Yesterday, someone asked me (presumably joking), “do you have an addictive personality?”
It cut straight through my soul.
Because yes. Yes I do have an addictive personality. I was even given a book about it when I was a teenager.
Whether it be slot machines at arcades, stupid apps like candy crush, my newfound love affair with running, or more debilitating addictions of hurting myself or drinking too much alcohol, if I decide I’m going to do something, I’m hell-bent until it’s done – but it’s never done, there’s never an end.
I’ve learned to channel addictions in a healthy way – running has been the best medicine for me and there are so many terrible things to be addicted to, I really don’t see it as problematic. My faith has guided me through the darkest and most dangerous of storms, so addiction to faith has also been a good thing for me.
But it’s important to live with balance. When I get so obsessive about running that I don’t spend time cleaning the house or studying or working, then it becomes a problem. When I can’t leave where I am because I’m on my phone which is plugged in recharging – that’s also a problem. When I can’t stop thinking about a friend and obsessing over messages, I can potentially sabotage important relationships. Anytime something I’m doing affects the balance of my life – which is often – I need to take notice and make changes.
But I feel trapped. Because I can’t pull myself away from it – even when I know it is damaging me or I need to be getting on with other things. I wish I could just let go; I wish it was as easy as just putting the phone down or just not thinking about something, but it’s not. I haven’t learned the cure for when I hyper-focus on things whilst blocking out other more important things.
I try to make sure I’m successfully juggling all the plates in my life. But sometimes, the friends plate drops and smashes. Sometimes, I have a near miss with an assignment. Sometimes, I deliberately throw all the other plates to the ground so that I can hold on to one plate tightly, not letting go for an instant. Because in clutching that plate, I find comfort and security and groundedness that I find hard to discover when overwhelmed with the many plates in my life, when I’m faced with the fear of knowing I could drop and smash any plate at any time. Sometimes, it’s safer to just hold one plate tightly to myself, at the cost of all others. But I know, eventually, I will face the reality and try to pick up the pieces, so I can juggle the important plates of my life again.