Sex, drugs and ham and cheese rolls.
It comes as something of a shock to have the nature and pervasiveness of my addiction revealed to me, when I have come to believe I have it all under control; that I understand its cause and am safely protected from its symptoms.
One of the addicts at Narcotics Anonymous says “I am addicted to ‘more’…more drugs; more speed; more alcohol; more sex – more fun”
His message resonates. It hits home. But it only scratches at the surface; ‘more’ is merely how my addiction attempts to realise my desire to self-destruct.
The urge to self-destruct plays out in other aspects of my life: food, sex and high speed driving. Just like when I would do crazy things – crazy even by the standards of drugging – like snort an entire gram of cocaine in one hit, or take 17 pills at a concert – so I push the limits with food, sex and driving.
The results? I’ve piled on 37 kilograms and pushed my cholesterol and blood pressure through the roof. I started bleeding because of my diet. I was nearly arrested for doing 190km/h on the freeway. And then there’s the sex…although nothing has happened to me as it has with my diet and driving, it is a game of carnal Russian Roulette…so how long before the inevitable happens?
I am not addicted to more. I am no more addicted to drugs than I am to food, sex or high speed driving. I am addicted to self-destruction; a desire to end – fueled quite simply by my own lack of self-worth. I don’t believe I belong / am wanted / needed / have value. Oh, I know that I AM all these things, but I don’t FEEL it, alone at night in my head.
As long as I can remember – even as a child, I have battled with this; and it’s defined much of my personality as a result: always the loud one, always seeking the spotlight, the attention and the affirmation and the validation. It has an ugly selfishness to it, on the surface, though it is as simple yet as important as self-preservation. Ironic, isn’t it? My constant need have external reasons to live drives a very internal rebellion in the form of a wish to die. Because if I cannot find an internal need or will to survive – if I have to look towards other people and things to do what should be a basic instinct, then what value and worth have I really got? What happens when ‘they’ stop believing in me or loving me? Then it comes down to me – just me.
And my self-destructiveness seems hellbent on making THAT a self-fulfilling prophecy…
The thing is… I KNOW that the reasons to live, and to love, and to BE loved must come from me. Only I can fix myself – that message comes through loud and clear often enough in group therapy. Only I can know and understand exactly what value I have for myself. So there’s the second irony – it really DOES come down to just me: I just have to flip the picture and see instead of all the failings, all the reasons I have to believe in myself.