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Fighting an addiction

The US surgeon general says that cigarette smoking kills. Once you form the habit, it's hard to quit. It's been said that the physical addiction to nicotine leaves the body within a week. After that, it's purely psychological.

In general, it takes seven years for junkies to change their addictive habits and make a full transition to a new life.

Can the same apply to the addiction of goodness? Is it possible to be addicted to positive feelings like physical attraction, intellectual stimulation, emotional highs, socialisation, and companionship?

An addiction is a weakness, that is, if you can't control your craving for something or someone. But if that something or someone is good for you, is that an addiction?

Control is the key. If you want to say no but can't say it, then you can't control your craving. You're addicted.

Is there a remedy to addiction?

The cold turkey method of suddenly stopping the habit doesn't always work. In relationships, you "drop" the person. You hang up the telephone when you hear her voice. You stop answering emails. You change your address. You pretend the other person doesn't exist. But the memory of the person can come back to haunt you.

Getting an overdose is another way to fight the addiction: deliberately get too much of it so that you get sick of it. Sometimes it wakes you up to how and why it's bad for you. So you kick the habit. You decide that you will not crave for it anymore.

To fight the craving, you may want to try a substitute, like a nicotine patch or a harmless replacement which allows you to continue the gestures you make when you're "doing it." If you miss someone badly, try killing the longing by going out with other people, keeping yourself very busy, or distracting yourself from thinking about that person. If you crave for chocolates, settle for carob brownies instead.

Then there are addicts who admit they are addicts and resign themselves to their addictive behaviour. I knew someone who refused to quit smoking because his view of the world was that everyone was going to die eventually.

As for addiction to goodness, if it gives music to soul, beauty to your world, and a smile to your heart, perhaps it's worth being addicted for as long as you can afford it. An overdose of goodness can't be all that bad.

21 March 2004 Sunday definition of addiction:
1.Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance.
2.The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.
Le Bon Journal newsletter:
Smoke like you don't want to live
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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