INDIVISUAL MEDIA

VICE VERSA: THE SECRET LIFE OF SECRETS

 

Her lover was Godiva.

And she was hopelessly in love.

Another binge. Another purge.

Nobody knew. And nobody saw.

And that’s what made the vice so sweet.

 

Their intent was never an affair.

But covert consent was sparked by a flare.

It began with an innocent text.

Some suggestive body language.

A mutual agreement transmitted in eye contact.

A bottle of champagne numbed the conscience and the senses. The rest took care of itself. There was remorse, followed by shame, followed by boredom, followed by repeated rendezvous of passion and purging. It was a dream and a nightmare, at the same time, and it took on a life of its own.

It was their little secret.

It was their hidden rush.

And that’s what made the vice so sweet.

 

When the office cleared.

And the lights went dim.

Cocaine did its magic.

And his demons could dance, at last.

He felt alive. He felt free.

Dark. Deserted. Demented.

This was how he met his muse.

And that’s what made the vice so sweet.

 

Life is our tension.

And vice is our release.

But the release is short-lived.

And our quench revamps our thirst.

We meet our demons in the daily desert of drudgery and deflation. In the cracks and crevices of silent desperation. We discover an oasis in guilty pleasure. We binge-watch, or binge-shop, or binge-eat, or binge-cheat. Every vice is a vehicle for escape, but the goal is one and the same: escape.

Demons come in many shapes and sizes.

Some vices wreak more havoc than others.

Some souls seek more chaos than others.

Depending on our appetites, and tolerance, for risk.

Depending on our natures, and our nurtures.

We each have our closets, and our skeletons.

We each have our struggles, and our scars.

But the secret life of secrets tempts us all.

Allow me to speak for myself…

I’m sure you want gory details.

I’m sure you want spicy dirt.

But, to be honest, my story’s not so steamy.

It’s dark.

It’s dense.

It’s chaotic and turbulent.

But the nature of my demons is hardly illicit.

(Not yet, at least.)

There is anxiety and depression.

There is trial-and-terror experimentation.

There is self-medication.

There is thrill-seeking and self-sabotage.

Risky investments and impulsive financial disasters.

Hardly pleasant, but hardly gossip-worthy.

Disappointing, I know.

But the vice of choice is not what matters.

It’s not the ice-cream, or the alcohol, or the affair.

It’s not the gambling, or the shopping, or the pornography.

It’s not about the sin, it’s about the secrecy.

The devil is not in the details.

The devil is in the loneliness.

The lying. The hiding.

The shame. The self-loathing.

The devil is in the double life.

The private life of private lives.

“Stolen water is sweet,

bread eaten in secrecy is pleasant.”

  • Proverbs (9:17)

“There is a certain charm about the forbidden,

that makes it unspeakably desirable.” 

  • Mark Twain

The thrill of temptation is not always a harmless ride of fun and games.

It can destroy innocent families.

It can damage innocent children.

But these realities don’t shake our fantasies.

Because fantasy thrives in isolation.

Secrecy. Hiding. Retreat.

And that’s what makes the vice so sweet.

But once we board this rollercoaster, we no longer decide when it ends. We are taken for all the ups and downs and our hearts begin to break. Our minds hijacked by panic and self-disgust.

We numb ourselves— not for fun, but for survival.

It is no longer a thrill.

It is medicine.

It is tragic.

Dancing with demons is part of the journey.

We know the dance darkens.

We know the pain deepens.

But more than anything, we know that knowing is useless.

As the saying goes, when temptations harden, brains soften.

It’s what makes us human.

It’s what makes us fighters.

It’s what makes life, life.

The more I speak to kindred spirits, the more I realize how common these struggles are. I no longer judge the alcoholic. Or the shopaholic. Or the sexaholic. Because I am one of them. And most of us are – to some degree – battling one demon or another.

So if you’re hiding.

If you’re hurting.

If you’re drowning in shame.

Rest assured: we’re right here with you.