Category Archives: addiction

Thank you, Charlotte Kasl!


When I was attending SLAA meetings, everybody would talk about “the steps”. “Are you working the steps yet?”; “The steps changed my life!”; “Everything will get better when you start working the steps”.    The steps can be found in the SLAA basic text, first published by The Augustine Fellowship in 1986. I just couldn’t see what the big fuss was about with this book. I’ve read plenty of books on sex and love addiction, and this one was pretty unmemorable, as far as I was concerned. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that I found some parts of it objectionable.

My main problem with the book is that Rich, the person who started SLAA, after being in AA for many years, was a white, middle-class man, and the basic text was written, mainly, by a white, middle-class man. Where am I – a woman – in this book? If I mentioned this to my sponsor, she would just smile knowingly, and say “Oh, but, deep down, the emptiness sexually addicted men and women experience is the same”. I’m not a moron, for Chrissakes. I know that an addict is an addict is an addict, and I know that no matter what we are or who we are, we all suffer. But that doesn’t change the fact that we are all living in a patriarchal society where women’s and men’s experiences are not the same. While I don’t doubt that Rebound Guy from last year (ugh, remember him?!) is in a huge amount of pain because of his drinking and all the casual sex he has, I doubt he’s ever felt used, and cheated, and humiliated because of his addictive involvement with a woman. That’s how I felt, though, after our little fling was over. For him, I was just another notch on his bedpost, another sexual conquest he could boast about to his friends down the pub.

In the SLAA basic text, Rich writes about the addictive sexual relationship he has with Sarah although he is married to a very pregnant Kate. Sure, it’s not great he cheats on his poor wife, but, OK, I get it – he’s an addict. Lying and cheating is pretty much par for the course, so I don’t think he’s necessarily a terrible person for committing adultery. It is, however, the way he writes about his lover, Sarah, that really disturbs me. He very subtly paints her out to be an arch manipulator. Just read the break-up letter he sends her!

Sarah,

I am terminating our relationship. I have come to realize that for all the love there has been between us, and there’s been much, at least an equal part of sickness, obsession and neurosis has been present also.

My long term needs have been consistently sold out to my getting my short term feel-good buttons pressed, and you are a master button presser. My own personal center has been thrown askew through my trying to constantly service your needs, which are also excessive

My inventory has been exhaustive and has led me to the lamentable truth that you are bad news for me. Therefore, I’m getting out now.

We are all through.

If you are tempted to contact me, I ask you to re-read this letter.

Rich

He might as well just have called her Lady Macbeth instead of “master button presser”. And look at his interesting choice of verb tenses: “my long term needs have been consistently sold out to […]” and “my own personal center has been thrown askew […]”. All his verbs are passive. You would think that some external force was making him “sell out” or “throw himself askew”, but that’s not the case at all. He was the one who chose to be with Sarah, and to give in to his addiction.

And as for the “you are bad news for me” statement….? What the fuck?! Oh yeah, Rich, in contrast, was such a catch, what with his very pregnant wife, about to give birth any second. Sure, Sarah herself chose  to get involved with a married man, but did Rich ever stop to think how much he fucked up her life? He does eventually devote some of the book to talking about the pain he caused his wife, but Sarah? Nah, she’s just collateral damage.

When my concerns about the basic text were poo-poohed by other people in the program, I began to think that maybe I was just some bitter feminist harpie who was getting her knickers in a twist for no reason. But, it wasn’t like I went out of my way to do a feminist literary critique of this book. Fundamentally, it just makes me feel uncomfortable and icky.

Going back to the steps again, I also felt strange when I looked at the some of the steps to come, especially steps 4, 5 and 6:

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all of these defects of character.

The language in these steps is incredibly ponderous, moralistic and serious in tone, especially for people who probably have just found their way to a 12-step meeting because something very serious and nasty happened to them. I’ve had enough seriousness and judgement in my life. I need to lighten up and have fun! And by that I don’t mean that I want to get drunk and party, but just that I want to focus on the simpler, more beautiful parts of life. As Charlotte Kasl points out in Many Roads, One Journey : Moving Beyond the 12 Steps, “there are no steps about expressing love to people, having fun, celebrating life, and becoming powerful or healing the physical body” (160).

When I contemplated working step 5, it felt like it would be such a chore. Again, I felt guilty, and imagined that I didn’t want to do that step or the steps immediately after it perhaps because I was trying to avoid taking responsibility for my actions. But Charlotte Kasl to the rescue again:

The term defects of character might be apt for perpetrators, narcissists, and other exploitive people, but it doesn’t fit for shame-based or guilt-ridden people who all too easily focus on their failings and weaknesses. “Defects of character” is a culture-bound, Christian concept stemming from the idea that we are all born sinners and must redeem ourselves through a life of confession and atonement” (317).

Thank you, Charlotte! Now I understand why I had such a negative reaction to step 5. Why would I, somebody who has beaten myself up forever, want to focus on my “defects of character”. Of course I need to take responsibility for the bad things I’ve done, and the people I’ve hurt, but I’ve already done that! I can’t spend one single second more obsessing over how I’ve fucked up. I desperately need to realize what’s good about me for a change!

Coming Tomorrow: A list of all my good qualities!

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Not Dead


I don’t go to bars much these days. It’s not that I don’t like them; I just don’t have the time. And, also, I don’t like the way I am when I’m drunk, or the hangovers that ruin the next day.

But I felt like going to my local bar after work today to have a nice cold Hefeweizen. I just wanted to see people. Relax for once. I never relax. I don’t know how.

This is the bar where I met Rebound Guy last year and where the debacle of my addiction to him reached its grisly finale. I’ve been back to that bar since we stopped seeing each other, but he wasn’t there, and since he was an alcoholic who practically lived there, I assumed this meant he was (a) dead (b) in rehab or (c) he had moved back to the state he’s from.

But, of course, no such luck! He was there today, and he came up to say hi. I wish he hadn’t. He’s looking much better, and says he only drinks “occasionally” now. Who knows whether that’s true. Like I said, he does look a lot better.

Just to find something to say, I made the mistake of asking him if he still sold weed. He said, yes, and that he now also grows mushrooms. I’ve only taken mushrooms a few times in my life, and I love them. They’re the only drug I’d be interested in taking again. I then made the second mistake of asking him for his number so I could buy mushrooms. He was, like, “um, I’ve got a girl”.

I can’t believe I put myself in a situation where the dude would think that I actually still want to fuck him! God, I am so dumb. Apparently his “girl” knows all about me because she was the one whom he picked up from the airport the morning after we spent all night fucking.

I don’t want Rebound Guy. In fact, I wish I had the presence of mind to tell him that the only reason I ever fucked him was because I was in pain, and needed the drug of sex to numb me.

But I can’t help but feel sad. I *am*, for some crazy reason, really attracted to him, and it was disturbing to be reminded what sexual desire feels like. Not the desire for him….just desire in general. I just remembered that I like sex, and miss sex….but, more than that, I miss feeling connected to another human being. I don’t like being forced to see how lonely I am.

It’s a beautiful day. Sunny, and not too hot yet. It’s the kind of day where it would be bliss to have someone to love…somebody to come home to and cuddle.

But instead (and this is almost hilarious because I am such a cliché!), I will be spending this evening trapping feral cats so I can take them to get spayed and neutered. :-/

SLAA versus Buddhism


I just finished thirty minutes of zazen, and what better way to treat myself than to drink a nice “Lucky Buddha” beer (according to the bottle, it’s an “enlightened beer”)? Of course, drinking beer means that I’ve violated the fifth of the “Ten Grave Precepts“….but, oh well.

photo

Next Thursday will be the last day of my “Introduction to Zen Buddhism” class. I’m so glad that I’ve taken this class, as it gives me a lot of comfort to know that I’m attempting to have a more spiritual life. I love the teacher. She’s a young, probably thirty-something, American woman who has such a kind and gentle energy. It’s pretty clear that she was like this before she ever got into Buddhism, so I often find myself thinking that somebody like her doesn’t really need Buddhism to teach her to be a better person. I’m glad that the class is being taught by a young American laywoman instead of a Japanese monk. I’m not racist, but I think it would have been hard for a newbie like me to relate to somebody who is so culturally and spiritually different. Before I took the class, zen seemed so esoteric and mysterious, and this woman has made it appear so warm and inviting. I love her honesty and humility, and her willingness to share her weaknesses with her students.

This wasn’t my first experience with meditation. When I was twenty-one, I went on a ten-day silent Vipassana retreat when I was living in France. I got a lot out of this experience but the meditation teachers seemed so aloof and somewhat hierarchical. To continue our meditation practice at home, they also said that it was very important to meditate for an hour every morning, and an hour every night. In an ideal world, yes, this would be the best thing to do, but how many people can really afford to mediate for two whole hours each day?! I certainly couldn’t keep this up for long, and when I failed, their rigid “two-hours per day” rule made me give up completely in despair. It would have been far more encouraging if they’d just told us to mediate each day for as long as we could manage, even if only five minutes. For someone like me, who is already so hard on herself and rigid, I needed a more gentle approach.

Besides the teacher, I also like the people in my meditation class. I haven’t gotten to know any of them really well, but a quick, intuitive scan of the room always reveals that everybody meditating with me is thoughtful, smart and questioning. I feel safe around these people.

I’m now so interested in Buddhism that I’m thinking about starting the “Secular Buddhist Studies Program” with the Interdependence Project up in New York City. I want to learn as much about Buddhism as I can now, and the good schoolgirl in me very much likes the idea of being involved in a Buddhist “program”. I’m sure it’s very un-Buddhist of me to like the idea of getting some kind of certificate for having completed the program, but, well, that’s just the way I am, I’m afraid.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I am quite so enthusiastic about the people who attend my Saturday SLAA meeting. I wouldn’t say that I feel “unsafe” or that I actively dislike anybody, but, well, I just don’t particularly like sitting in a room filled with fellow addicts. Maybe this is just because I don’t like seeing my own worst qualities reflected in other people.

I probably shouldn’t feel this way because, according to Josh Korda, there isn’t much of a difference between people who end up at a twelve-step meeting and people who start going to a Buddhist centre:

With the exception of a few students who are just interested in it philosophically, the vast majority of people who come to Buddhist centers, it’s similar to why people wash up on the shores of AA: It is because they have really hit bottom. The difference is, people in AA have hit bottom with drinking or drugs, and with Buddhism it’s because they’ve hit bottom with excessive thinking of some sort, or fear, or some form of behavior. The problem may include drinking or drugs, but often they just feel their mind is a really uncomfortable place to be. They suffer from what the Buddha calls papanca—thinking too much, proliferation of thought, worry, fear, anxiety. So the arc of recovery is, “How do I get to a place where I can be in my own mind, my own body—which carries so much stress—comfortably?” (http://www.thefix.com/content/josh-korda-buddhism-alcoholics-anonymous00330?page=all)

The main difference between twelve-steppers and people who attend Buddhist centres is that addicts are probably a lot more self-absorbed and self-obsessed. I would also say that this applies to me since nearly every single one of my waking thoughts is concerned with my own unhappiness and what I can do to make myself feel better. Nonetheless, I do like to think that I think about other people at least some of the time.

I hung out with my sponsor and two other women recently, and that experience clearly revealed some of the issues I have with addicts. These women all knew each other, and they spent most of the time talking amongst themselves and ignoring me. Of course, they didn’t mean to ignore me, or hurt my feelings, but, well, they did. It was that addict self-absorption again. I wasn’t expecting to be the centre of attention or anything; it would just have been nice to have been included in their conversations. I know that I would have made sure to include somebody who was an “outsider” in a group.

I do feel bad complaining about these women, however, as they are all perfectly nice, and my sponsor has helped me a lot, and supported me whenever I needed her to. I guess it would just nice to be around people who were a little bit more “healthy”, and I feel that the people at the Zen centre are that for me.

On the other hand, my issues with the women from SLAA could very well be denial on my part – my desire to tell myself “Oh, I’m not like them. I’m not a real addict”. My sponsor is always trying to get me more involved in SLAA activities (e.g. going out for lunch after the meeting; attending the group consciousness meetings; going to SLAA conferences and fellowships)  and I’m somewhat reluctant. I do admit that I’m an addict, but I don’t want all my weekly social interactions and engagements to revolve around SLAA. Addiction is just a part of me; it doesn’t define me.

It would be interesting to hear the perspective of other people who have attended twelve-step meetings. Do my complaints above just sound like somebody who is still a bit a in denial about her addiction, or do I have a point?

All I know is that, right now, I’m getting more out of going to the Zen centre and meditation than I am from going to SLAA meetings. But perhaps that will change when I start working the steps?

When The Spell Is Broken


Caveat: I’m tired, suffering from terrible allergies, have swallowed a couple of antihistamines, and am also a wee bit tipsy. In other words, this might not be the world’s greatest blog post.

So, a wee update on the situation with the Arab. Yesterday I spent the whole day at work chatting with him. I had told myself when I arrived at work at 8:00 a.m. that I would not contact him until 4:00 p.m. because I knew I’d get no work done if I contacted him before that. I lasted until 9:30 a.m., and then I just couldn’t stop myself from responding to the chats he’d sent me while I was gone from work for a couple of days. I can’t believe that there are some psychiatrists out there who argue that Sex and Love Addiction is not a real addiction. Sometimes nothing -absolutely nothing – can stop me from getting my next “love hit”.

I hung on his every word, and could not wait until I received a reply to every chat. I always leave work at 5:00 p.m., and by 4:50 p.m. there was still no mention of the date we were supposed to be having this weekend. I flirtily asked him when we would be getting together (“It’s rude to keep a lady waiting, you know!”) and he told me that he couldn’t see me this weekend since he was going to a music festival. I was furious because we had – so I thought anyway – agreed to see each other this weekend. It turns out that we’d never actually chosen a specific day/time for the date (I looked back over the chat history to confirm this), so I assume I had just fantasized about him so much that a daydream about a Saturday night date became a reality in my head.

Nonetheless, he had told me that the date would be this week – and yet there was not a peep out of him about when this would be. I was off work on Monday and Tuesday, so he couldn’t contact me to arrange a date on those nights, so he has an excuse. But what about all the other nights this week? Apparently he was already busy.

What kind of guy agrees to go on a date with a woman one week, and then doesn’t mention it at all when that week finally comes around? Now, I know that a lot of people are oh so casual and flakey when it comes to keeping engagements these days. I’m guilty of that myself with casual acquaintances – I’ll say “Oh, yeah, let’s get a drink next Thursday maybe” and then next Thursday comes around and nobody mentions it again. But I have never told somebody that we will go on a date, and then never broached the topic again. That is just plain obnoxious.

I don’t know what this guy’s deal is. I assume he’s a bit of a player; that’s he’s probably dating a couple of women casually already and that I’m maybe just an interesting back-up option. His casual attitude betrays the fact that I mean nothing to him. Absolutely nothing.

This is, I hasten to mention, the second time he has blown me off. The first time, a couple of months ago, I told him I wasn’t really ready to date anybody but at some point we decided to grab a drink. This was supposed to be just a “friendly” drink, not a date, but it was pretty obvious that it was more than that, and that we’d be scoping each other out. On this occasion, I actually did suggest a specific night the following week, and he agreed. That Tuesday I asked him “So, are you still up for a drink on Thursday”. He told me “Oh, let me get back to you”. Did he ever get back to me? What do you think?

Right now, the spell has well and truly been broken. I can see clearly that this guy is no good. I deserve to be asked on a date by somebody who is genuinely interested in me – somebody who’s excited about spending time with me, and getting to know me more.

It doesn’t hurt me that the spell has been broken. No major harm has been done. Hell, I haven’t even met the Arab yet. He’s not really a real person – he’s an interesting OKCupid profile with some cute pictures; he’s the guy I iMessage at work; he’s the one I caught a glimpse of when I was out running and said hi to. We never spent hours together in person; we never fucked; he never promised me anything. Sure, I fantasized about him, but over so short a period that there was never a chance for his image to be carved into every one of my thoughts for months on end.

Despite all this, though, I wanted to scream when it became apparent yesterday just how unimportant I am to him.  I can’t begin to describe the feeling of despair and sheer desolation I felt. It’s all a memory now, but it was very real yesterday.  I wasn’t suicidal, but life just felt so fucking empty and pointless.

And that, dear readers, is why I am an addict, and why I need help. A momentary iMessage dalliance with a stupid immature player makes me spiral down into despair and self-loathing.

It’s clear from this little escapade that I still can’t be trusted to stay away from people who are no good for me. So, when I tell you that I won’t be contacting the Arab again, you probably won’t believe me. Send out a little prayer for me, eh? Pray that I’ll finally be able to love myself and only surround myself with people who care for me and want the best for me.

Black & White


catsThe more I learn about addiction, the more I learn that behaviours I thought were unique to me are quintessential addict behaviours. “Black or white” thinking or “all or nothing” thinking would be a perfect example here.

Between the ages of maybe fourteen and twenty-one, I suffered intermittently from bulimia. It started, I think, as a way to deal with living with my extremely controlling and verbally abusive mother. She knew I had a problem, by the way, but did absolutely nothing to help. I would binge in secret when she went to bed, but she soon noticed that the snack cupboard was running low. One of the few times she ever really acknowledged my bulimia was to announce in a disgusted tone one evening that “I’m off to bed now, and you’d better not be stuffing your fucking face”.

My bulimia was particularly bad when I was twenty/twenty-one and was having a “year out” from university in France. I can still remember the utter torture and self-hatred I experienced during that time because I was so obsessed with food. I wasn’t overweight at all, but I wanted to lose ten pounds for some reason, and with typical bulimic logic I decided that a normal diet was not for me. I thought I was too fat to wait to lose weight by dieting normally. My bright spark idea was to starve myself completely for one whole week and then – only then! – would I allow myself to diet normally. Of course the one-week starvation never happened. What happened instead is that every night I would promise myself that tomorrow (oh, tomorrow!) would be the first day of The Big Starvation, but I would be lucky if I made it to noon the next day before I broke my vow. My poor body was so undernourished and my poor brain so obsessed with food that I would gorge myself on whatever I could find – usually high-calorie, simple carb foods because my body badly needed the energy. And then, of course, I would make myself puke and utterly hate myself.

This pattern went on for God knows how long. I never cease to be amazed by just how fucking long I am able to cling to a terrible, terrible idea that is clearly not working. You’d have thought I might have cottoned on earlier that the Big Starvation wasn’t really the way to go, but oh no – I kept on trying to starve myself, and feeling like a pathetic failure when I couldn’t.

I never sought any medical help for what I was going through. In fact, I didn’t really realize that I was bulimic until years later. I thought that my problem was just a lack of willpower. One day, however, I’d finally had enough. I’ve always been a feminist, and I began to realize just how much of my beautiful woman’s brain and energy were being consumed by thoughts of food, weight and body image issues. I would be returning to the “Motherland” soon, and going in to my third year of university, and I knew that I’d never be able to study and achieve all my goals if my life revolved around food.

It was incredibly hard at first, but I made myself sit down every day and have three healthy, filling meals. My body and brain were soon properly nourished again, and all my cravings for simple carbs disappeared. I hesitate to say that I was “cured” of bulimia, as I believe that I probably now suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, but I now never diet; I just listen to what my body needs and I never deprive it of anything. If I want chocolate, hell, I’m going to have some. Everything in moderation! As long as I exercise regularly, I can keep all food obsessions away.

Since I have such a chequered history with setting rules for myself that I can never live up to, I must admit that I am a little nervous about my SLAA “bottom lines“. When I broke some of my bottom lines last week when I flirted with The Arab, there was a part of me that said: “Ha! See, SLAA: you can’t tell me what to do!”. I have an urge to rebel against any goals I set for myself no matter how good for me they might be.

Many of the women in SLAA have taken up to two years off from dating, and it is definitely recommended that you have a period of abstinence when you first start the program. I do agree that I shouldn’t be in a relationship right now, but, really, no dating at all this year? I’m scared that by telling myself that I can’t date that I’ll just go ahead and do it anyway. Maybe that’s what this thing with the Arab is all about? Would it really be so wrong of me to go on an occasional date with somebody to learn how to have good boundaries and not rush into a relationship all guns a blazin’?

It’s hard to know. It’s also possible that my desire to “socialize” myself with healthy dating is really just the addict in me using a lot of clever reasoning to justify still being around men.

Broken


I’m probably not going to have much time to write in here for the next five weeks. Tomorrow I start an intensive outpatient Dialectical Behavior Therapy course. It’s every Monday through Thursday, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Given that I start work at 8:00 a.m. and only finish at 5:00 pm., it’s going to be pretty exhausting. I have self-diagnosed as suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, and DBT is supposed to be really effective for treating that. Even if I don’t have BPD, it would still be good to learn not to, um, smash shit, hit my loved ones and verbally abuse them when I’m stressed or angry. Both my therapist and my psychiatrist think it would be a good idea to do this course. I’m wondering if I’ve made a huge mistake, though, because I have a hard enough time as it is getting through the week without adding twelve-hours of intensive therapy into the mix. Also, I am feeling pretty fine at the moment. But that is always my pattern – I have one huge crisis, where my world feels like it’s ending, and then I coast along just fine until the next crisis. When I’m coasting I never feel like there’s anything wrong with me.

Intensive therapy aside what else have I been up to? Well, I had fun this week with my friends, seeing lots of music. I went out more times this week than I would do in a whole six month period while I was still living with MM. I’m completely sleep-deprived, but it was worth it. I also went out on a date with a cute Chilean-American journalist I met on OKCupid who is very interesting –  tall; handsome; creative; funny; educated; a runner; well-traveled; bi-cultural; bilingual etc etc. He is, in other words, the opposite of RG in most ways and yet…I still long for RG.

Speaking of RG, we have started shagging again. But don’t worry – it’s all good. I’m much calmer this time around. It turns out there actually was something he wanted to invite me to after all. We went to a barbecue last night together, and I was supposed to attend a fashion show he was doing the make-up for today but couldn’t because I had to work. I don’t know what these invitations mean. Honestly, I think I’m done analyzing the shit out of everything. I just don’t have the energy.

I started to look at our “relationship” in a whole new light earlier this week when he responded to one of my booty-call texts by saying “Im a mess dont know if i want you to see me this way”. It wasn’t like I didn’t know he was a raging alcoholic before this text. I knew rationally that he couldn’t be present for me because of his alcoholism but somehow that text brought it all home. I felt quite guilty, to be honest…like I’d been trying to take advantage of a sick person. Because, well, he is a sick person. We stayed up talking all night on Friday (didn’t even shag until much later!) and we didn’t start to go to bed until 8:00 a.m. He actually went off then to buy some cheap and nasty gas station wine so he could get to sleep. At 8:00 a.m! Jesus. What a way to start your day.

I don’t know how it is possible to care for somebody I have only known for a couple of months, but, well, care I do. Of course, there is still a huge part of me that wants him to want me/love me, but I can genuinely say now that I just want him to get better. Not for me, not because I have this fantasy that we’ll fall hopelessly in love if he gets better (although there is a wee bit of that) , but for himself. He’s talking about moving back to Colorado to live with a friend he can start a (legit, non-druggy) business with who’s also a teetotaller. I think this would be a great idea because I don’t know how on earth he can possibly hope to get sober while he sells weed and lives right around the corner from the local bar. When he talks about moving away, there is this little voice inside me that says “No! Don’t leave! No! Not yet!” but I know it’s what he needs to do, and I will encourage him. I just can’t stand to see another human being suffer in front of my eyes. He says he’s hardly ever had sober sex in his life! Wow! I can’t imagine being that cut off from my emotions. He is so broken. He needs to heal.

I feel that something changed in me this week as regards RG. I will continue to long for his attention, his affection, his love, but somehow my lust has changed into something sweeter and more tender…friendship, I guess. I’m not saying that I won’t ever shag him again (hell, I ain’t Jesus) but I just want to treat him well, and not make him the brunt of my love addicted obsession.

This might be weird given how much I’ve bitched about RG in this blog, but send a wee prayer out for him tonight, will you? He’s not an angel, but I hate to see him in this much pain.

The bottle


You didn’t need your drug. You could take it or leave it.

At first you only half noticed the way the light reflected in crystalline prisms in your glass, and the warm, comforting, back-in-your-mama’s-womb feeling as the liquid worked its way down.

You didn’t need your drug.

It was just something that happened to be there. What was the harm? It made your anxiety disappear for a few hours; you could talk to girls and make them laugh; you could take one home and fuck her, not thinking about anything other than the pleasure of grinding into her. When you woke up the next morning, the sheets stained with cum and sweat, she’d be gone. Or maybe she wouldn’t, and you’d spend the next week ignoring her calls.

You didn’t need your drug. The bottle stood on the countertop, blinking back at you knowingly as your eyes caressed its smooth, perfect sides.

And then you did need your drug… And then it was too late.

Everybody has a drug. You are mine.

A healthy woman would run a mile. I keep coming back for more. I can’t stay away. I step over the piles of unwashed clothes littered across your room, and make my way to your unmade bed with its filthy, crumpled sheets. I can’t wait until your cock is inside me.

The sex is amazing,  but it always leaves me feeling sad and hopeless. You look into my eyes as we fuck, and I stare back, but all I see is emptiness. I don’t know where you are, but you’re not with me. As soon as we’re done, you grab yourself another beer and smoke a cigarette. You always pull on a pair of shorts after we’ve finished fucking. You never let me see you naked.

I tell myself this is just a sex thing. I tell myself that I’m only into you because you’re emotionally unavailable. I stay away for a whole week, while you’re fucking some other girl, and I even go out on a date with another dude who picks me up in his 1964 Ford Galaxie, and who wines and dines me in a fancy French restaurant. I’m wearing my new 26-inch waist skinny Diesel jeans, and heels, and I look hot as hell. Every single man in the place wants me. But I don’t want them. I want you.

During dessert, I slip off to the bathroom to text you, wanting to meet up afterwards. I lie to myself that it’s only a booty call, and just to save face, just so I can feel that you don’t matter, I make out with Mr. Ford Galaxie on the trunk of the car. I hate it. His kisses are sloppy, and he tells me that we’re in “different places in our life” , and that I’m “wild” and “untamable”.

I’m so horny and desperate to see you that I park my car in the wrong spot, and it gets towed. We spend all night and all morning fucking so I don’t hear the tow truck.

My house keys, wallet and phone are in the car. I’m screwed and you make some mean comment about how I should get Mr. Ford Galaxie to help. I think you’re going to throw me out into the street with no money, no car, no keys, no phone. I’m bare footed because I can’t wear my too-new shoes that have blistered my feet. I can’t see because I threw away my contacts. I want to slit my fucking wrists.

But you do help me.

You’re such a mess that you still haven’t fixed your car’s flat, so you  call a friend to drive me to the towing company. You’re exhausted from fucking me all night, but you still come with me. This might mean you care. Or it could just be your Catholic guilt.

Your friend loves me. He keeps saying “Why don’t you like this girl?! Why don’t you like this girl?”. Your uncle I met the week before loved me. The locals in our bar say we’d be a “cute couple”. You don’t say anything.

You still don’t say anything when I tell you all about Mr. Ford Galaxie…the fancy meal, the drinks, his car, his kisses. You don’t need to say anything. You know I want you.

I go to a party, pick up some dude and bring him to the bar where he’s kissing me when you walk in. I hadn’t expected you to be be there – thought you were sleeping off another hangover – but I’m pleased you see. Your expression doesn’t change at all. I want to slap your fucking poker face. I tell you I could leave with this dude, or stay with you. I want you to fight for me, but the only thing you say is “I hope it doesn’t work out”. “Is that the best you’ve got”, I ask? “Yup, that’s the best I’ve got”. I storm out, but you know I’ll be back.

All my friends tell me to stay away from you. But I can’t. Your smell makes me melt. I breathe it in, and think that I want to have your babies. I love your cockiness and the little flashes of vulnerability that appear behind it. I love your bottle-top glasses and the way that your right eye can’t focus properly. I love the way your eyelids droop. I love – and hate – the way you deflect all attempts at serious conversation with a stupid joke.

I’m half in love with you. Or maybe I just think I’m half in love with you. Either way, it still feels the same.

You are my drug. And I will crawl over burning coals on my hands and knees to get to you. I don’t care how much I humiliate and degrade myself. You are my drug.

I need you.

I am not ready to give you up.