Monday, December 3, 2012

ADEQUATE ADDICT

"Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, even health." 
Psychology Today

It's my consensus that the world is populated by addicts.  There's reason to think that each one of us is addicted to something.  And when one considers that there's much on this planet with which to become addicted, then it seems so.  Let’s begin with the A’s:
Alcohol
Aerosol Sniffing
Action/Adrenalin
Applause/Attention/Fame
Art
Arson
Authority

And that’s just the A’s.  Want a B?
Body Building

How about some C’s:
Colas
Codependency
Caffeine
Collecting
Crime

Not to mention:
Drugs – legal and illegal
Exercising
Eating disorders
Gambling
Internet
Over achieving
Pornography
People pleasing
Perfectionism
Religion
Sadism/Masochism
Smoking
Television
Therapy
Sexual deviation
The above is not a complete list.  

I’m sure if I were to ask you if you knew anyone who was addicted to some substance or activity, my response would be in the affirmative.  Personally, I know at this moment at least a dozen or more friends/relatives who can be considered addicts with addictions that are either in denial, full out mode or are in different stages of recovery.  Right now, I have an adult family member who since the age of 14 years old has been addicted to prescription drugs and is just now in rehab for the longest she has allowed herself to be.  The family holds hope that success will be hers.

Some time ago, I was in a conversation with a friend who is an alcoholic.  Somehow, during this conversation, I made one of the more brainless comments I’ve ever made. 

“Seems like everyone is addicted to something,” I said and continued with award winning arrogance.  “I’m not addicted to anything.”

Ain’t that a pile of denial.  And I’ll spare you the Egypt joke.  I will say one thing in defense of myself, I really believed what I said when I said it until days later.  It was then that smug statement hit me hard.  WTF!  Did I say that?  Did I really?  Jesus, how could I have said something so stupid.

And so in the light of truth and new awareness, this is my personal list of adequate addictions in alphabetical order:
Applause/Attention - an inherited trait.
Cleanliness – promoted and enabled by my mother.
Internet – promoted and enabled by Microsoft.
Order – also promoted and enabled by my mother.
Perfectionism – also promoted and enabled by my mother.
Picking - identified by my always well-manicured, 91 year old Aunt Yvette.
Television – promoted and enabled by myself.
Truth – promoted and enabled by the general lack of it.

Though I am thankful that I don’t have a substance addiction, the ones I suffer are debilitating to me.  I've even created a new disorder (or so I think) called Compulsive Order Disorder - aka COD - for not being able to cope with things not being in a place I put them and insensitively moved by others.   Perfectionism is the mother of all my fears.  I believe that everything I do must be perfect and I fear some lurking authority, real or imagined, judging me if it isn't.  And so in the process of writing this post, I go over it over and over again until fear is relegated to a room somewhere in my brain.  Then fear escapes and muddles me again so I again find myself editing.  And you know what…I always find something I didn’t find the last time.  It’s exhausting and I never feel like I’m finished.       

2 comments:

Elise said...

I wanna take a class with somebody who is addicted to order.
What? Madeleine teaches one? Where? When!

Madly Mad said...

I give classes at UMC (Univ. of Mind Control) on a scheduled quarterly basis except I can't find the schedule. I think someone moved it.