids one day at work, and they were not only cool, but also generous with their blow. My roommate was off that day, but when she found out from the cool kids that I was now also a cool kid, she began sharing at home.

We had parties anyway, of course, well before that. We were two single ladies living in a house with ample parking. But now I was invited into her room when we’d have those parties and two or three or four of my coworkers would disappear. Now I was cool enough to know that another of our coworkers was the coke dealer for nearly all of the pizza delivery drivers at our store.

I loved it. I was never popular, and suddenly I was thrown in with this elite crowd doing their fancy rich people’s drug of choice.

And I loved the cocaine. I’m not going to deny that. I fucking loved it.

And I only did it a handful of times. Maybe a double handful. That’s not doing much for my credibility, is it?

It’s been well over a decade since those days, and I still want it. I don’t know if I could turn it down if it were offered to me, at least in a setting I was comfortable with. I mean, if some strange dude in the grocery store parking lot offered me some, I’d have to turn him down without a second thought.

That’s addiction.

***

I was once at a point in my life where I had to take pills to leave the house and go to work every day. Not pills that were prescribed to me by a doctor. Not vitamins or supplements;  pills that you’re supposed to take for serious things that I took for fun.

It wasn’t something I did to take the edge off. If I didn’t pop a pill or two, I wouldn’t make it out of my room without crying or punching a wall. If I did make it all the way to work, I wouldn’t be able to perform my job duties. I wouldn’t be able to talk to other people without crying or fighting them.

I know an alcoholic; she drinks every day. She drinks because she likes it, but even more because she doesn’t know what she would do if she didn’t drink.

I can understand that.

It sucks.

***

The constant awareness of being an addict has overflowed into every area of my life.

And now it casts that shadow of doubt on anything and everything.

If wanting do drink or do drugs to the exclusion of everything else is bad, is it the drink and drugs or the wanting itself that’s bad? With a lifetime of conditioning that anything can be fine in moderation, it’s hard not to believe that it’s the wanting that’s the life destroyer.

I can tie my shoes and step out the front door intending to walk briskly for twenty minutes, but that turns into thirty, then forty, then an hour. This is supposed to be good for me, and yet I can’t shake the feeling that it’s going so horribly bad.

I feel guilty for for exercising because it’s something that I can do and do and do some more, and no one will tell me I’m doing something bad. I feel ashamed; I feel that I have to hide how much I’m really walking.

I can’t have to good without the bad. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to not take something to extremes.

Right now in my life, I want a treadmill desk more than I want cocaine.

That confuses me to no end.

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6 Comments on “Trading in the Addiction”

  1. LRose says:

    There is not a moment in the entirety of my 50-some-odd years of life that has not been affected by someone who is an addict. My family, my friends, my bosses, my co-workers, my boyfriends, my neighbors and the friends, family, and acquaintances of all of these people…It’s a complicated, tragic, and gut retching way to have to cope with life for both the addict and those who love and live with them. No one is immune.

  2. susieshy45 says:

    April,
    What a profound and deep meaning post. I would want to reblog it if you will allow me.
    Susie

  3. susieshy45 says:

    Reblogged this on susieshy45 and commented:
    An alternate view

  4. abbiosbiston says:

    I think almost all humans are addicted to something whether it improves or ruins their lives.


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