Strung Out On You

Vivienne Issue: Section:

"I got to a point where his vulnerability would shine so hard it was though I was blinded"

Episode 7

I first got addicted to The Addict several years ago. Others have crept into my life, almost as if I wear an iridescent sheath, with particular strobe lights that can only attract this specific brand of person.  It was an especially incredible fall. It was Spring actually, and he worked in the neighborhood so I had seen him around. He had such a gaze; I knew many had been smitten before. Feeling unoriginal, I tried to not crush over him and instead conducted my usual outgoing and slightly aggressive behavior upon our occasional interactions (we had friends in common thus established some form of association)) but at some point it always happened: the absolute stare; those truly blue eyes that birds could fly around in, that could house fish. My own grassy-hued ogling would make me leave feeling overwhelmed and deeply invested; far too invested for just seeing each other around and not knowing anything whatsoever about his particulars. I am hesitant to delve into too many details about Charles. There is still a part of me, three years later, that longs for him and his befuddling nature. I can analyze the relationship; however, entering his person daunts me. A halting shiver never leaves.

We were on Cloud Eleven for a few months; he would skip down an entire block to greet me. We would go on dates and feel so high, buzzing off Coca Cola and endorphins. I would surprise him at a job site and he at mine, hiding from co-workers in corners talking excitedly and groping one another. At night we would cuddle, nearly squeezing the life out of one another like people do to small animals, our separate sweat coalescing through the clutches of summer’s stickyness. It was very intense and all the while, he was completely honest about his Addiction and how recovery was going. However, being in a relationship was not supposed to be part of the picture. And as much as I respected that notion, some place inside of me didn’t fully accept it as true. We considered one another ‘close friends’ and I believed I would eventually become the exception to the rule. Our bond seemed stronger than pragmatic rules and their governances. That, or I was 100% addicted.

Infinity% is more like it. I got to a point where his vulnerability would shine so hard it was as though I was blinded by some translucent light, having difficulty discerning what I was seeing yet fixated and obsessed with staring straight into it, never veering from it, always looking for it after I shut my eyes for just a moment.

The relapses are what identified my level of involvement. The first two I felt sorry for him, was completely ‘on call’ and available: fed him antioxidants, later ice cream. Listened to any and every utterance in hopes of releasing childhood demons. Searched for patterns, abolished certain streets. It was enlivening that first time. He initially high and denying it, then shaking and freezing, itching and twitching needing me so much I felt like I never had known what need was. I became GirlfriendHealerMother and was fascinated by my importance. I got high off his lows.

I couldn’t escape either. Beyond him being in my head all the time, I had taken on the burden that I would fail him and he would stumble down a hole not even Alice knows. I feared he would lose everything- his job, home, remaining friends- and felt I had enough power to help extinguish this brooding reality before a fire. I was lying to myself in my disregard to see and smell the enlarging flames.

 Most addicts are master manipulators. So good that you convince yourself he isn’t one of them, he is too entrenched in his own shit to possibly be focusing on manipulation. I was paralleling his denial in my own life: friends were concerned, loss of interest in normal activities, focus distorted…

I have moved on. We’re no longer close, Charles and I, and he is finally serious about recovery. However some part of me is always ready for that phone call from him; he’s sick and he needs me. Addicts attract addicts. Albeit our hunger differs, we are on a constant quest to fulfill a driving need. We are after transcendence or escape. Both, generally. 

All content © original author. If you feel there may have been a mistake, please contact us.