stoic inferno

Hello! I’m so sorry for not posting in such a long time… Ironically, I needed to take a break from my recovery blog in order to take care of my mental health! Hopefully I’ll be able to post more often in the near future. For now, I thought I’d post a short story I wrote recently; maybe some of you will relate to the emotions expressed.

Addiction is a cruel concept.   

Addiction to substances, starvation, lying, theft… it is unconditionally immoral. 

Addiction consumes every vein, artery, and crimson vessel within your meager anatomical structure. It grasps your writhing frame in its veiny talons, eating at your heart, poisoning your vision.   

But addiction is often external. The victim has insecurities, pulsating ringworms just underneath the surface of their drawn, pallid skin. These parasitic beings long to be unleashed onto a new host; they vibrate with yearning, throb with lust; our poor victim develops an excruciating dependence on something they cannot control.          

Thankfully, this is not applicable to me. Seneca would be proud! Instead, I am addicted to something internal—a concept within my control. I am addicted to myself.          

Each evening I furtively sneak to my silky divan, entrenched with the light of the moon. Then I do something horrid. 

The little worms of insecurity exit my flesh and consume me from the outside. Nibbling at my fingertips, grinding the strands of my oily hair, their relentless pace buries them underneath the layers of my epithelium. I abuse myself, deplete myself.     

The addiction to this drug—that is, myself—is unlike any other.   

It occurs after an accomplishment. This accomplishment is often academic related, but (as words often do) it shapeshifts with no qualms. Its superficial glory scares the worms for some time. Its presence sends them into epileptic shock, into dogmatic assertions and circular reasonings for the existence of God. 

Yet inevitably, the parasites rise. The addiction precedes the response, begets it. And the response contains a magnitude double that of the achievement.      

The worst, my friends, is a full day brimming with accomplishments. The layering of punch upon kick overwhelms the spirit, sinking it into abyss; on such nights, I am fully consumed by writhing worms. They cover my tearful eyelashes; they swarm my nose and my reptilian arms; they devour my essence.     

They steal my identity.      

And yet, I am addicted. Hopelessly, inexorably, terribly addicted. Addicted to the achievements, addicted to the worms that are fatefully bound to the workings of my consciousness.       

I wonder what the Stoics would say.     

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