Sunday, 31 March 2013

I have a Confession to Make...

Okay. First a necessary precursor: It’s been over TWO months since my last blog post. I could say I was busy shooting the documentary and writing my book. Both excuses are based in partial truth so therefore might sound valid. But let’s also be clear: they’re also Bullshit, just like all excuses known to man. The unfortunate truth is I have an addiction, the satiation of which kept me from releasing this next post, which is actually the topic of the very post itself. How’s that for bitter irony?

Writing these blog posts is kind of like an exercise in cathartic release and psychotherapy. Once I use the digital page to exorcise one of my demons, I can’t exactly fall back on my word? That would make me Queen of the Hypocrites.  

If you've slept with any of the gentlemen pictured here, this blog post is for you!
So perhaps, subconsciously, I needed to go through one last cycle of tempting bad habits. Re-downloading Grindr (after I'd pledged to Never be a Hookup Whore ever again) and meeting up with 20-something prettyboys to gorge my need to feel young, hot and desirable. Getting lazy and eating muffins at Starbucks so that I could get fat again (by my standards), so I’d have an excuse to look down on myself, and blame the problems in my life on not being goodlooking enough. I know it all sounds crazy, but these are the Symptoms of a much more virulent addiction. And it’s one I plan to beat.   

So faithful and patient readers. Without further ado, I have a confession to make.

Bryce Pre-Addiction. He didn't smoke, party or do drugs. But he also never had sex. 
I’ve always put myself on a self-righteous pedestal because I lived my adolescence on the straight-and-arrow. I got straight A’s in the 90s. I didn’t drink or go to parties because I was too busy trying to be Hermione Granger and Alex Trebek's love child (okay Hermione wasn't born when I was in high school, so the idea of her sleeping with a man in his 70s is kind of gross, but you get the point). I’ve always resisted the boozing, drugs and even smoking that tempt mere mortals. 

But then I came out of the closet and you all know what happened there. That’s right, I excavated my deep insecurities and transformed into the delayed douchebag you love (or love to hate) today. Problem is, remember how I said I’m trapped in the third quadrant? The phase where one Makes Up For Lost Time where you trade your self-respect and dignity for a six-pack and high-school hookups. Well here is where I discovered an addiction to Validation (of Sexual Desire). A drug worse than cocaine. 

Stage One Validation Addiction: Former Fatties will know it well.
Anybody cursed with an addiction for validation knows it's pretty simple. 

You look in the mirror and hate what you see. So you go to the gym and pump iron until someone tells you "you're hot." It will start with friends, family and colleagues, but their empty compliments mean nothing, because they're not having sex with you. But eventually you'll start to get attention from randoms in the bar. Or you'll put up hot new pictures on Grindr. And just like magic, you'll start having sex with guys you could never have sex with before. You might wake up feeling empty or shameful you didn't do something more productive. But luckily there's always another sexy hookup to make you escape those shameful thoughts! 

Unfortunately, in Stage One Validation Addiction, you will be plagued by unrelenting Self-Doubt. As you break your routine (and lose your sense of discipline), this can subconsciously lead to Shame-fueling Binge Eating. If it's really bad you might actually get fat again, but, either way, that's what you will see when you look in the mirror. You might think the easy cure is simply getting validated. You could tell me I have a great body and mean it - but guess what, chances are I’ll forget by the next day, when I reach the next hurdle in life. When you’re truly addicted to validation, you keep raising the stakes, eventually adding Body Dysphoria and Perfectionism

Stage Two Validation Addiction: PLAYERS FOR LIFE suffer from this.
In Stage Two Validation Addiction, your self-sabotaging Stockholme Syndrome loses its grip, and you realize Upper Echelon Grindr Hotties can only be attained by going to ridiculous extremes of dieting and exercise. You'll believe you've Raised your Standards and adopt a truly visceral Body Dysmorphia. So when you look in that mirror, you'll still see the Fat Monster you always hated. And thus the Cycle of Validation starts anew, as per above. 

The fact that I decided to pursue a career in entertainment makes my validation addiction cripplingly two-fold. It’s sexual and creative! Basically I either need you to say you desire me or you think I’m brilliant! A daily bout of writer’s block can fuel a sense of creative talentlessness. To escape that feeling, I might try to score a (meaningless) date or hookup. If I fail in that, I'll blame my inch of pinch-able fat. If I succeed I might beat myself up for not being productive.  

The thing with an addiction to validation, there isn’t a set paradigm for curing it. How many validation rehab clinics have you heard of? A 12-step regime or Validation Anonymous? Sure you can spend hundreds on psychotherapy (and believe me I have), but chances are that will only solidify the idea that you're crazy, and make you dependent on Therapeutic Validation.  

Holy Grail Cure for Validation: If either of these Chris' falls in love with you, you can skip my next blog post.

The easy cure for an Addiction to Validation is a deeply fulfilling long-term relationship with a smoking hot Ultimate Catch. That's right, to become an Ultimate Catch, you must earn the love of an Ultimate Catch. He or she will accept you despite your insecurities because in their storied wisdom, they can see your unearthed potential. Because they’ve got a 9 face and 9 body, you’ll actually trust their esteemed judgement. You’ll become the effortlessly confidant hunkosaurus Rex pretty much overnight.

Alas (and this is a good thing), we live in a world where you have to love yourself before you can truly be loved. They call this Self-Validation. Now in lieu of magical, meaningful love from Mr. or Mrs. Perfect, chances are, you’re on your own in the big fight. The good news is once you beat this independently, there’s no going back, grasshopper. But if that Ultimate Catch above turns out to be a Player Douchebag and dumps you, welcome to Validation Addiction!

The bad news is I’m extremely long-winded and a bit of a tease. You’ll have to wait until next week for Bryce’s 12-Step Routine to Beating Validation Addiction.