Monday, January 21, 2013

In Defense of Addiction

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
Edgar Allan Poe



“The Moth don't care when he sees The Flame.
He might get burned, but he's in the game.
And once he's in, he can't go back, he'll
Beat his wings 'til he burns them black...
No, The Moth don't care when he sees The Flame. . .
The Moth don't care if The Flame is real,
'Cause Flame and Moth got a sweetheart deal.
And nothing fuels a good flirtation,
Like Need and Anger and Desperation...
No, The Moth don't care if The Flame is real. . . ”
Aimee Mann


An expression of wisdom from an ancient text declares anxiety in the mind of a man causes depression. From this I understand addiction's hold on me. My world is so complex with worries that it sickens my body. Worries about about self esteem and retirement, about wealth and sickness, about bills and responsibilities, about women and sex, about an endless list of subjects, a thousand times a minute, every waking moment in the day. However, when I'm in my addiction, I worry about nothing but it, for hours, for days, possibly for weeks and months. Imagine the rest I feel when my tormented mind, harried by anxieties and thoughts assailing me without mercy, becomes suddenly disconnected. The plug is pulled, no more crazy anxiety, only my addiction. 

This sounds like a crazed rendezvous with a forbidden lover, but like those trysts, its the lure of the taboo that brings the rush delivering me from the madness of mind plaguing my troubled soul. It's asked of me, “How can you do those things?”, the accusation being made that I should know better. Those interrogators have no idea of the energy consuming me from the inside out. Were they to know, the question would be irrelevant. I want rest from my mind consuming itself. Be kind to those in addictions, you have no idea what they are capable of if they were not consumed with that thing they desire. What if you knew that because of an addiction, you were delivered from harm? Would you then criticize that which saved you? 

Rest assured I know that some addictions result in violence, and I in no way pretend to support that lifestyle, but if only to enlighten the non-user, the pure and undefiled soul that never craved the forbidden to the tragic end of ruining their life, and make them understand that in my case, be very thankful that my thoughts were arrested by an addictive lifestyle; for were they to come to fruition otherwise, it would be a very messy picture. Take a moment to step in another man's shoes before you criticize an addicts lifestyle, they may not be doing the worse thing possible...there are abnormal and hugely deviant alternatives that are, shall we say, detrimental to your health.

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