Addicted: Notes from the Belly of the Beast (2001) by Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane (editors)

As a book picked up from the common shelves in the School of Language & Liberal Studies, I was anticipating reading a few pages of this book and then discarding it. Rather than stopping soon after picking it up, I found myself not wanting to put it down. As a collection of passionate and personal stories from authors and artists from across Canada, all of whom I have never heard of, Addicted sheds light on the unlimited shapes which addiction can take. Stories of drinking, drug use, and sexual desires are shared which help to illustrate that addictions come in many forms and are not only limited to those most talked about in the popular media. Some essays were difficult to read as they contain elements of sexual abuse, unrestrained honesty from the authors regarding their feelings, and an acknowledgment that much of what may make an addict, an addict, can be passed down through generations in a family.

After giving up alcohol, now some 5 months ago, and only now reading about addiction (even if only haphazardly) I now seem to have the headspace and willingness to be open to having a discussion with myself regarding my personal addiction. While I haven’t taken any formal or intentional steps to approach or address my addiction, I can honestly say that I’m at the point where I can openly admit—if only to myself, that an addiction does exist.