When I was growing up addicts did drugs.

They were the 1980s posters of heroin before it was fashionably chic, sunken, grey, skeletal with dead eyes and pin marks in their arms.

It wasn’t until later I saw that addicts also drank and smoked. I had been confused as these two drugs were so easily bought, no need to go furtively underground.  Sanctioned addiction.

Later again I saw the slot machine, penny slides of the seaside towns were addictions too, this time sanctified in secretive shops with hidden interiors where middle aged men came and went, eyes down, hands in pockets, collars up.

 

Not like me.

 

Then, as life moved on, I began to see addicts also

craved sugar

exercise

sex

achievement

they worked too long

tidied too much

shopped without thinking

drove without destination

ate without feeling full

spent without balancing the books.

They bought self-help books

had plastic surgery

gel nails fortnightly

to be more perfect.

They scrolled,

tapped,

swiped,

watched,

liked.

They kept busy

kept doing

kept reaching for the next thing and the next.

 

Just like me.