Thursday, May 10, 2007

I guess addiction is in this year.

Drugs, booze, tobacco, sex, porn, food, shopping, work, email, everyone has an addiction. Whether people look up to you or down on you for it, depends on what it is. It's funny, how easy it is to become a creature of habit and to depend on ingesting, doing or seeing certain things on a frequent basis. There must be a biological reason for it, but I think there's also a sociological reason for it.

In today's (North American) society, we're having more and more things planned for us, and we're constantly having the consequences to our actions thrown back in our faces. Start saving for retirement. Raise your kids properly or they'll be axe-murderers. Find a good job. Do your homework. Diversify your portfolio. Eat your veggies. The focus is not on the here and now. The focus is that we're spending too much time in the here and now, and not worrying about the future. Which, based on what I see around me, is basically true.

But there's something almost carnal about addiction. Addiction is the opposite of planning ahead. Addiction is give me what makes me happy, right here, right now, consequences on myself or others be damned. Whether it's snorting coke, cutting yourself, or bench pressing 300 lbs, the goal is to get yourself into that position as much as possible, for as long as possible, and reproducing that high from getting what you want, when you want it.

Sure, people check into rehab after a while, but that's only when they want to reprogram themselves, or if they're forced into it by law. As long as the high is still enjoyable, there's no need for rehab. It's only when your brain forces you to consider the consequences, the destroyed relationships, the empty bank account, the ill-health, that the long-term outweighs the short-term and the body and mind seek to rebalance themselves.

I have to admit, there are days when holing up in the Chateau Marmont and indulging my every whim sends like a fabulous alternative to everyday life. And I'm probably the most long-term oriented person I know. The only way out that I know of is to find healthy addictions. Working out, spending time with family and friends and eating healthy can become every bit as addictive as all those nasty vices, but in a positive way. It's all about finding routines that are productive, and not destructive.


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