Printed from WriteWords -

Addicted to Addictions?

by  laurafraser

Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Word Count: 728
Summary: This is for a student magazine, word limit 700. If anyone could suggest a better title or any feedback-any welcome! xlaura

We all know about the perils of smack addiction-a shrivelled libido and some nasty Edward Scissor-Hands looking scars. Seen a wobbly-waisted person? Well, no doubt they are in the grips of frequent-trips-to-the-fridge syndrome. Given it’s somewhat tarnished reputation, there is little doubt that addictions are nought but negative things. Or are they? Martin Amis made the point that “addictions do come in handy sometimes: at least you have to get out of bed for them.” Sounds good, but Mr. Amis failed to consider that for some, sleep itself is an addiction, the side effects of which have been known to be devastating. Typical characteristics most commonly attributed to addicts are total absence from lectures, as well as a complete disregard for deadlines, be that first year essays or the cherry on the cake of their illustrious university career; their dissertations.

A man who has danced to the hedonistic beat is Howard Napper, a part time yoga teacher and founder of agoy ltd. Having discovered yoga via a friend and becoming oh so keener once he discovered he would be the lone male in a room of forty beautiful bare mid-drift women, Howard found himself replacing his film industry life-style with the world of the ohms. Mr. Napper believes that all addictions are negative in their essence because they mask something deeper inside, it is they after all that control you, not sadly the other way round. Replacing gambling with yoga and tripping with tantra may be better for your body, but there is a danger of simply replacing one addiction with another. As the most quoted mouth of the article says, “don’t let the thing that is meant to set you free, make you a prisoner,”

As humans we set out on a quest to discover our limits, only to get stuck on our way. Remember that girl who used to nick a couple of Wham! Bars? Fast forward a decade, come step into her kitchen and unique is the item that has been paid for. But who is the one who flits in the realms beside all of this? As if in a constant state of childish fickleness: you see something: you play with it. You see something else: you play with that. In short everything you do is completely independent of anything else. You are as Howard says, “in the moment.” But what is this moment? And how to get there? This is a part you all should like: it’s difficult. As contrary to popular opinion that we all like the easy way out, a closer inspection of the typical behaviour of a human-being proves the other side of this perennial coin should get a glance of the sunshine. What exactly is easy about waking in the morning and knowing that there awaits behind your bedroom door, a queue of smoking, over-sexed, under-fed addictions that you are completely powerless to stop? Wouldn’t life be all the easier for waking up in the morning and knowing that you don’t recall exactly how many minutes it was since you last had sex/ a spliff/ maxed out your credit card.

Humans on the whole, exist as rather arrogant beings, and as Frank Sinatra used to croon, like to think we have the “world on a string.” The point being that if you live in the Western world you take it for granted that every little whim can be met, be that fornicating with a prostitute dressed as Jessica Rabbit or chatting to a shark at the London Aquarium. We like instant gratification and become somewhat Monday-morningish if we are deprived of that which awakens the Cheshire cat smile in us.

So whether you are a hubba pigeon or waking at six to meditate before drifting down the stairs to a breakfast of hot water and a lemon ask yourself if there is an alternative to what you are doing now, whether that be copulating the tantric way or rock ‘n rolling the soon to be in AA way. And if there’s not, well, if there’s not, you’re screwed. So in this way, sorry yogi who only eats raw food and now won’t go to people’s houses for fear of the evil oven being turned on, you are just as bad as that alcoholic licking the soles of a discarded shoe because it was lying in a pool of gin.