Addictions. We all have them. Some “compulsive engagement in rewarding stimulants despite adverse consequences.” “Habit forming substances or behaviors.”
It has been said, “An overindulgence of anything, even something as pure as water, can intoxicate.”
Pete Rose’s was an addiction to playing baseball. For some it is drugs. Many; alcohol.
Poker. Video games. Checking their emails and Facebook accounts.
The difference between a wholesome activity and an unhealthy addiction is the “adverse effects.”
These can include a myriad of bad medical conditions when alcohol and drugs are the addictions.
Even when certain foods are the problem. Sodium. Sugars. Extra calories.
Behavioral addictions can have their negative outcomes as well. They can impact our physical and emotional lives adversely.
They can cause stress. They can eliminate what we wish to do that is more productive.
I have several addictions of my own. Again, not to be confused with activities. Activities include fishing at least once a week.
An addiction would be the guy who had to fish every day. Ran out of sick days during stripers hitting on top. Lost his job. Claimed addiction. Now draws a check!
Activities include watching a real good Bogart film on Turner Classic Movies for a rest, or watching Jeopardy to keep my mind sharp.
An addiction is not writing because I am watching MASH or King of Queens reruns, I have already seen a hundred times.
Activities include grilling vegetables and trout fillets; snacking on a banana or apple between meals.
Addiction was grabbing that soda and chips.
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Activities include MC’ing and auctioneering at fundraising events.
Addiction is sampling a piece of nearly everything I sold. Eating large amounts of what I purchased.
It has been said that if you don’t know someone with an addiction, sooner or later you will.
Golfer Payne Stewart noted, “People who have never had an addiction don’t understand how bad it can be.”
The poet and author Edgar Allen Poe observed his addictions were not for the physical pleasures derived from any drug, but for “… the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
Comedian George Carlin was quick to remind people that “… just because you have the monkey off your back, it doesn’t mean he’s left the circus!”
There is often a thin line between an addiction and an activity. Often the difference lies in degree and frequency. The solution; sometimes simply moderation. At others, complete change.
Often, we use the first of the year for resolutions to better ourselves. Maybe such self-improvement deserves more of the calendar year. Perhaps even a monthly check-up.
Writers are urged to keep journals. Diaries of our thoughts and ideas; even our behaviors.