Back by popular demand!
At 16 I knew it all. Everything. There was nothing you could have said or done, that would have impressed this super cool chick. Of course that was on the outside. Inside I was fearful, insecure and needy. The combination of these two may be the most confusing part of this dis-ease. A narcissistic ego competing with an inferiority complex. In other words a drunk or addict in the making.
When your insides don’t match your outsides, you look for something to bridge the gap.
I found my something in a bottle and a tiny little folded envelope of paper.
Once consumed, gone was all sense of inferiority. As a matter of fact I was equal, maybe for the very first time in my life. Of course if one was good, two was better. Hell, why stop at two?
More became my mantra.
More became my lifestyle.
I never did fit in my skin. It was something I felt my whole life. Except, of course, when I was using.
Since then I’ve come to understand they’re many of us, who don’t really fit in our skin. You can’t tell by looking at us. It’s a disorder that lies below the surface. You can’t see it. At least not at first. But you can feel it. You know it’s there. And therein lies the problem. For those of you who don’t have substance abuse issues, picture this;
You are born ugly. Hideous even. You’re ashamed of yourself but don’t tell anyone. One day, quite by accident, you come across the cure. Your mothers face cream stands on the bathroom counter. You see she uses it every night and it seems to make her feel better. With caution you pick it up and tentatively rub a little blob onto your cheek.The cream is warm and comforting. It feels good. When you look in the mirror you notice the results immediately.Holy Shit! Is that really you?
Your eyes sparkle. Your cheeks are pink. A smile widens on your astonished face.
This stuff is good shit!
You can barely contain yourself. You can’t wait to see your friends and hangout. Gone are the shyness and inhibitions you experienced just moments ago. Something that used to be tightly wound within you, relaxes, letting go. You can breathe. It’s intoxicating. You can’t get enough of it.
For the very first time in your life, you feel free. Pretty even. Confidence blooms.
The world is yours. You got this!
Then one day you notice the face cream is leaving a nasty little rash. Red spots and hive-like bumps cover your cheeks. You decide to lay off the face cream. Give it a break. Before long you begin to feel sick. Nauseated even. The old doubts and worries creep back in. Fearing the worst, you look in the mirror and sure enough, your worst fears are validated. Your old ugly face is staring back at you. The nasty rash forgotten, you reach for the face cream. The jar is light and your throat constricts. You wrench the lid open with a frantic twist, noting the jar is almost empty. You scrape every last bit of cream from the jar, even licking the lid. For a minute, the warmth is back. Only this time it cools quickly, giving you nowhere near the relief you had the first time you used it. Panic settles in as you glance once again at the mirror. An outline of a beautiful you fades quickly, as the rash returns only now the hive-like bumps have turned into blisters and your face morphs back into the hideous look you were born with. You scream pounding your fist on the mirror. It’s so unfair, you hiss. For the very thing that brings beauty to your hideous face, is also destroying it. Your life becomes a constant tug of need. Vowing never too use the cream that blisters your face and not being able to leave the house without it.
This my friends… is addiction.