Addiction. A tugging in the chest. An ache in the stomach. A dull throb in the head. There is some sort of tension in our limbs, as if they are trying to reach out for something that isn’t there. And perhaps they are. We draw a deep breath and try once more for that “mind over matter” moment. We try to reason with our craving. “Remember” we begin, “how good it felt this morning, for the third day in a row, to wake up without a hangover, with a reasonably good night’s sleep under our belt?” “Ok,” our demon companion, our constant buddy, replies, “you’ve done well. Time for a little reward. Time to kick back.”
And the cycle begins again. Binge and purge. Binge and purge.
It is no secret that many great creative personalities throughout history have struggled with physical addiction. Obviously our demon is not exclusively targeting the artist, but the creative type sure does seem to make a good target!
“What’s going on with that?” pondered Lizard King as Lolita passed the blunt. Blind Monk smiled from the corner of the room. Although not inclined to suck in a lot of smoke directly, our Thai pal is not so prissy that he can’t handle a little second-hand waft. But we are not all Buddhist masters of course. Most of us need to establish firmer boundaries over stuff we need to avoid.
“I see you working so hard, Lol,” Lizard continued. Your nights are well ordered, working the bridge crew, tending to your townhouse, all to support your days in darkened studio.”
“But you also see,” Lolita anticipated, “how my well-deserved reward, my downtime at the end of a long project cycle, always seems to deteriorate into a mini-cycle of self-destructive behavior from which I must likewise recover.”
A gentle tone from Blind Monk’s gopichant drifted from the corner, through the haze. Lol and Lizard quieted, blunt smoldered in the Mexican seashell ashtray.
Lolita made slow love to Lizard that night, and slept deeply. She only ate half a pizza the next day, and the next day finished it with good appetite for breakfast. She took a few baby steps in new work.