Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Monster

Addiction is a strange disease. In essence, you're almost split into two personalities. The "normal" you is a nice person who wants to do all the right things, be happy, live the commandments, etc.etc.etc. The "other" you - well, let's get to that in a moment.

The first phase of addiction is called the Acting-In phase, and this is when the "normal" you is in control. You feel normal, you think normally, and you tend to forget or dismiss the addiction and the problems it causes. You're optimistic that things will work out OK, and you tell yourself, 'This is the last time I'm going to let that problem lick me. I've got it all under control now". These are, of course, lies and delusions; but you believe them becuse its convenient to do so during this phase of the addiction cycle.

The "other" you is really almost like a completely different person. I guess the official term is "alter-ego", but I think this really goes way beyond that. In an addiction it becomes more pathological than a simple alter-ego. Whatever it is, I call mine "Little Monster", and he comes out of his box then the second phase or Acting Out part of my addiction kicks in (that's when all the nasty stuff happens).

Little Monster isn't like Normal Neal at all. He is VERY manipulative, VERY demanding, VERY clever, and VERY, VERY naughty. He should have been a lawyer I suppose, because he seems to be able to win just about any argument you might care to engage him in. He can twist things around so quickly - I almost always give in:

Neal: "Gotta stay away from anything suggestive today"
Little Monster: "Right. Tow the line, my man"
Neal: "Yep. Gonna do it right this time and stay outta trouble"
Little Monster: "I'm right there with ya! Fill your day with something productive to keep your mind on the right track. You could make some goodies for the Missionaries today. That's a wholesome activity!"
Neal: "You're right. That's a great idea! I make killer Chocolate Chip Cookies. Let's see - oh rats! I'm outta chocolate chips."
Little Monster: "Dude, Wal Mart is just around the corner - it will just take a second."
Neal: "Yea, just a second. We're off."

10 minutes later...

Neal: "OK, got the C. Chips."
Little Monster: "But didn't you need some windshield washer fluid for the car? Its dry and we're all out."
Neal: "Of course - I think that's back in the back somewhere. Wait a second, that will take me past the men's underwear section!"
Little Monster: "There's nothing to look at there. Its just Hanes. Whats the big deal about some "old man" undies anyway? You're over-reacting"
Neal: "You're probably right. I'm in a hurry anyway, I don't even have time to look, so what could happen?"

20 minutes later...

Neal: "Dammit! I shouldn't have gone down this aisle! I can't believe they have such cute underwear models on these cheap underwear packages!!"
Little Monster: "Heh Heh! I'll show you cute. Just wait til we get home...."

And that's usually all it takes for me. Just one little turn-on from something so simple. It can be almost anything - from a man in underwear, to the cover of a magazine, to a Gillette commercial. If it has a hunky guy in it, just one look can let Little Monster take control and the whole Acting Out phase starts. Once it starts, its like a runaway train goin' down hill! What scares me is how powerful Little Monster is. I can look at porn literally for days straight. I've gone on a binge where I called into work sick 2 days in a row because I was literally drowning myself in porn. I went without sleep, food, and hardly a pee break for 2 straight days! And I just couldn't stop. I COULDN'T! I can't tell you how degrading and depressing that is. You hate yourself for it later. Literally. There are times I just want to die.

So that's why I'm nervous about this new round of therapy. I can lose control SO easily. I can fail so easily. I hate you, Little Monster!! I hate you!!! Hate you!!!

...... and I love you...


"Lucky Jake" said...

Oh, "Little Monster." .... We all have them. I picture my "little monster" as a mean, edgy, and darkly dressed version of myself, who is eloquent, deliberate, sophisticated, and ruthless.

I wish you the best in your endeavors. The power to change is within you.

Neal said...

Thanks for your words of comfort and encouragement, Jake. I need them!

Bravone said...

Wow, a page from my own book. You're not alone Neal. You have brothers here who can relate. We also have an Elder Brother who understands, and with his help, we can overcome. We can.