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Addiction, ish

A generalized post, today; and don’t read too much into the title, because I am not and have never been diagnosed as any kind of addict.

And rightly so. I get “addicted” to things that are not, in fact, addictive… and I’ve seen a bit of real addiction in my life, and I know what it looks like, and so far, I’m good. An alternative title for this entry might be “pseudo addiction” or “pretend addiction” or “fake-ass addiction to things that don’t actually cause chemical dependency, such as reading or video gaming”. You know what I mean. How many people claim to be “addicted” to things that, when compared to nicotine or alcohol or heroin, are just bullshit excuses for whining about how hard things are? You’re not addicted; you’re just weak-willed, fake addicts of the world.

And on that note, I have to confess: I have joined your ranks.

As of today, I’ve lost about a stone, over the last couple of months (14 lbs, American homies). I’ve gone down most of a dress size (not a full one, because my admittedly boyish figure means I hold a size for a long time) without really even trying. It’s amazing what forgetting to eat and hours of pacing (inspired by nervous, but mostly happy, energy) can do for your figure. I think my stomach’s a little flatter… I must be power-walking around my house, as I’m cleaning it. And I know I’ve caught myself dancing, at least twice in the last week. Crazy. I’m *also* having loads more sex (my fella is impressed; a happy Amanda is a horny Amanda) and, due to my own proclivities, that counts as exercise as well. (By which I mean, I’m not typically the one lying down, etc etc.)

I’m also not really sleeping. Tossing and turning and thinking about my next fix, yes. Occasionally snatching 3 or 4 hours of sleep (in which I dream about it, yes). Spending restful nights in gentle slumber… eh, not so much. And I know poor sleep is meant to make you gain weight, not lose it–but not when you can’t sit still for more than an hour at a time, without getting up and briskly walking for 30 minutes.

*gets up to briskly walk*

Brisk walk over, and returning to the subject at hand, I have to say, this particular addiction probably balances itself. I can see specific and real benefits, to this level of craving–see above–but on the other hand, there are downsides and risks, as well. The main one being–when you find your drug of choice, you tend not to want other drugs you used to enjoy.

My current situation reminds me of a situation that took place before I was born. I’ll share it, so you can see why.

Apparently, my mom used to beg my dad to smoke pot. “Please, Robbie, just do that. Just don’t drink. Just smoke a bowl and chill out.” (I doubt my mother has uttered the phrase “smoke a bowl” in her entire life, as she loathes drug culture and would be unlikely to be so blasé about it, but you take my meaning.) She *wanted* him to just get high in the way that made him less of an asshole, as opposed to the way that made him hugely, overwhelmingly, undeniably more of an asshole.

And he tried. Apparently, my dad would smoke and smoke and smoke; but my dad’s drug of choice is not marijuana. It is, and always has been, alcohol (like his father before him, and his father before him, to infinity and beyond). And so, once my dad was nice and loose and relaxed, and had smoked enough weed to knock out a high school football team, he’d decide he was just gonna have a beer.

10-20 beers and assorted shots and a black-out drunk and a black eye for my mom later, he’d wake up and start his 24-48 hours of communing with the porcelain throne… and, maybe a month later, if my mom’s luck was in or my dad was feeling extra-responsible, the cycle would begin anew.

I just want to interject here that my dad’s been pretty much sober for the last… how old am I?… 30+ years. Had he not made a good go of it about 33 years back, I wouldn’t exist in the first place, nor would my little sister; similarly, mind, had sobriety taken straight away, I wouldn’t know my stepmom and my half-siblings wouldn’t exist, so, y’know. All’s well that ends well.

But returning to my similar but not nearly as dire situation: addiction’s hard to beat, even when it’s a bullshit addiction. It’s worse when it’s an actual drug you’re addicted to (of which I have no doubt; I take long-term pain meds, and my relationship with them is complex and volatile) but this is bad enough, some days. Some days, I feel like there’s a 1st-degree burn all over my body, and I’m on a slow sizzle, consuming myself from the inside out with a craving I can neither shake nor distract myself from… and no one, no matter how much free time they have, gets to do that thing they want to do 24/7… well… 24/7.

Except junkies. And we all know how *that* turns out.

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