When I was younger, I would proudly declare to people that I didn't have an "addictive personality." Oh, the bravado of youth. I guess I decided this because I could try things that were commonly held to be addictive once or twice and not be in hook-line-and-sinker. I could smoke socially and not ever buy a pack of cigarettes. I could (and still do) drink socially, but have no am by all rational and outward judgements, a moderate drinker. If I drink 3 beers in a week, that's a lot. I like coffee a bit, and will drink it (I'm drinking a Peet's blended thing right now) but don't need multiple a day. We get the picture. But I've recently come to realize that I have many addictions. You can use everyone's favorite site to read the definition of addiction but really, I feel like, for me, it's the almost uncontrollable need for something, and that that something has a sort of negative connotation. If I was addicted to drinking water, which is good for me, I wouldn't really care. In fact, I would be pretty happy, because I need to drink more water. I suppose if I couldn't stop drinking water, and drank 15 bottles a day and felt lost without my bottle of water by my side, that would be a problem. It might be more of a compulsion than an addiction, though, and, well, I'd have to think it through more.
But take my recent foray into CSI: Miami. Everyone who knows me knows I don't watch TV. I have never in my adult life owned a TV. Even as a child, I preferred to read and left the TV to my mom and sister. But I could not stop watching CSI on my computer. I only stopped because I hit the end of the episodes. I even checked yesterday to find out why I couldn't find any more episodes on Netflix- it's because there aren't any more- the last episode I watched was the last episode made, I have to wait till next season. I have always said that part of the reason I don't have a TV is that I'd watch too much- I guess I always knew that this part of me was out there. This is addiction. And it's not good for me. My reading has dropped off (notice the lack of book reviews lately) and I feel like a sloth- less outdoor activities.
And I am a recovering Diet Coke addict. This is also common knowledge- I've been drinking Diet Coke practically since I fell out of the womb, and on a good day, I could drink the equivalent of 6 to 10 cans. That's a lot of nasty chemicals. There are so many problems with Diet Coke- the aspartame of course, the carbonation, etc etc. People would tell me this till they were blue in the face. I would smile and nod, sometimes answering with my favorite response: "We all have vices, it could be a lot worse." Well, yes, it could be, but really, Diet Coke was a bad one. I basically drank Diet Coke and beer. No water, no juice, no anything else. If there was no Diet Coke at a restaurant, I drank water, but it was like pulling teeth. I used to be all about hydration in my teenage years, but I sunk to a low in college with the advent of free refills. In December, I hurt my back at work, and could barely move. I couldn't go to the store to replenish my stock of Diet Coke, and then I got sick to my stomach and couldn't handle anything but juice. I switched to drinking juice and basically quit cold turkey. I've since allowed myself one a day, if I want it, and am down to about 3 Diet Cokes a week. It's great. But man, that's a lot of years off my life.
The final addiction that I'd like to discuss here, the one that really epitomizes the "things that should be good for you in small doses but really are bad for you when you're addicted to them" definition of addiction that themacinator believes in, is the Oakland A's. The A's suck this year. They suck a lot of years recently. In the last 3 years, the .500 mark has been out of reach. Last year, they were just good enough, just often enough to make me listen to every game possible, and go to every game that I could, and think "oh, they're in it" just often enough that my life-long addiction was was kept alive. I am a born-and-raised A's fan, and even this year's atrocious team is not curing my addiction. I listen to every abysmal game, and even though I shamefully left early on Wednesday's godawful and freezing beating by the Giants, I went. And I watched, and I suffered. It was bad. And still, I will turn on the game tonight. I even have been known to cancel plans to listen to an A's game. I listen to these A's games even though I absolutely cannot stand Vince Cotroneo, and I miss Bill King terribly and hold out hopes that he is faking his death in order to come back and announce more games. (I could make an obligatory Michael Jackson reference here...) So I torture myself, in the name of A's fandom, aka addiction.
What to do? How to cure myself? I will never be a Yankee's fan. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up CSI- it's good to know SOMETHING about pop culture, since I'm so often in the dark.