my addiction: coming clean

Photographer: Beard & Howell


One of the comments I received in my last post was a bit surprising to me:

As for the addiction issue - I'm still waiting to find out what it is that you're addicted to! Geesh, pen. Crack? Men? Sex? doesn't make you any less a child of God for Heaven's sake.

And THAT'S why He's wanting you to "come clean".

I must say, I smiled but was a bit taken aback by this and I'll tell you why: there are a lot of folks out here in cyberspace that feel comfortable talking about whatever their issues are quite openly. I am transparent, I realize that, but I am also (aside from this blog) a very private person.

If I were to tell you that my addiction is heroin, what would your response be? Would you say "wow, that must be really difficult," and go about your business because you cannot identify with such an addiction? It is foreign enough to everyone unless they know someone or are someone who is in the throes of something so controlling they cannot see past that moment.

What if it were pornography or sex? Strange addictions for a woman, right? However, it is just as destructive to a woman to bear such an addiction as it is for a man. No less damaging, either, to herself or those around who love her.

If I were to say I had an issue with men, as was one of those listed -- what say you then? I can already feel the feathers ruffling, feel the "how could you?"s echoing through cyberspace because such an addiction wouldn't be moral or upright. You see, if it were physical, that's one thing....traipse into the emotional, moral aisle and you are looking at a whole different fruit.

How about food or drink? That is another spot where it would be passed off as if it were nothing - tough it out, get out of the kitchen, get away from the buffet line, you'll be fine. You lack self-control, you should know better, see a nutritionist....another safe thing to say, right, that these would be a sampling of responses I could potentially receive.

The way I see it, an addiction is an addiction is an addiction. The varying degrees thereof and the way we handle it within and without ourselves is just that: the way we deal. Would it make you less inclined to love on me if you knew what it was? I believe it would. Would you love me more? You might. But this is where we differ: I don't believe it is necessary to tell you *what* exactly my addiction is, I just feel it is necessary to tell you that I am struggling, that my struggle is real, and it can be life-altering if I continue to pursue it, as would anything that I would term "idolatrous."

Basically, what I am saying is "my secret is mine." Whether anyone feels this is compelling or not is of no moment - whether naming it would make it more *real* for you doesn't make it *less real* for me if I choose not to. What I do realize, however, is I am no less a child of God because I bear these afflictions -- I also realize I have a very real problem and the way I am dealing with it at this moment in time is to write about it in a round-about way and take frequent naps.

This is how I am choosing to get through today. Tomorrow, however, may be another story.

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