CUNNING ENEMY

i am only forty-one, but addiction has been a cunning enemy of my life for at least three decades…at first compulsive sexual stimulation and fantasy–but also a foundational addiction to the power of intellect and self will…while my head branded me an atheist, my heart and soul kept me connected to the potent synergy of spirituality…in dance and performance with my black sisters and brothers, i felt the fire of blood memory–the power of creative expression to transcend…

over time i experimented with substances–by my early twenties i was a high-functioning alcoholic…managing to perform as a political organizer and graduate student, while often starting the consumption of my first cosmopolitan at two in the afternoon…eventually i found cocaine and all bets were off–my mind had found her master…the all-encompassing flood of dopamine was intoxicating–blinding me to the precipitous pace at which i was losing control of my thinking and my life…

ultimately i came into recovery paralyzed and mortified by the evidence of acute sexual harm that i caused while using and mixing  inappropriate and manipulative sexual patterns with substances…i didn’t know where i wanted my life to go–but i knew that radical transformation was imperative…

addiction is a cunning enemy for so many reasons–one being that it masquerades as this superfly fur coat you can wear to the dopest club in town…addiction sneaks up on you–you feel you are in control until you realize that you are in the prison of insane patterns…you feel you are in control until addiction reaches up to strangle your neck in the vice-grip of a suicide in slow motion…

but there is hope: in recovery we keep each other sane, clean, and serene one day at a time…most of the time there are acute mental health challenges at the root of why we use–or, if this is not true, we may have issues arising from our years of using…i have learned to listen to my higher power–and my karmic goddess tells me that facilitating the fusion of the best insights of psychiatry and psychology, with both the wisdom of recovery and the matrix of intersectional politics of liberation is part of the work i am called to do…

today i tell this demonic cunning enemy to fuck off–because i am obeying spiritual forces not the diseased thought patterns of addiction…this demon may be the most cunning enemy of life known to humankind–but spirituality, transcendent love, and the power of solidarity can keep us sane…one eye-opening and inspiring day at a time

both images are by the amazingly talented SLAVA MOGUTIN >> on IG: @slavamogutin

–BYPO PHOENIX c)2020

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