CERTAINLY THERE are better and worse things one might become addicted to, but I have never met anyone who is not addicted to something. Have you? I recently heard an expert—some sort of psychologist—assert that these days children as young as two show signs of addiction to their toys and games. He added that the average child acquires a cell phone at age 10. After that he or she abandons the felt world and enters a virtual reality where they will stay until their death or loss of their phone, whichever comes first.
Over the years my personal addictions have changed. The earliest one was dieting. This was the result of having a mother who was a former dancer who ate like a bird and weighed about as much. Then, too, my older sister got fat as a form of rebellion and stayed that way, giving me a front row seat at the eternal passion play, The Misery of Obesity. I dieted from the age of 12, in between compulsive and binge eating. I did Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, oh, who cares. You get the idea.
My next addiction was running; that was a fun one. I did it six days a week in all sorts of weather. The best part was that I could eat anything I wanted and never gain weight! I didn’t stop until one of my hips all but disintegrated, requiring a fake one to be installed. These days I am addicted to writing this blog, then reading it and rereading it. And then editing it. But hey, it’s not damaging to my health, unless you count the health of my marriage. I require my husband to read it every day, and when he doesn’t I’m annoyed, or worse.
Other popular addictions I happily do not have include alcohol, heroin, opioids, prescription drugs (although I do love my lorazepam, possibly too much), nicotine, cocaine, crystal meth, gambling, sex, food, shopping, playing video games, mindlessly checking cell phones, scrolling Facebook, watching YouTube, watching reality TV, having plastic surgery and shoplifting. For reasons not yet understood, nobody is addicted to cleaning public bathrooms, helping strangers in need, preparing healthy home-cooked meals, picking up litter from the streets, stopping to talk to the homeless or reflecting on our inevitable death. Those would be some pretty good ones to have.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.