Breaking the Chain, Link by Link
Letter to myself:
One time, when I should’ve been studying for a History exam, I wrote a short poem instead. Funny enough…I’ve never been one to write much poetry. It always sounded awkward when held under the light of Dickinson, or Poe, or some other whose name has left me. I think it was about you – you, who has brought me to my lowest in only three years. For most people it takes ten, battle scarred and worn. It makes me feel like a little, dirty and weak pig standing among worn out soldiers. But I digress, back to the poem. I remember it even now, although it wasn’t terribly long ago. I believe that it’s words will be forever burned in my head though, for years to come. Allow me to recant:
Underneath a shadowy tree,
The demon paces to and fro.
Wild eyes, the glare they show
Could burn whomever’s soul they see
And so the chains run wild and free
Unlike the captives that they hold.
Or charred husks, rather, dead and cold,
A hellish way to live and be.
So does the light wash over me?
So do the stars reach down their hands?
How loud must my cry ring through these lands
To reach joyous eternity?
Some solemn verses, I know. One might call me rather dramatic, but no matter. Isn’t that what writers are, after all? To think that I would take my time to devote my pen to you. To you – of all things – its almost sickening. I could rant for hours, but I’m not sure if it would do me any good. I could shout at the top of my lungs, “I’m done with you!!! I’m free!!! Get out!!!” Perhaps it is so, but perhaps it isn’t. And if it isn’t, what will I do? I have a life, apart from you, in case you weren’t aware. I’m a student, an archer, a friend, a daughter, and above all a daughter of the king (more commonly known as a Christian, I suppose). The latter role has suffered greatly I’m afraid, but it still is there. I was afraid it wouldn’t be, but I don’t think it will ever go away. I’m glad of that, and I’m lucky. What a strange notion to think, that despite all of my disgusting trash I haul daily, that God still looks upon me as his own.
Just in case you think yourself so important, I should let you know that I have other enemies besides you. I think you’re well acquainted with them though, and most likely work closely with them. Their names are Fear, Depression, and Anxiety.
Fear is a burly man, with glinting and terrible eyes. He looms above me, ever watching, and occasionally jabs my side. It is he who constantly reminds me of my entanglements with you, dear addiction, among other things. Funny, that should be Guilt and Shame’s job. Yet if you practice a keen eye, its easy to see that those two are only his minions, scurrying at his heels. Fear uses them to never let me forget, and then roars in my ears every dread imaginable. “What if you crawl right back to it, after fighting so hard?” he inquires sarcastically, as little Guilt cheers, “Haha, you’re too weak to avoid that!” “For sure!” Shame chimes in.
Next, we have Anxiety. She is a frightfully heightened and wild creature, always howling. For the most part, she lets me go about my business. I always hear her frantic and insane cries, whether I am able to push through despite them or not. There are moments though where she is not so refrained. Rushing up, unexpectedly, Anxiety tackles me, screaming at my face. Its a disturbing experience, that’s for sure. I’m afraid I don’t have a routine method for handling her. Sometimes I just have to wait it out, and other times I can suppress her noise by reading, or listening to my favorite playlist.
Then there’s Depression. Unlike Fear, he is not abrasive and rough, always tramping behind wherever I go. He isn’t like Anxiety either, loud, crazed, and all up in my face. Depression is far more clever. He lurks within places he blends into – that being the shadowy and repressed parts of my mind. His yellow eyes watch me, carefully, daily, waiting for my weak point. That is when he strikes, when I am already bruised and battered. Some might call that cowardly, and maybe in a way it is. With cowardice or not, he slinks and saunters over, with a wicked grin. Depression’s attacks are mere whispers, light and soft so nobody can hear them but me. His fangs only gently pierce my shoulders, as he’d rather not do the dirty work. Why should he, when all it takes is a little push to do it myself?
So there’s them, but then there’s you. Otherwise, why would I be writing this? You, Addiction, are quite unique in a way. Instead of distinguishing yourself, you hide in the footsteps of these three adversaries. You sulk behind Fear, giving him more ammunition with your presence. You fuel Anxiety’s madness, encouraging her antics and spurring her on. You whisper with Depression in the dark, giving him words to say. As if that wasn’t enough, you don’t stop there. When all is said and done, you finally strike. I lay in a heap, broken, unmotivated, and plagued with pain. I recognize your face, and I can identify your smirk. Yet you act as an ally, in a way, and somehow I believe you. Conscious is always there, her tiny and sweet voice reminding me of what you really are. And…I ignore her. It is my choice alone to do so. Yes, you implore me to ignore her, but I have the freedom to chose. Mostly, I chose wrong.
What am I to do? What AM I to do?!? In reality, I haven’t the slightest idea myself. The clear goal is the break the chain, the one that holds me to you. But how? I have tried before. Oh, the endless nights when I prayed…and prayed…and, prayed…and prayed yet again. I’m not saying that God won’t help, and I’m not saying that he didn’t help. There was something missing though – a puzzle piece needed to complete the picture. I knew what it was, but I was to afraid to place the piece. I had to be honest: honest with myself, and honest with others. Despite all the words in the world, I will never be able to describe the peace I felt that day, knowing I had nothing to hide. That Saturday afternoon, when all seemed well…but quickly turned to chaos. Yes, I was caught, but you remember that don’t you? It was only a week and a few days ago, how could you forget? That was what it took for my parents to know. I’m not sure how much longer it would’ve taken me to actually tell them myself. So again, what do I do know? What do I do to break the chain? I don’t have a hammer, or a saw, or any other tool. It seems to me that the chain stretches for miles, and I can’t even see where it begins! Because of this, you can’t be a secret anymore. For me to finally shut the door, and never let you in again, I need help. I need to discern each and every link of the chain. One might be something as unrelated as a fear of finances, while another might be a doubt in God himself. Whatever those links are, I’ll break them. With help, and God’s guidance, I’ll break each and every one of them. I’ll be free of you, link by link! And there’s nothing you can to do stop me!
Its over, Addiction. I think I’ll rewrite that poem.
Underneath the falling tree,
The demon scurries from the light.
He dares not look behind in his flight!
Lest he glimpses a bit of glory, that he couldn’t bare to see.
And so the chains are no longer free
Unlike the captives that the hold
Or free men, rather, strong and bold.
A saintly way to live and be.
So the light washes over me!
So the stars reach down their hands!
The children of God escape in merry bands.
Towards joyous eternity.
Letter from my sex addict:
So, just like that, this is supposed to be it huh? Don’t flaunt your wordy plumage at me. Your words don’t scare me, little girl. I like how you think they will help you. Your family, your church, and your God. For now, yes, it all goes smoothly. But just you wait. Oh, just you wait. Soon they’ll see who you really are. And soon you’ll come right back.
I wouldn’t be so quick to think that you’re strong enough to take this on, if I were you. Just look at this mess you’ve made for yourself! You were going to have it all – a student athlete on top of the world. How funny, you came crashing down so quickly. You thought I would eventually leave. You thought I would eventually subside. How foolish! Do you really think you’d ever, and you will ever, be able to shake off what you’ve done and seen? Oh, I can recall many shameful things to mind. Perhaps I should recount them, in order for you to remember? It seems you have forgotten for a moment what kind of person you really are.
I could write more, I suppose. But I think my point has been made very, VERY clear. You understand now, don’t you? I’m hoping you’ll make the smart choice, and stop while you’re ahead. If you insist to fight, I can assure you I’ll give you a hell of a ride. Know that I’m battle ready, with a spear already in hand. I’ll beat you down until you submit.
So when you come back, and you WILL come back…
I’ll be waiting.