Like so many things I’ve talked about here before, this, too, is a secret well-kept. One I’ve often wondered if others have been through.
Doesn’t every addiction have company?
We were texting and it was a fight like all else. There was shouting. There were rude things. I told myself I’m going to block him. Then came the text I’d dreaded, right below his name – Typing…
Do you know that hammering in your heart when you’re saying goodbye? The one where you know it’s for the better while you wish something had been different all along? That’s how I felt. I stared at that word.
I knew in my heart I had to walk away. Block him now and never have this conversation again. But I stalled. I heard my mind tell me, “He’s going to type something hurtful. This will not be kind to your soul. He is angry beyond comprehension. Being nice isn’t what he wants right now. Walk away. You will break down over the words he’s typing. Press the button. Block him now and walk away.”
But I stalled. Because I wanted to see them. I wanted to see the names he would call me. The words he wanted to throw at me. I wanted to feel just how much he resented me. I wanted to feel my heart crash. My emotions sink. I wanted to hurt from within. To curl up and sob over the physical and emotional turmoil the words he typed would bring to me.
And for the first time, I noticed it. I noticed an addiction.
One I’d never known before.
Nobody talks about things like this. People don’t tell you this is a possibility. And maybe it isn’t. But it was there. Pulsing through me with a need that words cannot explain.
I called my friend and told him about it. I told him what I’d just realized about myself. And the more we spoke, the more instances I recalled.
Like the time I sat in a car with a boy I was dating and waited for him to tell me what I already knew. He’d been cheating on me. But I wanted to hear him say it. To hear him say he was sick of me. To hear him say he’d upgraded. Even when I knew the stinging pain I’d feel right after.
And the time I had a fight with my father and, instead of walking away, I stayed so I could hear him tell me how disappointed he was to have me for a daughter. I knew he wouldn’t mean the words he’d say. I knew my heart would still believe it. And when it did, I knew it’d shatter into a million different pieces. But I stayed to hear him say it.
Or the time I had the opportunity to talk about it all. To end the misery of being the messenger in a broken marriage. To finally be just a child again. The time I chose to stay quiet. To not end what I knew would consume who I am for the rest of my life.
The time I chose to stand beside someone I knew was breaking from within. I wanted to absorb what he was letting out. To feel what he was trying to get rid off.
Because an addiction doesn’t have to be material. An addiction doesn’t need a physical form. It can be something bigger. Something more disturbing. Something more life shattering.
An addiction can be a feeling. Of heartbreak. Of emotional damage. Of misery.
An addiction can be something you’d never consider.
An addiction to an emotion.
Wanting to be hurt. To be emotionally ruined. Wanting to hear the words they’ll regret in the morning. Finding comfort in places you know you’ll crash. With people you know will wreck you. An addiction to an emotion so strong, it breaks you. Piece by piece. Until there’s nothing left of you.
I am addicted to Pain.
And I don’t know if someone out there feels this way too. I don’t know if this feeling is common. If it’s normal.
But it exists. Deep within me. And I can’t shake this off.
So there’s no positive end to this post. I’m not going to tell you how I plan on beating this or how I’m going to work on getting better. I don’t know if there is a way to get better.
But I’m talking about this because I know.
I know this addiction. And it’s not easy. It doesn’t make sense to many. It’s a battle everyday. A battle where you repeat to yourself over and over again to walk away. A battle you always lose.
So if you’re out there. If you’re feeling the way I do. If you’re addicted to the one thing everyone resents and avoids. I want you to know you’re not alone.
I want you to know that I feel it too. Everyday. Every moment. And I know how it consumes you. How it’s destroying you. How ridiculous it can sound. How real it can feel.
I know this painful addiction.
It’s mine too.
40 thoughts on “A Painful Addiction”
Hi, Popping over from Community Pool to say this was really well-written and touching. I identify with some of the feelings you describe, and it’s interesting to see someone tackle this topic as an addiction. I’ve never thought about it that way before, but I think you’re on to something.
Hello 😀 Thank you 🙂
I can’t think of it as anything but an addiction. The way it draws you in when every fibre of your being is asking you to walk away from it.
Hey girl, you are definitely not alone in feeling this, and I think it is a great step forward that you have discovered it as being an addiction (which I am quite sure it is). Maybe try looking up “addiction to pain” or “addiction to emotional pain” in the internet. You might find some helpful information there. Maybe look up some things about self-victimisation too (though I´m not sure if you actually do that, but it´s always interesting to learn about it just in case.)
i hope reading and thinking a lot about it will help you discovered why you started following these patterns, and I hope one day you can break free from them entirely.
You are a beautiful person and you deserve to be loved unconditionally, in the first place by yourself.
Thank you for this 🙂 As I mentioned, I was not aware this might even be a real thing but I did Google and while it is definitely not easy to follow the steps of recovery mentioned, I’m definitely going to try as hard as I can.
Thank you 🙂
Good luck!! Every little thing you learn, brings you closer to your true self. Keep reading! The book that taught me the most is “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, but there are many great books out there that can help you. I wish you all the best ❤
It’s so refreshing to see that I’m not alone but it’s also very sad to see someone who suffers from the same things I really hope you get better because you deserve to be better.
I think it was very brave of you to put this up. Trust me you’re not alone and I have been struggling to find the answer to what it is. I also love the way you wrote it, I hope you get better and make this addiction go because you deserve it
Thank you 🙂 I wish I had more words of comfort on how it gets better but all I’ve got is company if you ever need it. 🙂
Great post! I’m familiar with this myself and I think you’re right, it is an addiction. But like all vices, you hold the key to freeing yourself. A good friend once told me “you have to stop being your worst enemy and start being your best friend.” Hugs!
Thank you so much 🙂 We really are our worst enemies, are we not? :’)
Oh yes we are:) That is until we decide to be our best friends 😉
I came here because you posted this in community pool too, and I am glad that I did.
I liked the raw power of the writing in this piece. I can’t say that I totally “understand it” on an empathetic level, but it certainly made me think. Nice work.
Thank you so much 🙂
While I’m truly sorry to hear of your struggles, I find your writing to be quite captivating. I couldn’t stop reading, hoping for a resolution, one which never came…and that may have been the most powerful point of the whole thing. I hope that you may find peace and break free.
Thank you so much 🙂
Communication can be a key to moving forward whenever you are stuck in any unwanted emotional cycle. It is brave of you to share your deep, personal emotions. I hope this post will be a step in the right direction for you because you deserve joy, rather than pain. You deserve so much more.
Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂
I do believe there are many that suffer from emotional addiction. When my husband and I fight it’s almost like some kind of release for me. Like I actually like the fighting part just so that I can feel love for him again in the “making up” process…if that makes sense. It’s almost like we will fall into a kind of rut of day by day same stuff…never disagreeing…and for some reason I have to find the smallest of events to finally have a full on argument with him over. I am visiting from the community pool. Trista, http://domesticatedmomster.com/
I totally get the fighting part. Not everyone understands the need to fight though. I remember a guy I dated feeling extremely uncomfortable with it. I struggled to explain why I needed the fight to feel his love a little better after. *sigh*
Yeah there is an addiction of pain. But are you sure what you are describing is that addiction? No, it doesn’t look like that. You want to know, you do not get a craving for pain. If you did, you would be hurting yourself.(Hope I’d not given you an idea)
Hey Mayur 🙂
I feel like it’s been a while since we comment chat. How are you?
I would never physically hurt myself if that was what you were referring to. I’m incapable of taking physical pain. Emotional. however, is another story. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more that isn’t added here at the risk of someone saying “I think you need a psychiatrist.” >.<
It has been a while since we had a chat. Probably because of Chennai floods. How are you? Everything there?
You probably do not need a psychiatrist. And if you feel like going to one, then go. There is no shame in that
I’m okay. Chennai has certainly bounced back like nothing ever happened for the most part. Haha. Not yet. Don’t need one yet. How are you?
Good. All things considered, I am good
I just had my college Convocation yesterday. I feel older now… 😉
Haha. A convocation makes all the change, doesn’t it? Congratulations! 😀
I guess the one thing we can do is celebrate the times we have a realization, and over time hopefully, we will celebrate more and more.
I’m glad you realize it is an addiction. Yes, you can heal from it. And the first step to healing is awareness.
Have you ever listened to the band Garbage’s song “I’m only happy when it rains”? It talks of just this type of addiction. In my youth I used to feel the same way and I used to listen to that song a lot. Love this line from it:
“You want to hear about my new obsession
I’m riding high upon a deep depression”
Here’s the link to the whole song : http://www.lyricsfreak.com/g/garbage/im+only+happy+when+it+rains_20057896.html
I think a lot of people feel like this because it is very cathartic. I am almost 40 now, and although I don’t feel like that most of the time, I still occasionally do. I have a feeling that its much more common in one’s teens and 20s to feel this way.
Nice post 🙂
You’ve made me realize that this is a very real thing, it felt like you perfectly described my current situation with my boyfriend who hurts me so often yet I stay and you’re right, it’s because it is an emotional addiction which sounds crazy and I don’t even understand it… but all I can say is that it is real, I experience it everyday too and thank you for expressing it in a very resonating way.
After this post went up, I realized how I wasn’t alone in this addiction and with the positivity everyone left in the comments, I have slowly begun trying to resist it. But I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve had more weak moments than I’d like and I guess that’s okay. Better to try than to not at all right? 🙂 I hope you’re able to take that step forward too. 🙂 I’m always here to talk should you need to 🙂
No words… just wow!!
I don’t know if this is relevant to you, but I see it this way: I often find it difficult to deal with internal pain. Hurts in my head just sit there and debris piles up and then an insatiable wind lures my thoughts into a cyclone against which I am defenseless. How am I supposed to protect myself from my own head? I can’t. Instead, I crave refuge. Solace. Even if that means facing greater external pain, concrete rivals are always easier to defeat than the abstract. I’m addicted to fabricating adversaries outside of myself, in order to avoid the unassailable opponents that wait for me to return to my head. I am a book without perforated pages. Unable to tear out a single soiled story, I feel forced to feed myself to the shredder.
Thank you love. It’s hard to live in a cruel world….hope you feel better knowing that your story helps me deal with my addiction to letting others hurt me. Good luck finding what you need to fight yours.
This connected to me in so many levels. Ive been in a mentally abusive relationship for 6 years and never could explain why I kept staying. I have this painful addiction too.
Hi!I’m familiar with that Addiction too.Thank You For This Post.It Made me feel Better
Your post…it just hit me in the face. And hard. Today I actually joked with a friend that one of the songs on the new Suicide Squad movie has the words “I’m just a sucker for pain” in, and that it my theme song. Going through a current nightmare of a breakup I realise I am doing just this. I want to feel the pain as their words and actions stabs me in the heart everytime. And what do I do…turn around and blame them for hurting me just to await more destruction. But I will own it. I will take it for what it is and deal, knowing know that this is what I “live” for and try to work it through. I hope after all this time you have found some strength and a way out. I’ve just started my own blog about rediscovering myself as im working through the hate anger love and dispear of being and not being with a narcissist…I hope one day something I write will inspire or help you too. Thank you