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Healthyhealer 05-07-2003 05:15 AM

Aren't we all addicted to something?
....And does it make us happy?

Addiction is a funny thing and a word that either gets over used and/or mixed up with other words. Like what is the difference between obsession and addiction - I am talking in more general terms.

I know this guy who does no drugs, and no alcohol and you would say he is the model healthy human being. However I have come to realise that he is "Addicted" to exercise. He does Tae Kwon Do with me 3 times a week (at least) and he goes to the gym 5 times a week, and goes swimming almost every day. He is probably addicted to the endorphins produced when exercising and this is what releases the adrenaline rush as opposed to mowing up several lines of coke or whatever...

I mean before I got into drugs, I used to be into my football (Soccer to those Americans) When I say I was addicted to football, this may not be such an overstatement. I'd come home from school watch all the sports news. Every time there was a match on (any match including Under 15s football) I would watch the build up before and the highlights afterwards. I used to know all the teams, the grounds, the sponsors, the fixtures, the results...everything. Between 92 and 95 I had an encyclaeopedic knowledge of the sport. Is this necesarily healthy? Was I obsessed, addicted or did I just have a passion for the sport? My parents used to say I should not be so centrally focussed, but my sister used to say how good it was that I was so passionate about one thing.

After I grew out of football I got into my house music. And I didnt just enjoy the music, I had to know all the tunes, all the remixes, all the DJs, what they were playing at the momment, I collected all the sets and tracklistings...I saved up my money and bought turntables so I could DJ myself. At the time music was my passion!

Now things get blurred because after that, weed became my "passion", I knew all the different types, where to plant them, what weed did what, I tried loads of different types, and I perfected my rolling technique to a point where I could roll brilliant joints. Now why has it suddenly become an addiction. Is that just because it is illegal? I think not because one can be addicted to legal drugs, or cigarettes or alcohol.

So question 1 is what is the difference between my addiction to weed and my passion for football?????

Also what I found out what I miss most. I am interested to know if this applies to anyone else. The thing I miss most is not actually the high, because that started to suck due to the paranoia, and the monginess but I used to enjoy the ceremony of it all. The skinning up of a joint was a ritual I used to enjoy. Finding a cigarette and rolling paper. Toasting it. Searching for some cardboard to make adequate roach material. Rolling it up (I had this technique where i used to roll it around the arm of my glasses) to get a perfect cylinder. Toast the cig, grind up the weed (I used to use this little nutmeg grater) and then roll it up in a perfectly conular fashion. This in itself was more fun than the actual smoking! Can anyone relate to this?

Finally (I know I've gone on a bit, but I'm in a slightly philosophical mood) I used to love the obtaining of drugs as opposed to taking them. Now from what I've heard a lot of peole haven't been so lucky with their dealers, but I have had a lot of cool dealers (and I can stand up and say not one of them has ever *pushed* drugs on me) [I had one dealer who I saw for the second time within a few hours, who said he wouldn't sell me anymore that day and that I need to cut down!!!] I realise they're not all this good and that a lot of them are Satan't foot soldiers etc, but I do enjoy that aspect. The interaction, the funny stories about scoring. I have more and better stories about obtaining drugs than I do about actual highs! Now because I am clean I have no interaction with these people whatsoever because the friendship was purely based on the acquisition of drugs.

Can anyone explain any of this???

Does anyone have any comments, or questions? They would be much appreciated.

Have a nice day!

chippie 05-07-2003 05:51 AM

Obsesion: compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or unwanted feeling or emotion that is often accompanied by anxiety.

Addiction: compulsive physiological ond psychological nedd for a habit forming substance, the condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something.

This says to me that there is a physical component to addiction that there isn't with an obsession. That addiction is maybe active where as obsession is more passive ie actions vs. thoughts almost.

Either way, neither seems pleasant.

I know that I have some OCD tendancies and they are as troubling at times as an actual physical addiction would be but, I have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol and I am obviously not as able to relate as others are on the implications of recovery from them as to where addiction may stop and obsession may begin. It seems as though maybe obsession is a component of addiction the more i think of it rather than vice versa.

Healthyhealer 05-07-2003 06:36 AM

Thats a very good point chippie. It does seem that the two are linked.

Another thing that I forgot to mention was the phrase 'Addictive personality.'

A lot of people, myself included, use this phrase which basically means someone who gets hooked on something quite easily. Is it not just a euphemism for someone who has no (or very little) self control? Maybe I just have something against this saying because I know so many people who use it, that it almost seems cool to have an addictive personality. Yet the real implications of the statement are troubling. Does anyone else know what I mean?

I think you could find many people who would admit to having an addictive personality, yet if you said to them 'do you have any self control?' they would probably say they do. Do you see what I am getting at - as in no self control is quite demeaning.

Who here would say they have an addictive personality? Who here would say they have no self control?

GinaLee 05-07-2003 06:52 AM

I beg your pardon! I absolutely have an addictive personality! And I absolutely have major self-control!
I am addicted to chocolate and could easily consume massive amounts in one sitting if I allowed myself to submit. I do not allow myself to do that!
I am addicted to drinking beer and have managed to control that addiction by every means I can come up with. If my current means fail; you can bet I will find another way to either continue abstinence or at least moderation.
I can be extremely addicted to the man I'm in love with (when I AM in love) and I am fiercely loyal and completely his to the point of being completely incapable of entertaining a thought for another; yet if that relationship fails, I don't begin a psycho obsession towards him.
I am addicted to Internet shopping (I hate going to the stores) yet no matter how much I spend in one month (via credit card) I still pay off each credit card in full every month because I'm also addicted to not paying interest! I never pay interest on a credit card EVER!
I have a very addictive personality without a doubt but when or if I see that it becomes unhealthy physically or mentally I find ways to remove the addiction or at the least practice moderation.
Addictive personality does not equal lack of self control unless you allow it to.


Healthyhealer 05-07-2003 07:25 AM

[quote]Originally posted by Healthyhealer:
[b]I think you could find many people who would admit to having an addictive personality, yet if you said to them 'do you have any self control?' they would probably say they do. [/b][/quote]

Thats precisely what I said.

I think Gina you are probably a person who falls into the category of someone who has lots of self control and therefore can't have an addictive personality.

Saying you are addicted to your husband's love implies you cannot live without it, yet you basically said if the relationship failed you wouldn't be that bothered. I know love is a weird one and as an addiction cannot really be explained. And I think if your husband left you you would be gutted. Leave it at that.

But as far as you are addicted to shopping online but you never run up huge credit card bills? Does that mean you *cannot* live without internet shopping? Do you have a psychological or physical dependance on internet shopping? Therefore it cannot be classed as an addiction surely?

I really like fudge cake but I don't eat it to the point that I get really fat. I want it, but I eat in moderation. By the pure defintion of addiction and the use of the word moderation shows that one cannot be addicted. The whole point of the definition is someone who cannot do things in moderation and therefore loses all self control.

In my opinion you have taken the word addiction out of its context in the examples you have put forward.

I really don't want to pick a fight over the matter, and I hope you haven't taken offence to anything I've said, as nothing was meant in a derrogatory way, but why is it so important for you to have an 'addictive personality'. Are you proud of that? Do you see it as a good quality to have or is it annoying that you have an addictive personality?

chippie 05-07-2003 08:06 AM

Where are you going with this?

GinaLee 05-07-2003 08:31 AM

I am without doubt an addictive personality creature. Over the years, I have learned to control my obsessive behaviour. I'm 42 years old; I have figured out ways to deal with what is a VERY destructive behaviour.

It's a learning process. It's a matter of looking inward and seeing my uncontrollable behaviour and finding my own answers to overcome the path towards excess.

Each addiction I've had (and still have) has been extremely hard for me to control. But by damn I do control them. I control them because this is what I want for myself.

I am addicted to cigarettes. I smoked my first cigarette in 1972 and I haven't stopped since. I actually have quit a few times in the last 10 years; the longest stint was 11 months. Today and I do mean today, will be the last day I'm going to smoke. Tomorrow morning I will reach for a nicotine patch instead of a cigarette.

Will I succeed? You DAMNED straight I will! Will it be easy? Hell f*cking NO! But it IS what I want; so I will get what I want.

Will I drink again? Yep! Sure will. But I know what it will take to find control over my drinking. Simply put: I will not bring it into my home and I will not drink alone again.

If I drink with others or in public; I drink in amazing moderation. That is the key for me to find my control. Will this new plan work? There is an excellent chance of success. But obviously no guarantees either. If I fail at this strategy, then I know what I'll have to do. Am I being realistic? For me, I am.

But to say to me that I'm not an addictive personality is irresponsible and not based on enough information to back it up.

I'm not proud of this piece of me and that is why I learn ways to control my inclinations to over-indulgence. I guess you could say I'm in recovery. But it doesn't mean I'm cured or never was or am not now the addictive personality that I truly am. Once an alcoholic; always an alcoholic, even while in recovery.

I'm not angry that you wrote that but I am concerned that you would state absolutes without qualifying the alternative possibilities. You can't make blanket statements.


Healthyhealer 05-07-2003 08:35 AM

Well the addictive personality business was an afterthought on my original post which is what I would prefer people to comment on.

The addictive personality comments have been spurred on from hearing countless people tell me they have an addictive personality almost because they think it is a) cool, or b) an excuse . And it really really really annoys me that people do this.

I just wanted to know how people felt - obviously Gina doesn't agree with me and so thats fair enough.

My original post was what is the difference between addiction and obsession and passion for something and if anyone had experienced how I felt about certain non drug related items.

Healthyhealer 05-07-2003 08:43 AM

To Gina,

Fair play I may have made a statement about you based on what I think of other people and for this I am sorry. I doubt I can say anything to change your mind on the matter, and we both blatantly come from two different schools of thought on the matter. So lets leave it at that and agree to disagree.

With regards to your cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking I wish you all the best. I sincerely hope tomorrow you reach for the patch and can get over it. I know many people who have suffered and it is a really tough one to overcome but I really hope you do.

I hope I haven't spoilt your (or Chippie's) day, I just wanted somewhere to express my opinions.


Hopefortoday 05-07-2003 08:44 AM

Healthyhealer, I'm addicted to chocolate. I don't go a day without it. But luckily, I haven't gained weight and also eat very healthy otherwise . . . so it's not an unhealthy addiction (yet).

As a co-dependent, I think I'm addicted to my husband and trying to fix him . . . or maybe that's more of an obsession. I'm trying to work on this through my own 12 step program with Al-Anon and a sponsor.

Having an "addictive personality" is one thing, recognizing it and trying to do something about it is another. And, I don't think that everyone who is addicted to something is necessarily an alcoholic/addict.

GinaLee 05-07-2003 08:56 AM

Healthy: You have in no way spoiled my day and I appreciate your apology. Agree to disagree? Absolutely. :)

And thank you for the well wishes pertaining to my smoking. I feel confident about we shall see!

Hope: I hate you! How dare you eat chocolate every day without gaining weight? That is NOT fair! (Okay, so like I don't hate you but I sure the hell am jealous!)

I also agree with your assessment of the addictive personality. It's too impossible to group everyone into on simple definition.

Smile people!!!


Hopefortoday 05-07-2003 09:24 AM

Gina, I guess it's a God-given talent! Ha . . . my name is Hopefortoday and I am a Chocoholic!

Seriously though, I can relate somewhat to how difficult it is to not have a substance that you are addicted to. When I was pregnant with my second child, I was border-line gestational diabetic and my OB/GYN took me totally off of sugar. Two days later, my husband said, "Damn, I never really knew you needed chocolate that bad!" I guess I was acting a little crazy! Anyway, we found some sugar-free chocolate and I had that until my daugther was born.

Good luck Gina with quitting smoking and the daily coping with the desire to drink. Hang in there . . . the Man upstairs is with you . . . you know that!

GinaLee 05-07-2003 09:45 AM

Yes ma'am I do. He's just so sweet that way. :)


chippie 05-07-2003 12:29 PM

I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain. I used to think I was addicted to coffee because I would drink tons and tons of it daily. Decided it must be the caffeine MMMMMMMMMMMMM good. Finally was diagnosed with ADHD and realized that the caffeine helped me think but it was the sugar that I was craving. Still use my caffein daily cuz my noodle doesn't work so well with out and I can't afford Ritalin but I have cut out sugar.

Gina, I am getting up tomorrow smoke free...let's keep each other posted.

Hope, lucky for you I don't like chocolate because I would find you annoying if I did.

Hopefortoday 05-07-2003 04:21 PM

Thanks Chippie . . . I do feel pretty lucky today.

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