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.