“She goes from one addiction to another. All are ways for her to not feel her feelings.” –Ellen Burstyn
I’ve had addictions throughout my life. Here are the definitions of the word in the Encarta World English Dictionary:
1. A state of physiological or psychological dependence on a drug liable to have a damaging effect
2. A great interest in something to which a lot of time is devoted
As for definition #1, I’ve had marijuana about 20 times in my life (mostly, it made my giddy, then it bored me) and tried cocaine once, in my twenties (it did nothing for me and I never tried again.)
If nicotine is a drug, I was a cigarette addict, for sure. When I decided to quit, over 25 years ago, I was smoking as many as 2.5 packs a day. I was hypnotized to stop and I haven’t even held a cigarette between my fingers since then. Thank goodness, my lung x-rays look good, but I always worry a bit about lung cancer.
If alcohol is a drug, perhaps I was an alcoholic. I favored gin and vodka throughout my twenties and thirties, wine in my forties and into my fifties, then back to vodka. I could polish off a bottle of wine all by myself (sometimes even more.) I stopped drinking cold 2.5 years ago because I wanted to lose weight. For some strange reason, I completely lost my taste for alcohol. I keep waiting for it to return, but it hasn’t. (But I steal the icing off David’s cupcakes. I must still crave sugar.) Worse things can happen!
As for definition #2, I’ve been addicted to (not necessarily in order of importance):
4. Decorating my apartments
5. My Blackberry
10. Playing Scrabble on and with my iPad
Except for working, shopping, and my Blackberry, my addictions usually last anywhere from a couple of months to years at a stretch. Then I may drop them like a hot potato, never to return to them again. Or, I’ll miss them and pick them up again. Knitting is a perfect example. I’ll knit eight sweaters each year for three years (for myself, for friends, for relatives, as baby gifts) and then I won’t look at a skein of yarn or pick up a knitting needle for the next two.
My latest addiction (only since I bought an iPad a couple of months ago) is playing Scrabble with the computer. I can play for hours every evening, in the middle of the night, anywhere. I pay medium-level hardness and win 98 percent of the time. I don’t do well playing at the toughest level. I expect I’ll tire of Scrabble at some point. But I am learning lots of new words, even if I don’t always know what they mean.