i realized a few weeks ago that i’m an addict.
i’m not addicted to any substances, although given a different life, i probably would be. i just see it in me, that obsessive quality, that insatiable need, that quest for the next high, the desire for the illicit, be it the occasional cigarette or the ice cream after the kids go to bed. the now is never quite enough, i’m addicted to escape. it’s funny, because i don’t look like that, on the outside. i like to do quiet things, sort of–i don’t need lots of adventure or adrenaline rushes. i’m addicted to doing exactly what i want, to overdosing on books and reading them start to finish in one sitting. i’m addicted to performing, to showing off in front of people, although i do it in subtle or socially acceptable ways, my intellect or humor, or my voice, or my writing. i want to be the center of everything. i want everyone to like me the best. it’s kind of ridiculous.
i get really grumpy when i go through withdrawal from the things i’m addicted to. i resent my kids because of the way they inconvenience me and make it hard for me to do what i want. i feel a disconnect from my life because right now it’s all about self discipline and sanctification, two major buzzkills.
and i get it, life right now is really hard. we are plodding through the postpartum period, just starting to emerge on the side of a more predictable rhythm to our days. my two older kids are operating on a deficit when it comes to their need for love and attention, and that deficit communicates itself through anger, lots of it, and acting out, lots of it. i feel helpless and sad and angry in the face of their giant feelings and needs.
but i know this much, and i want people to hear this. this season is hard, but this season did not create these shortcomings in me. all of this was in me, and had to come out one way or another. it is the grace and gentleness of God that my children whom i love dearly (and dislike intensely today) are providing the catalyst that makes this ugliness emerge. it is the grace and gentleness of God that he is giving me this self awareness while also giving me three little humans to model brokenness, repentance, and humility for.
i’m an addict. and it’s serious. and withdrawal is ugly. it’s all uglier than i want to specifically communicate, just trust me on it. but the grace of God is exceedingly greater than the sum of my and my children’s faults. we’re going to be fine, because he won’t let us stay the way we are. i’m so, so glad for that.
A few important postscripts:
while this is a serious and heavy post, and a big personal shortcoming, this realization has not caused me to despair or really feel bad about myself. It is perhaps characteristic of the grace of God that conviction, while providing solemn self awareness, does not lead to despair or condemnation but the hope of the gospel trumps all. This post is more a processing, like “huh…so that’s why I do that!”
also, I’m not saying these aspects of my personality are bad. Like the performing, I write music to share with people and that’s good. It’s just when I abuse it that it becomes a problem.