The “3S” of Self Abuse

I’ve recently heard this phrase – the three S’s of abuse, those fake havens where someone chooses to search comfort when fighting (or being defeated by) deception and depression. They are not necessarily addictions, although such a compulsive behavior can ultimately lead to that.  With some punctual exceptions, they are not even destructive habits of everyday life when integrated in usual contexts and don’t provide escape shelters. Nevertheless, as soothing and seductive they may seem, the more perverted a soul can become after going through them.

Especially through them all: substance abuse, sports abuse, sex abuse. Leaving aside drugs and tobacco, why would be moderate alcohol consumption, a helpful sleeping pill or a painkiller against migraine a worrying issue? Except for a professional sport career, which leads to injuries and stress, why would sport be anything but a healthy and relaxing activity? And, let’s face it, how many things are more pleasant than the thrills of consensual sex? Now picture this: hot orgasm while being a bit dizzy from red wine, after a long run in the park…

And yet, the line is so thin when the real struggle is within and you’re using one, or two, or all three of these to run from the questions you should be asking yourself and from the terrifying answers you might find. You decide to crawl with the snakes instead of flying with the angels. I think I’ve done them all – and the “substance” part was the mildest, some of it even doctor’s orders. I’ve done the sleeping pills, the knock-out antidepressants, the tobacco, the booze, the weed, the adrenaline. I’ve done the running, and climbing, and pedaling, and paddling, and speed-driving to exhaustion, sometimes one after another. I’ve done the sex part, treating men like objects and taking advantages I’m not even now sorry for. And yes, sex on weed after a few hours of climbing was the best of my life.

But, although I somehow knew it, only when I read that phrase about three S’s I internalized their true meaning. I became aware how I let them all stray my path towards my true self. How I abused those distractions from getting to know, and understanding, and healing my own grief, buried so deep within. And, while reading that, I asked – what if I can’t stop. I’m still able to, but what if one day I realize that’s what my whole life is about. What a waste that would make me!

My artistic side got to this conclusion – it’s the three S’s because it takes three “s” letters to write “sadness”. My reason got hold to another piece of wisdom: one “s” alone. “S” as in… Stop!

(14 sep 2018)

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