It doesn’t have to be a substance or a hobby. You can be addicted to people too.
It’s easy to relapse when the addiction has a voice, pair of hands and eyes – especially if you’ve let the voice soothe you to sleep over the phone, or hands meet yours each time you two share a laugh. It’s easy to relapse when you two have shared a routine for almost a year:
– 9 A.M. sharp you receive a good morning text. (If it’s past 9 A.M. you try to keep yourself from reaching out first. Maybe she’s upset with you again; maybe she decided she hates you in her dream. You start scrolling through your past conversations and saved messages. You read a sweet message, something along the lines of “I love you” or “You make me happy,” and contemplate erasing the message because you’re in denial she makes you feel good. It’s been nine months – you thought you were over this. It’s almost 10, is she still sleeping? Is she still dreaming about how horrible of a person you are? What did you do? What could you do after all those times you’ve kept her around when you knew…)?
– She responds with various emoticons: smiley faces, hearts, winking faces. You delay your response because you’re at work. You’re supposed to be busy.
– You finally respond and now she’s playing hard to get. She’s restricting your mid-morning hit. (“Come on, you fucking bitch – answer me, ANSWER ME!” You’re trying to keep your cool at your desk, but you have no one left to turn to. Your own significant other can’t understand why you’ve kept this up for so long. You tell him it’s going to get better, but she holds the hands of time. She grants you a morning with a text. She extracts daytime with missed phone calls. How can you spend evenings with him when she hasn’t given you the okay)?
– Your workday ends when the sun shifts down. She’s been busy all day and you wonder why she hasn’t given you the time of day when it’s this close to night. (You also wonder why your time revolves around her. Why is she your face of time? Is she someone else’s face of time? Does she restrict time from others or just you? You scroll through those text messages again and start deleting them one by one. The “You’re amazing” and “I don’ know what I’d do without you” make you nauseous. But disposing the once saved words makes you feel empty).
– You come home and tell him you’re done and show him the cleared out inbox. He hugs you and says he is proud for the second time this month (or is it the fifth)?
– 10 P.M. a new text comes through. She is saying good night. (You two haven’t spoken all day and you can’t believe she is ready to leave you again).
– You go in the other room to hear her voice one last time. You two laugh over inside jokes and tug-a-war over whom loves whom more. You don’t think much of it, because they are just words after all. But when you sneak back into bed two hours later and find him sailing off into a dream, you’re terrified to tell him what he already knows.
– You lay back in bed. Staring up at the ceiling, you let your eyes sketch a new plan in the dark. Tomorrow will be different, you think to yourself. You see yourself ignoring all her text messages and phone calls. You see yourself leaving her on silent, tucked away in a drawer. “I’m in control. I’m in control. I’m in control.” (Maybe you’ll cry in the other room tonight).