Here is my letter to my addiction …
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Dear Other Me –
We don’t get along, and I guess we never will. I don’t really want you to go away, and you don’t care what I want. So I try to keep you hidden, and you fight me every inch of the way. You refuse to listen, so I give up telling.
We have a relationship based on need – and no matter how much I talk about love and no need – you are there. Needing me to need you. And I do need you.
Your face changes. Your tastes change. Your cost changes. Because you always have a cost. And I always pay. So let’s admit the cost of you in me …
You cost me my integrity. Not all of it. Not all the time. But each time I hide you away and pretend you don’t exist – you do cost me.
You cost me my peace of mind. Not all of it. Not all the time. Just all the time I spend thinking about you, planning the next time I will give in to you, covering the last time I did give in to you. You cost me.
You cost me unconditional love. Not all of it. Not all the time. But you are my unacknowledged and denied inner child. You are my real but never admitted inner self. You are my affair never talked of, never presented, never willingly brought to any gathering of family or friends. You cost me love.
And I could ask you to go. I could find it in myself to let you leave. I could so easily live without you. I have lived without you. I can live without you again. I know I can.
Sometimes I have done that on my own. Sometimes I have talked in a group and found the strength. And sometimes I have asked my God – “Help me!” – and He did.
But I have found I need you more than you need me.
Sometimes porn. Sometimes work. Sometimes writing. Sometimes food. Sometimes drink. Sometimes money. Sometimes sex. Sometimes intimacy. Sometimes church. Sometimes God. Sometimes disbelief. Sometimes hate. Sometimes greed. Sometimes altruism. Sometimes anger. Sometimes grief. Sometimes sloth. Sometimes fitness. Sometimes grandchildren. Sometimes my lover. Sometimes friends. Sometimes myself. Sometimes planning. Sometimes spontaneity. Sometimes breathing. Sometimes not breathing. Sometimes living too much. Sometimes not living at all.
I think what I have learned is that I will never live without you. I will just react when I realise which part of my life and living you have stolen. I will react and respond with hindsight. I will measure and assess the damage each time. And where the cost is low I will delay. Where the cost is high I will cry out. And where someone I love accuses me I will run.
I will run because I have learned that you are the most patient part of me.
You wait and wait my whole life long. You slip in so quietly. You prefer never to be announced. You prefer to not cost me too much. You desire my ignorance of your very existence. Because your worst fear is to not exist at all. And I have found over the years … that is my worst fear as well.
Because no matter how much I try, I always justify your existence as my secret proof of my publicly being alive. And that is the most honest thing I have admitted. I fear you leaving and me becoming “lifeless”. I fear living by routine and duty and obligation. I fear losing passion and desire.
I fear losing you, dear addiction.
So I have learned I cannot live without you. But I have learned that I can manage you. And I have learned that I have to accept you as I accept me. I have learned you are part of me. And I have learned that we can we live together – we must live together!
Because only then do we live in mutual benefit rather than mutual destruction.
So, dear addiction, welcome to the daylight. Welcome to the party. Welcome to meeting my friends and family. Welcome to being acknowledged and admitted. Welcome to not costing me anything at all. Welcome to us both working together to live as we wish. In harmony. In unity. In love of and for each other.
With the greatest love and affection (I never knew I had) –
Your Other Me
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