Yet how easy has it been to discard the greedily accreted days, weeks, months and years of abstinence? How simple once again to try, fruitlessly, to satiate oneself on the subject of one’s addiction? How pitiful comes the realisation, too late, that all that effort, all that pain, all that self denial, generating in equal parts self congratulation and self loathing, has all turned to dust?
It’s difficult to determine why it’s happened. I have not been particularly stressed, which is oft cited as a common cause. I have not changed my house nor my life partner although I did change my job. This last may be causal but I’d like to think of it as being coincidental. I can’t plead any particular provocation which makes my failure understandable. It simply happened. One day I didn’t, the next I did. More properly, I suppose I should record that one day I wasn’t, the next day I was, once again, hooked.
And how did it make me feel, this descent from the pinnacle of propriety? As with every fall back into the abyss of addiction, my guilt at falling was only exceeded only by the pleasure experienced during the act of the fall. The high offered by the fix was instantaneous, enormous, gratifying in the extreme, as welcome as a long lost friend and accompanied by an overwhelming feeling of “this is how it should be!” The subsequent low was equally all-consuming, disappointing, filled with self condemnation, as welcome as a particularly grim spectre at the feast and accompanied by an overwhelming feeling of “how could you have just done that?”
Since I did it last I have managed to stay clean in the hope that it was just a momentary lapse. A brief, bright conflagration which once extinguished will seem like nothing but a moment’s madness. Yet even as I write this I don’t feel in control of that vital resistance component – will power. I fear the greasy pole is beneath me and the inexorable slide has already begun. I must face my own weakness and my own devils and ask myself the unavoidable question.
You see, dear Reader, after 20 years of swearing never to do it again because it was so bad for me, I have once again started auditioning to be an actor. I can’t help it. I love it. More than ever. Thus the 20 years which have passed since I last did it only give credence to the maxim that abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.