I doubt when people have their first smoke or their first sip of alcohol, they find it pleasing at all. I have seen most people cough their lungs out after their first cigarette, vouching that they are never going to smoke again. And their first taste of vodka or wine or beer is rather unappetizing. But they smoke and drink again, maybe after a while, thinking that it wouldn’t be as bad as the last time. Or maybe it’s peer pressure- they think it is uncool to not drink or smoke when the world does so. But I haven’t seen or heard of anyone who would say that they love to smoke or drink. “Oh I am in love with that glass of wine”, “Oh I think I am going to get married to that pack of cigars”. Nada.
So what is it about fag or alcohol that hooks people up? Persuasion of self that they are going to like it, that it did not cause them any visible harm, that in a way they have gotten company, the false impression that they are transformed and transported in another world, picturing it as a better world than the one they live in. And before long, before one knows it, they make it a habit. They find pleasure in indulging in liquor binges or after a “hard day” at work to break into a smoke. The habit grows and before they understand, it becomes their necessity.
You are my addiction. Persuasion over time that I made into a habit and before I could understand, you became my need. And just like any other addict, I find telling myself that it would be impossible to give up on you. But then like any other addict, there comes a breaking point where the aftermath of their love becomes more telling than one would like and there are people around telling just how bad the addiction is for us. Suggestions start pouring in as to how to deal with the addiction, sympathies continue to drop in for one’s “condition”, and one is confined to this world of pity, loathing and destruction. Then one fine day we wake up, tired and battered of people saying that we “deserve a better life” and decide that it is time to leave our addiction behind.
With fresh zeal, we embark on a never-ending journey. We fight our desperate attempts, punch our stupid ambitions and euthanize our desires. These efforts run into a week and, just like other drug addicts, we find us facing massive withdrawal symptoms. Now, human beings are funny. There’s one spectrum who thinks they enjoy being sad. But when they are faced with profound sadness, they try to find an escape. I belong to that category. So when the thought of giving up on you started taking shape, I plunged myself into this tunnel of never ending gloom. Nights and days of sorrow, pillows soaked in tears, health breaking down at every minute; I was a scene of despair. I thought it was a bad idea and there was no way I could pull it off on my own. And then the ever helpful people around me suggested a rehab.
I didn’t want to take medicines to drown your thoughts. Because that would label you as a disease, a bad one. It was not a good idea after all. So I fled the people, ran away from the treatments and confined myself once again to your thoughts. This time around, it became all the more difficult, because it was a choice that I took not one that I developed over time. But, like all addicts, I found solace in you. Not your physicality, but your idea. I found myself doing amazing things when I was neck deep in your longing. I could never understand when alcoholics told me that their brains find a “new dimension” when they are drunk. Now I do. I discovered so many parts of me; parts that I never knew existed within. I surprised myself; at my disarming nature, at my courage, at my strength to endure.
Does the addict love their drug? I think they are more helpless with out their drug. You are like the air we breathe in. We do not necessarily proclaim to be in love with it, but we know we are going to die without it. I know I am helpless without you, but I cannot show it to you. I put up this veil of pretension that I am okay without you, when I am just struggling to continue living. I am fighting you, every second of the day. Even when you are not around. You are a weird contradiction- my solitude and smiles wrapped in one.
The relationship between an addict and their drug is never healthy, is it? For starters, they can not live together. So was mine with you. And the paradox was that I wanted and at the same time did not want to stay apart. I contradicted myself at every step. There was some strong spring like attachment with you; the harder I tried to pull away, the stronger was the rebound. I guess this is just one way to console myself that someday the push will be stronger than the pull and I will no longer gravitate back to you. Someday, one day I will hit that escape velocity. In that hope of a distant future, I continue fighting my urge to be with you.