First Magic, then Medicine, finally Madness

This is a common saying in the addict community to describe our drug of choice.
The poetic nature of it strikes me every time, and as always, I can’t help relate the saying to normal life too. Relationships, careers, religion, anything that we become obsessed with.
How can something be our salvation, and then turn around and bite us?

Magic

There’s nothing quite describing the rush of finding our next addiction.
It can be seeing our crush for the first time, snorting cocaine or standing on stage and being admired.
Our dopamine receptors are shooting fireworks.
We finally feel at home, accepted and safe.
Through our rose-tinted glasses we do not listen to people telling us to slow down.
We do not see red flags, warning signs or boundaries.
When we find paradise, it’s all or nothing.

Medicine

Until paradise just isn’t as sparkly anymore.
We still return to the place that saved us, but now we try and rationalise it.
Really, we are self-medicating. We deserve to spoil ourselves. It doesn’t harm others, does it?
Now, the object of our admiration serves a purpose.
Slowly, we cannot imagine life without it anymore. It become part of our identity.
Who are we if not a smoker, a fashonista with too much debt, a devotee?

Madness

Slowly we realise that we are not using anymore, but we are being used.
It becomes harder and harder to deny that our behaviour isn’t bordering on crazy.
We do not care what others think of us, even our closest friends and family.
All that matters is that we get our fix, get that promotion, add one more zero to our bank account.
In an echo chamber of our own thoughts, we cannot see a way out.
What once brought us reprise is now hell on earth.
How did we get here?

But not all is lost.
I like to say that there are two kinds of people in the world:
Those who can ask for help, and those who can’t.
Once we are in too deep, our pride often stops us from admitting that we trusted the wrong haven.
It’s only by learning to let other people in, preferably those who have been where we’ve been.
No longer isolate, we rewire our brain to reconnect to the world.
We learn to receive joy from the simple pleasures of life, like appreciating our tribes.
There is always hope.

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