I used to have roommate that would say “Tiffany, everyone does some kind of drug, you just have to decide which one you’re OK with”. She’d remind me of this every time I was whining about my latest dead beat boyfriend and their alcohol, weed, coke or whatever issues. While I never completely bought into this theory as I myself did not partake in drugs and very rarely would with alcohol, I admittedly saw her point. The doctor put the fear of death in my head at a very young age due to my heart problem, I guess I might have experimented more if not for that.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about these issues on a much broader scale. What if, everyone is addicted to something? One of my other close friends once said to me “Tiffany, you like these outward artistic things because you need to be seen, you weren’t seen enough as a child.” Do I need to be seen? Am I addicted to the prospect of being seen? If so, what does the word mean within this context? If I am addicted to it, then perhaps it’s a bad thing as addiction suggests. On the other hand, if my addiction drives me to stardom then it’s just called drive. At what point does something we’re addicted to become dangerous to our well being? Be it a recreational drug or something as simple as a feeling. Perhaps, they are one in the same. Perhaps, we create the feeling we’re addicted to by continuously putting our-self in harms way. Either with alcohol, drugs or simply situations….
I don’t know if I am addicted to needing to be seen, I might need to continue soul searching on that one. However, I will admit that there was a time in my life that I might have been addicted to being the victim. I say this not because I was a huge drama queen, I think I was quite the opposite. There just seemed to be situation after situation after situation after situation where I was continuously a broken record of victimization. It seemed every wonderful thing that would manifest in my life would promptly be met with some kind of major dramatic and unbelievable event.
I can recall when I was 16 my friends and I got all dressed up and went downtown Seattle for Mardi Gras. Granted, that entire sentence already sounds like it will and should end badly. It did. I remember very little from the actual event except that a bouncer from a local club magically scooped me from the pavement I was being trampled on and walked me to the rest room through a gawking crowd of onlookers. Upon entering the ladies room I fell to my knees in the wet poorly lit cramped room staring up the barley there skirts of the 20 something’s stepping over me. I was confused and dizzy on the verge of a panic attach. I remember one girl making some snarky remark “whatever you do honey, don’t look in the mirror.” While it was unsolicited advice, I was thankful for it later once I finally did get a glimpse of myself in the local hospital mirror.
My left eye drooped onto itself as I checked to make sure all my teeth were in-tacked. I later found out that I had taken a blow to the face from the wrong end of a skate board, deliberately. I immediately understood the awed looks and the reporter camera flashes that followed me after the incident while being escorted from the bathroom to the ambulance. I escaped the scene with a broken nose, cracked rib, fractured elbow and two gaping black eyes. Which is more than I can say for the poor girl that was stripped, raped and beaten to death, no crueler fate I thought. The next day I would grace the front page of the local newspaper keeled over holding my bloodied mouth. Things like this just seemed to happen to me, and at the time it was completely inexplicable in my mind. I just figured that I simply had bad luck and a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
During a trip to San Francisco with an old friend we sluggishly and drunkenly walked back to our friends house late one night after a local concert. It was something she had done a million times before in the same neighborhood. During the walk I noticed a group of young woman crying on the side walk. Because they were near my age, and women, I stopped to make sure they were OK. My friends carried on ahead laughing at my constant “need to save the world” approach to every situation. I offered the girls some water and to help call a cab. The woman sobbing with her face to the wall turned toward me with a devilish grin having made a miraculous recovery from her troubles while her friends surrounded me like a pack of calculated wolves. I was still completely unaware that anything was amiss at this point as I patted the girl on the back in an effort to reassure her that now everything would fine.
I was met with a bottle of mace unloaded directly into my face. Being 24,I of course, clang to my newly found vintage purse that had no cash or real assets inside. I kicked blindly in the air as pathetic as a cockroach desperately trying to turn back over onto it’s belly, vicious and vulnerable all at once. The mace kept streaming out into my face, my eyes, my nose, my very existence itself. I couldn’t take it anymore and decided that the clutch would have to go! I released it and the girls hopped into a waiting car near by. Being the strong woman that I am and that always gets herself through these things, I somehow managed to call and cancel all my credit cards while laying in the street probably clinically blind. I credit this to my persistent TXT messaging and literally memorizing the feelings of the keys and number under my thumb.
I think by now you’re getting the picture. Bad shit happened. It happened a lot. Inexplicable completely outrageous this doesn’t happen to other people on a regular basis bad shit. Until, one day I decided bad shit wasn’t going to happen anymore. Bad shit was going to be my bitch. I decided that I would break up with bad shit and end my addiction. I just started to take leaps of faith completely believing that it would work out, somehow someway and ever since, shit has been working out. Not just working out, but it’s been a complete shift in my reality.
So, my question is. Are we blindly addicted to our feelings? To the feelings we get when we drink, or snort a line or just get kicked in the face while we’re down. As a result of those additions, do we then continue to create those situations unknowingly in order to feed them? I think we do. I think that until we can be brutally honest with ourselves and what our emotional addictions are that we will continue to be victims. We will continue to reach for the bottle, the line, the needle the punch to the face until we can confront those addictions head on.
Stop. Stop now and think, what are you creating unnecessarily in your life because you’re addicted to the feeling? You’ve become so accustom to being scared, down on your luck, drunk or whatever…. that you unconsciously need those feelings. Begin to forgive yourself, begin to forgive others. Give yourself permission to be worth more. Give yourself permission to Let it go.