Each go offers joy and tops it with satisfaction – every indulgence getting better and better. You want more. You dig deeper and deeper. Where was this all my life? How can I live without this?

And like most things worthwhile, you run after it, chasing it down the valleys and into the woods. Do all it takes, goes your mantra. Things don’t come easy, you know. Do what it takes. So you keep on running, never seeming to notice how far into the forest you are. Your ears are deaf to the worried shouts crying out behind you. The cries fade away the more you run. And so you do.

Your feet tire sometimes. Your breath runs out occasionally. You consider turning back at times, but then you remember the joy and satisfaction. “Just a few more, and I can call it quits. And hey, I’ve come all this way, and I’m fine. Can a few more be that bad, anyway?”

It’s all merry, all fun up until your feet begin feeling heavy. They can’t run after it anymore. They trudge in the mud. You crawl and pull yourself through the murk, still trying to reach it. Alas, you’re exhausted. Besides, you realize you not only want it now but also need it.

You hadn’t noticed how far deep into the woods you had gone. The veil is clearing from your eyes – it’s dark, too dark. It’s quiet, deathly quiet. You try calling out to someone, anyone. Not even your echo returns. You are a fish on the end of a hook, slowly being reeled in.

Yet, you can’t help it. The darkness burdens you, and this is your only solace. It gives you delight. It gives you peace — No! This can’t be peace. It gives you a sense of pleasure, a false peace, and only for a moment. And then it takes from you. It’s a steep price to pay. But what other options do you think you have? So you trudge on through the mud.

Addiction is beautiful. Handsome even. It’s dressed elegantly and quite fashionable. It walks in a beautiful smile. A master of charisma, it’s a darling to the ladies and a compatriot to the men. It approaches slowly but surely. It’s careful not to abuse you, kind enough to treat you right. Well, at the onset, at least.

Its face will never tell, but it lingers, waiting for the right time. It searches for weakness, patient for an opportunity to pull you in.

Search your heart. Search every room in it – go through the invitation list, for it may have already found its way into your party. Look around and figure out where you currently are.

Are you running after something? How far off have you been running, and can you turn back? What are you chasing after, and why? Do you have to? How far are you willing to go? Can you hear the worried voices? Are there caring voices that think you have changed and might need help? Or is it your conscience asking for help? Search your heart and watch closely. It lurks.

Photo by Anthony Roberts on Unsplash

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