There’s a line from Lemonade that says ‘My torturer became my remedy.’ I don’t know what Bey was talking about, not really. We all assume it’s about Hov cheating and her choice to forgive him. In my case, I feel like it summarises my current state of toxic relationships.

I seem to keep stumbling into the ‘wrong’ people and falling or them hard. It’s like I’m drawn to the poison. Like I somehow think fixing their darkness will brighten mine. Except … we only drag each other deeper. I guess Bey is stronger than me.

I recently broke up with someone I liked a lot, because he had no time for me. And in true human fashion, the second I stopped wanting his attention, he felt the strongest urge to give it. He called to ‘see how I was doing.’ I asked why. He seemed upset that I didn’t want him checking up on me. I guess he figured he was ‘being nice’ to me and that I was ‘being a bitch’ for refusing. A bit like cat-calling … when I’m supposed to just take my compliment and go.

I suppose he’d be offended to be compared to a cat-caller. He’s a nice guy after all. Smart, educated, feminist, far above ‘ordinary men’. I find those are the scariest ones. The ‘enlightened’ ones who still exhibit hotep behaviour. Because I expect them to know better, to do better, so when they turn out to be just like any other guy, it scares me. It makes me think that maybe men really are trash. I know a lot of women have made their peace with that, but I refuse to exist in a world where every second person is out to harm me. I can’t function like that.

But just because I prefer to live in my own little bubble of ignorant bliss doesn’t mean it will protect me. Bubbles are fragile like that. I guess that’s why Ex Machina fucked me up so much. I was like Jeeezus, these are the smart ones! And they’re just as problematic as the ones in the village. Like, what the actual fuck?!?

There’s someone else in my life, someone I met recently. I feel safe around him, but I also feel destructive. He is a safe space, yes, but it’s a space of drunken haze, and … and how is that a good thing? Trust is amazing. But trust that goes with hedonism … is that who I want to be?

I’ve been meeting a lot of people like that lately. People who hide and escape in booze and weed. And sometimes, I escape with them. It’s … free-ing. Except … is that kind of freedom something I should indulge? I want to do it, yes. I want to shed the weight of propriety and responsibility I’ve carried since I was three. And so I’m drawn to these people that let me be that person, these people that don’t know me and therefore don’t judge me. They have no reference point to tell them how ‘unlike me’ this new footloose drugging version of me is.

And of course, it’s an escape. It’s me not dealing with my shit. For them it might be just some fun, a normal way of life. But for me, it’s hiding. It’s taking a vacation to a place where no one knows me. And because no one knows me, I can be as ratchet as I want. No expectations, no consequences. It can get addictive.

People have told me that I’m more fun when I’m drunk or high. Because I’m less intense, more chilled out and mellow. They get more comfortable when I’m in that easy state because I’m less … me. I don’t think it’s really compliment, even though it’s always framed as one. Because it says an intrinsic part of me makes them uncomfortable. Something about me is … in their eyes … wrong.

People who have addicts in their family are often extra careful with drugs. They know a part of that shite is genetic, so they’re wary about falling into patterns. But sometimes that wariness is interpreted as judgement. In protecting myself, others feel like I’m chastising them. And it doesn’t matter how much I explain that this is really about me, they’re always going to feel like I’m looking down on them.

One of the things I learned in therapy is that I need to deal with my feelings. It was a surprising revelation, because I consider myself a really emotional person. And yet … I’m only at ease with specific forms of expression. The rest I suppress until they implode. And I feel like this new ‘social escape’ is just another form of quashing troublesome sentiment.

When I’ve had a drink, I can break down and cry. I can get on a soap box and rant. I can grunt and moan louder than before. I can let my deepest demons out to dance. And it feels good. Really good. But if I can only do it when I’m drunk, then that presents two problems. One, that I’ll drink more and more in a bid to let those demons out. Two, that I won’t deal with said demons while I’m functional and sober. Which is a problem, because I’m a fixer, so I need those demons sorted.

I realise this is me overanalysing. I always get drunk and/or high by myself, in my house, with the doors locked, where I can’t bother anyone. But twice now, I have ‘shared’ the experience and enjoyed it. Got drunk with a smart boy that has a super sexy voice. Got high with another boy that cooks a mean stew and had me purring like an engine. And while it felt good, it didn’t feel like me.

As I feel a deeper craving for that drunk and high experience, I wonder if those are new parts of me, and whether they’re parts I want to keep. The natural instinct is to get back into that space. To stop all the analysing and just get drugged again. After all, the true goth story is about dark souls swimming together in the abyss, no? Except … goth (love) stories never have happy endings.

Plus that feels like a hole I could sink into and never find my way out, so another part of me wants to take off screaming. Except … isn’t that just running away? Is that who I am now? The kind of person that just runs away?

I ran away from ice skating lessons. I’ve wanted them for years, and I finally went. But it wasn’t fun. I tried it for five hours and realised I no longer enjoyed it. Maybe it was the pressure of having to learn within a week. Maybe I’m no longer the kind if person that likes skating. Maybe I’m too tightly wound up to let myself go on the ice.

I learned the basics. I can stand on the ice without falling. I can maintain my balance. I can move in plodding half inch steps. But I couldn’t get past that, even after five hours, and I decided I didn’t even want to. That and my teacher was pretty fed up with me, so yeah.

It’s okay to sip a few drinks or smoke a few puffs to take the edge off. My fear is how much I enjoy being in that space, how free-ing it is to shed said edge. That edge that’s been so constant and so heavy that I didn’t even realise it was there until it got lifted by a drunken haze.

I’ve always described myself as having an addictive personality, and I suppose as much as I enjoy floating in that happy space everyone else seems to achieve so effortlessly, I’m genuinely concerned about picking up a new addiction. So as good as it feels to be all drunk and high, I need to find a gentler form of release.

♫ Amazing ♫ Blue October ♫

11 thoughts on “Of demons and addictions

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