Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hopelessly Addicted

The dictionary definition of addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

It comes from the Latin word addictiƍ meaning a giving over or surrender.

The medical definition of addiction is habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one's voluntary control.

I am addicted. I have a problem that I don’t fully understand and can’t control and admitting it is a first step.

I thought I was past this but recently had a relapse. I’d been clean for months. I stopped thinking about it and the shakes and night terrors were long gone. No shamelessly ransacking the house looking for another score while my disappointed wife and children looked on. No more stashing away treasured caches for a later fix. I was clean. But then, like a crazy old high school buddy, it returned.

Sure, at first when Captain Crazy comes around you’re happy to see him. You’ve missed him because, after all, he’s lots of laughs. So the party is on and it’s like old times but you know that regret is just around the corner. Before too long you’ve had your fill of his depravity and are wishing he’d stayed away; wishing you hadn’t got sucked to the madness again. Soon you are left alone and in a hellish limbo between never wanting to do it again and mentally planning for the next time.
It started innocently enough like most addictions do. I was a child and couldn’t possibly have known the lifetime of yearning that lay ahead of me. I first tried it at a friend’s house and was immediately hooked.

As I grew older it only got worse. The more I had the more I wanted. I was never satisfied. I’d buy enough for five or six people and handful after handful it’d disappear. Before I knew it my stash was all gone and I was left to face what I’d just done and the shame of it.

Of course I’d try and hide what I was doing because no one could know. No one would understand. How could they? I was a full blown addict.

I finally confided in my wife and begged her to help me. She was sympathetic and agreed to do whatever it took to keep me away from it and it from me.

That worked for a time but all the while it was there with me. Lurking in the shadows; waiting for a moment of weakness, waiting for us to be reunited once more, to have me, to own me.

That moment came Thursday when my wife returned home from the store. As I helped her unload the groceries to my horror I found my orange nemesis staring up at me, taunting me. I questioned my wife on her betrayal and she very flippantly replied, “Come on, it’s been a while since you’ve had it.”

She didn’t know. She couldn’t understand what she was doing to me. No, if she knew she never would have brought it back in the house. How could I restrain myself? Doesn’t she know the power it has over me?

I could just have a couple, I told myself. Yes, a little won’t hurt. I’ll just have a taste and that will satisfy the craving. Yeah, no harm in having a bite or two. I can stop myself whenever I want.

Half a box later my sweet innocent children approached to ask if they might have some. I snatched the box out of their reach like Schmiegel protecting his Precious. I may have even hissed at them while baring my teeth. I don’t know what happened next as I’m sure I blacked out. I woke up in my room alone again with orange stained fingers and a box as empty as my soul.

Looks like I’m back to step one. I’m Aaron Blaylock and I’m addicted to Cheez-Its.

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