“Hello everyone. Welcome to this week’s meeting. Good to see all. As you regulars will have spotted, we have a new face joining us. Not really wanting to put the bloke on the spot but as with protocol, I’ll let him introduce himself and if, and only if he’s comfortable, let him tell you his story”
“Hello everyone, my name’s Sid and I’m addicted to football”
There isn’t any helplines you can call. No sympathetic voices. No financial or physical help. You’re on your own outside the football supporting fraternity. The right minded people out there will be nonplussed and apathetic towards what I’m saying, but we’re just as much junkies as any other addict. Whether they be substance abusers or hooked on the adrenaline fixes of extreme sports. It takes over your lives.
There’s leaflets in G.P. surgeries up and down the land with questionnaires to determine whether you’re a substance abuser. Apply it to the one thing you do in life that makes you feel alive and lifts you out of the drudgery of reality. Where responsibilities and demons both vanish equally.
It’s not a huge step from enjoyable hobby or pastime to addiction. Yeah yeah I can hear the rational thinking amongst you screaming at me that substance abuse wrecks the body. So stress is good for you right? 22 men kicking a bag of air in what is only a game. Ever been so racked with nerves that you want to or have thrown your stomach contents up? You’ll have done that with something us football supporters wouldn’t let bother them. Your real life experiences pail into insignificance against our last minute in the last game of the season relegation/promotion goals. The release of built up, anxiety driven tension is pure delirious euphoria that is not matched by any synthetic drug with a high that lasts for weeks and sometimes months. The lows can last for just as long. Anger, frustration, despondency. It’s all there. Collective protests that are futile. Not in the same league as political and humanitarian protests? They are to us.
Addiction is what it is. I’m not seeking help, recognition, sympathy or empathy. An addict will only ask for these things when they hit rock bottom. I ain’t there yet. I can can just about still function.
I’m Sid and I’m addicted to football