Anatomy of an Addict

junkie

I’m an addict. I might as well come right out and say it. I have learned that it’s important to face facts and the main fact about me is that I’m an addict. A total addict, an addict through and through. When someone’s a complete addict like me that’s all you need to know. That they’re an addict – everything else is superfluous.

 

For the longest time I have got by in my addiction without ever actually facing it. I have got by in fact by validating it to myself, by making a virtue of it. Everyone else is doing it so it must be OK, I said to myself. This evolved into, everyone else is doing it so it must be good. Everyone else is doing it so it must be right – it must be the morally responsible thing to do. In this way therefore I actually got to feel good about myself, because of my out-of-control addiction. Can you believe this?

 

They say you can’t have your cake and eat it. Well I did – I was both a craven addict, a thoroughly amoral creature with no allegiance to anything other than my vice and – apparently – a pillar of society. I was at one and the same time an abysmally worthless scumbag and – in my own estimation – some kind of moral paragon. And I got to carry on being an addict because that’s really what I wanted to do. How I managed to believe such a load of shit for all those years I simply don’t know but manage it I did. When I think of it I am humiliated to the very core.

 

I am the lowest of the low. There is no one as low as me. By exposing my abject ignominy to the world – in the way that I am now doing – my humiliation is complete. It’s not enough for me to face the truth myself, I must make it known to anyone who cares enough (or is perhaps morbidly curious enough) to listen to my sorry story. I have to make my private humiliation public fact. This way, I seek to create pain for myself. Not because I think it will help me, not because I think it is good for me, but because I don’t want to spare myself any suffering. I want to put myself through it. I want the world to see me for the creep that I am. I want to see the same disgust in other people’s eyes that I feel for myself…

 

So what is this addiction of mine, you no doubt want to know. Spit it out. Quit beating about the bush. Get to the heart of the matter. Just bloody get on with it. You are probably saying. Is it drugs? Sex? Gambling? Bestiality? Necrophilia? Are you a dope-head, a sex offender, a pervert or what? What kind of weird fucked-up addiction are we talking about here? No doubt you are suspecting that it must be something pretty bloody appalling for me to be making such a fuss over it.

 

It’s pretty bloody appalling aright, although perhaps not in the way that you are thinking. How to put this. I’m addicted to societal validation. I’m addicted to conformity, to fitting in with whatever structures or patterns of behaviour happen to be out there in the world. You name it, I’ll conform to it. If society says it’s good, I’ll subscribe to it. If everyone one else is doing it, then I’ll do it too. At this stage I don’t have the slightest spark of honesty or integrity left to me. I don’t know what I think anymore. I don’t know what I feel about anything. I think what you think. I think what everyone else thinks…

 

And I don’t mind telling you, it’s worked out pretty good for me. I’ve done OK out of it. Not so bad at all. I’ve had a lot of doors open to me. I’ve got on just fine. I’m doing real good. You might have heard of me. You might even know me. So who am I, you must be wondering. What’s my name? Am I famous – a celebrity perhaps? A movie star or a politician? Well I’ll tell you who I am. I’m pretty much the whole bloody human race. I’m Mr Everybody. I’m just about everyone you meet…

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