Addiction – affairs of the mind

Addiction, the affairs of the mind
Affairs of the mind

Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.

Carrie Fisher

I am having an affair – the most scandalous affair in history. The affair has been going (on and off) for well over 20 years. I am having an affair with a person with multiple partners. For privacy purposes, I will address this person as Incredible Hulk (IH), although far from being incredible it is incredibly hard to part company with this person.

I despise IH and this affair and, in fact, have broken up with him many times. But you see, and this is not an excuse, he knows how to lift me up when I’m down. He knows how to keep my secrets and our hideouts. He takes me to places no other person on earth has taken me to. He knows when to be my fluffer and pacifier. He, however, is a miser who doesn’t spend a penny on me, or anyone for that matter.  I finance all our rendezvous.

However, there’s a much bigger problem with IH– apparently, he has committed several murders – but still, I love being with him.

The last time we broke up [due to pressure from family and friends] I missed him terribly. I missed him so much I spent most of my days curled up in a ball chewing my nails or pulling my hair.  I had to be with IH. 

My family and friends assured me life could go on without being shackled to IH, and for a while, that was true, until disaster struck.  The first person to cross my mind was IH despite my family and friends rallying around me – it didn’t matter, I needed IH and I sought him out.  Everything was literally falling apart, but then he appeared – like a phoenix out of the ashes – to pacify, to stroke my ego and ultimately to alter my thinking.

The light at the end of the tunnel returned brighter than ever, and I basked in the glory and presence of my master. I savoured the tender touches, the gentle kisses, the delicious smells, the lovely deep-eye-contacts and the sweet nothings whispered in my ear – I took it all and then some. This luxuriating feeling didn’t last long – in less time than it took to miss IH, I felt rotten and murderous.  You might be wondering why the hell I couldn’t dump his sorry arse?  The truth was we were and still are addicted to one another – it’s like heroin.  IH is now my dirty little secret because family and friends think I dumped his sorry arse.

I must keep the truth from them because I know they will judge me.  They will find ways to make me feel stupid and worthless.  The worst part is that anything they tell me I already know, but I will hate them anyway for saying it out loud.  To keep my secret, I no longer take IH to social gatherings for the same reasons as above – people will judge and condemn me, some will defriend me, others will call my mum (I can’t have that!), others will disrespect me, others will say they’d pray for me and others will use me when I overdose on love from IH. Others [few] know for a fact that I will embarrass them after moments IH. 

The other thing about these gatherings is that I might bump into some of IH’s other partners and I hate them as much as they hate me: I like my face and would like to keep it that way because confronting his other partners, esp. in social gatherings, means catfights, scratches, bites, punches, teeth pulling and any destruction that can be visited on a face/body.

Once, IH proposed, looking like butter won’t melt – the proposal turned my blood into ice. I had to make a quick getaway into the toilets and vomit. I was dumped unceremoniously for saying no, and I loved every minute of freedom after that.

For several years I was free and happy – my skin shone, my face glowed, my eyes brightened, my lips rosened, my hair and nails grew, my cup size doubled, my hips filled up, and my waistline expanded – I was eating my way into depression to fill the void – but I didn’t care as long as IH stayed away. 

One unfortunate day, in a spate of self-pity and self-loath, I made the disastrous decision to call IH – he came running. We hugged and kissed passionately for several hours and the feeling was so fulfilling and intense.

In the morning that nice feeling had long gone and was replaced with nausea and hate. I asked IH to leave. Heavy heartedly, he left but not before reassuring me that I could call anytime. Although I didn’t want to see him ever again in my life, somehow, I was thrilled to hear those words “anytime” and the words of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s song ‘Aint no mountain high enough…’ played in an endless loop in my mind – as if IH gave a damn about me. One thing is for sure, gullible does not even begin to define me.

At this moment in my life, I am not sure if I’m going or coming – the affair is on hold – sometimes he comes over at the weekend for a cuddle.  Mother nature is threatening to unleash another kind of ugly: to add insult to injury (in my case…. excuses), I am suffering from an empty nest syndrome – nobody needs me anymore.  So, nights in with IH, a bottle of wine and a movie looks like a logical next step.

Fact remains that this affair is a disease that I need to eradicate.

Despite the turmoil, I know that one day I will clamber out of this affair and live a virtuous life. I do not know if you have experienced an addiction like this affair. I do not know how you perceive me – if you are judgemental or sympathetic. All I know is that my life brightens in technicolour when I indulge in this affair and when I’m not my life is greyed out, dark and dull.

Most of the world’s loneliest people are battling an addiction – be kind.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Everyone is fighting some battle you know nothing about – do not judge but be kind always.
Be humble and mindful always.

If you have an addiction help is here 


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NB: photo credit: Christopher Campbell @chrisjoelcampbell


  1. I just LOVE the way you Personified the addiction, through suggestion and innuendo, it became so real to me. Am sure that many people are familiar with these circumstances and are always seek ways of overcoming them, if we were to be truthful to ourselves!!!

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