Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Eatin' Drinkin' & Smokin'

Addiction [uh-dik-shuhn] -noun
1. the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

When I was 21-22, I spent many a wild weekend out with girlfriends "getting hammered". Binge drinking. Thurs-Sun, that was what we did. Out for the night, sleep in in the morning. McDonalds greasy breakfast and HiC Orange were my cure for a headache and hangover. I didn't do this every weekend, but I have many crazy memories of being out with my friends. And when we went out, I drank. And when we drank, I liked to smoke cigarettes. I loved cigarettes! By now, it's hard to imagine. I haven't had a cigarette in a couple of years. But back then, I was a weekend smoker.

I never had to "quit smoking". I just didn't smoke anymore. I didn't crave it. I didn't really even think about it. Every once in a while, I'd be out and have a cigarette with a friend. I also would smoke when I was back home, because my whole family smoked.

Now I've been a nonsmoker for 4 years. I guess I may have smoked a few cigarettes when out after Bee was born. But I haven't since having Buddy. I don't plan to ever again. I consider myself lucky that I didn't get addicted. Really lucky.

I have a cousin who's two weeks younger than me who's in for the fight of her life right now. She has watched her grandmother struggle with lung cancer and doesn't want to walk that same road. She's quitting smoking and I'm so proud of her! My sister quit smoking a year and a half ago and hasn't smoked since. It is possible, it's just so hard.
Go Nikki!

But I do have my own addictions. How about blogging? Anybody? Anybody? Or how about craving food when you're not hungry? I do that a lot. I truly believe I have a food addiction, which thankfully has only left me on the chubby side, rather than bed ridden. I'm working on it though, because I want to stop eating for emotional reasons. The heart of my own food addiction.

I've often wondered, and I know there is much scientific research that I could pore over, about how some people get so addicted that they can't stop. And some people don't. I've engaged in binge drinking, smoking, and probably have an active food addiction. Yet I am not an alcoholic, a smoker, or morbidly obese. What makes the difference? And keeps a person from going over the edge? I'm curious. What do you think?


bubandpie said...

I think it's a combination of factors. Genetics playy a role, especially in alcoholism. Personality definitely plays a role - especially in the more abstract addictions like gambling. And experiences probably do a lot to develop the needs that drive certain emotional addictions that become more powerful with the strength of the trauma that's driving them.

I don't think I have an addictive personality either, blogging to the contrary. :)

Mad Hatter said...

For me, eating is tied to stress (real or percieved) and it is a learned behaviour from my family. Drinking is something I've learned all by myself. Like you, I am a dependent non-alchoholic and a chubby stress eater. As for blogging, that truly is a problem.

Jacqniel said...

Ah Melanie - we do so think alike. I read your post on my blog about Duggie Houser and laughed. I had used that term last night talking with Mark!
I think your blogging friends above have great wisdom and insight - no more to add there. But the fact that you are making choices for the better is what counts.
Have an AWESOME trip!

Fit for Florida said...

As someone who shares the genes with you, I can relate. All that I can do is try to curb my urges with healthy things. However, when Katie was pregnant and couldn't keep anything down, I went for our version of comfort food. Squeeze cheese, triscuit crackers, sparkling white grape juice, and pudding pops! (I know you understand that last one.)

Now I try to have that bean salsa on hand. It's addictive, but I feel pretty guilt free when eating it.

Omaha Mama said...

See that bucket of love in the cartoon? It would be FULL of pudding pops. Good ol' bucket of pudding pops from Grandpa Maurice's freezer!!!

Mimi said...

I wonder about addictions, too: my father was an alcoholic, but me not so much. It's amazing that you can stop and start smoking like that -- most people can't. And emotional eating? I do that, but not as bad, if you can believe it, as Pynchon. We're trying so hard for Miss Baby to be normal about food. Hm.

Oh, The Joys said...

Interesting - all of your former behavior? Ditto. Me too. Never addicted - but abused it verily, to be sure.

Alpha DogMa said...

Obsessive, yes. Addictive, no. I do tend submerge myself in a hobby (not that drinking liquor is really a hobby) for a while, but can then pull myself back.
...oh, wait: COFFEE! Yes, that one is an addiction. I'm at the mercy of the coffee magnets.