Addiction is over-rated and under-rated at the same time. People choose to overlook certain types of addiction because it does not immediately harm the body or the mind. But harm – delayed and immediate is dangerous. While drugs, alcohol and sex are made out to be the evil ones, chocolate, TV and sleep go scot-free. Substance abuse is substance abuse. Anything that can be qualified as substance can get abused: except I guess Reliance Indiacall credit. You cannot abuse or overuse that. It takes so long to connect and doesn’t connect at all, that you need to be a maniac to keep trying to abuse it.
And all substance abuse starts from the same issue – isolation. Not loneliness, but isolation. Isolation to be different or isolation because one is different. We all feel alone at times and at other times, like smack in the middle of a game with friends, we feel like the world belongs to us. We just love company and being fussed over by others, but we feel it is cooler to feel a loner. As humans we have become so incapable of living the hypocrisy, that we would rather sink into our couch and see endless TV than call up a friend at the cost of sounding too needy. No, I am not saying you should be a social parasite, just that one should understand that no matter how lonely we are, our friends will always be there for us; AND that no matter how many friends we have around us, life is still queue outside a bar with an ‘Admit-One’ pass. We have to exist in this uncomfortable space of oneness and loneliness in a balance. When this balance gets screwed(what? Can I not abuse language now?), is when addiction starts. Because we humans are MADE for commitment. We commit to everything. We have our favourites in Drycleaners, Moisturisers, Gas, Side of the bed, seat in the Yoga class, God, washing machine No. 4 from the left at the coin laundry, etc. The list is endless. Committing makes us feel good, safe, secure and in a twisted way needed and I am not even touching upon committing to relationships here.
Addiction is just a deeper and higher level of commitment – a sense of belonging to something to an extent that living without it becomes unbearable. Everyone has their addictions: they are just a little difficult to classify from the norms of social conduct.
For instance: Why do clothes HAVE to be ironed before wearing? Cant we go one day with crumpled clothes? (Please excuse the example. I am starved of Dhobis in this refugee camp).
Why do we HAVE to want jewels and clothes if we are women? (I am sure not all women are built the same.)
Why do we HAVE to be interested in sports if we are men? (Although, we could choose not to be interested and shift to the Gay bandwagon)
Stereotypes are addictions of a society to itself. Drinking, smoking, sleeping (around) are not the only dangers, people…..we have made many many more enemies than we think.