Sunday, April 22, 2007


Addiction is one of the core pillars of human nature. We are born to be addicts, just because our bodies are simply designed like that. When our body needs something from us that we aren't providing to it, the addiction factor comes into play and we feel inclined to fulfill the need.
Addiction is a pretty complex subject. Addiction exists in all forms and in its essence is neutral. Its just a matter of what forms of addiction are socially, morally or ethically acceptable. For example, would it be wrong to say that we all are addicted to food or addicted to air from the moment we are born. Some of us might disagree, saying that they are the very basic needs of a human body and if we try to cut them down our body responds physically forcing ourselves to take care of its needs. Those of us who think so are not discriminating food or air from what we call addiction, but are in fact acknowledging what is the very definition of addiction. Addiction is never in our mind, it is always a physical call.
Various forms of addiction exists; drug addiction, sex addiction, porn addiction, fame addiction and the more recently introduced internet addiction, but they all inherit from the same mental and physical conditions. The way our body makes us "feel" its needs is the same, the way we respond is the same. Its just with what we respond that makes up for the classification grounds.
The Stimuli:
It always starts with a stimulus, it always does. Usual stimuli can be physical (like watching some one using the same thing), or mental which can usually be depression, frustration, anger, feeling of helplessness, loneliness, rejection or a combination of them.
The Beginning:
Every type of addiction starts unfolding with a weak call, a call that you instantly recognize, a call that you fear, a call that makes you think about what is going to happen next, a call that announces to you what way are going to be heading to in a few moments, and the worst part is that the call is as physically existing as yourself. Its not something that is in your mind, its something that is in your body, starting as a revolution and reaching out to every part of body you can feel.
The Response:
Its a common word that fear is a man's worst enemy, and it applies in this case better than most scenarios. The main problem is that the intelligence of the human body to recognize what the call is for. If we don’t know what our body is unjustly demanding from us, we are ok. But the body knows from previous experience the solution to the awakening monster, and its human nature that once we know the solution, we can hardly resist.
You are drawn towards the call. You seldom even want to, you just feels you have to. To stop the torments your body is playing on you, to stop the torture, to be normal again. Its like you are enclosed in a torture cell and somebody is ripping through your body constantly telling you that "it can all go away, you just have to make the one right move". That inner voice is the driving force, that inner voice that becomes intermixed with the conscience factor we usually rely so much on for the discrimination between wrong and the right.
Its a tough call, a tough toll. The reaction of your body reminds you that you are experiencing something that most don’t and you are different than others, and not in a healthy way, unhealthy or socially unacceptable; the self abuse can be different depending on your environment. You want to get rid of this inner voice slaughtering you and constantly reminding you of a part of your life you try so hard to get rid of every day (in most of the cases). You want to be normal again, normal at any cost normal or not, and this is the point where the real trouble starts.
Self esteem factor comes into play. We have always read that addicts have low self-esteem, here is the reason why. The inner voice starts calling again.
"I am not going to do it this time. Its wrong and I can face this"
"Who are you kidding? Its not something you are going to do for the first time. You tried to quit, every time, and you failed. You just cant fight it. If you had the ability to walk away from this you would have a long time ago. But you are still here, and you are weak, and although you think you have the option, you don’t have the power to make a choice".
I mentioned before that inner voice is really tricky, and blurred, and worst of all, compromised. If this came from someone other than him, he could have fought. But this coming from within your yourself makes you believe how weak you are inside. Self trust is broken, esteem is low, body is still calling, conscience still tormenting.
Moments later you are free. You did what you had to, or at least what you thought you had to. You seldom enjoy doing it, you just have to carry out the orders of your body that reigns you in the moment.
Forget about self esteem, forget about guilt or conscience. For all you know, they blur up to be just some sort of technicality your own body uses against you to lure you deeper as you try to get out. The worst part is that your enemy lies within you. You blame yourself, others blame you. Is there anything more awful than this feeling? You are not grieving about the damage you did to yourself this time, but of the fact that you are still addicted, and compliance in addiction means that it "will" return. Its not a matter of "If", its just a matter of "When".
The Solution:
I mentioned once before that in this world, behind every complex solution lies an equally simple solution. Its hard to believe but the solution is very simple. You are the oppressor, you are the oppressed. If your body can play tricks on you, you can play tricks on your body (remember Fight Club climax?)
1) Nip the Evil in the Bud: The stronger the stimulus, the longer the stimulus, the more strongly your body reacts. All you have to do is to identify potential sources of that stimulus and make sure that you avoid them as much as possible.
2) Induce a Delay: If you find yourself going down that road and your body is winning over again, you just play a simple trick. You tell yourself that you will do what you think you need to do but in a little while. Its as easy to lie to yourself as hard it sounds. Most people can manage to sleep at nights due to this fact only.
So you tell yourself that you do what you are avoiding just after you take a walk or finish listening to your favorite song. It will work, it will help you bury the desire in unbelievable ways.
3) Trick your Mind: This one is most hard to master but once you learn how to use it for you, it may turn out to be the most helpful one. Whenever addiction calls, try to tell yourself that its because your body needs something else and not the one thing you dread. If its the familiar "gut" feeling, tell yourself you are hungry. Go enjoy your favorite meal. If its the frustration or restlessness, just tell yourself that you are bored. Go meet some friends, watch some nice sitcom. It takes your mind of it, gives you pleasure of taste or company, a win-win situation.
In the end, just believe yourself. Humans have the potential of achieving anything they set their mind to. No matter how many times you fail, you never give up. What makes you better is the compelling force inside you to fight against what you know is wrong. You try to resist every time at your best, and you are doing your job, and that’s what counts more than the ending itself.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Just Human

Human mind and the way it feels and responds to everything that happens around us everyday is a very complicated but interesting subject. I feel it in my life that those people who learn to judge the stimulus that makes them perform certain actions, desirable or undesirable, worth celebrations or regrets, can orientate themselves to be better equipped for life and the various challenges it offers us every day.
Now beauty of everything in this world lies in the fact that behind every complex problem there is an equally simple solution. We may say that life presents us with a different challenge every day, but the emotional level with which we handle each challenge remains same for similar situations. If we look at our lives carefully, we find that only in one out of a hundred situations you'll find yourself saying "Whoa! I never faced anything like that before in my life". And this element of familiarity with what lies ahead of us increases with time. Some call it experience, some call it intuition while some call it carving of emotional patterns on one's personality with age. Its just a matter of approach to the subject. The realities remain the same, the context keeps changing every day.
Now life has its surprises and it has amazing ways of making the same days feel different. Every problem needs working on, and its in the human nature to get emotionally involved in everything we work on because behind every effort there is a hope to see its reward. That is one of the first lesson life teaches us. So we live, we try and we keep on putting effort just to see the thing through, to get the reward, to feel the success, to have the embrace of satisfaction; and satisfaction is the core of every effort anyway. Every other emotion is relative, satisfaction is absolute. Happiness is above satisfaction and discontentment and sorrow is below that.
These pickles of life is actually what makes it worth the effort, what makes our lives so enjoyable and worth living.