Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Healthy Addictions

As you may have noticed from my blog, I like going to the theatre. Quite a lot. This reached a whole new level recently when I booked to see 5 shows in about 6 weeks. Which included three west end shows and two Shakespeares at the Globe. And it just made me think...when does something change from a harmless hobby to an obsession/addiction?

When you say the word addiction, you automatically think of bad substances...such as alcohol, drugs and smoking. But if you look at the actual definition, addiction is said to be the 'act of being enslaved to a habit, substance or activity.' So actually we could probably say that we are addicted to a huge variety of different things that fall under each of those three subheadings. Somehow though, most of those items/habits are acceptable in the eyes of society and nobody minds.

Activity is the key word in that definition because every addiction starts with the enjoyment of an activity. It then becomes a habit and eventually you are unable to stop. Partly because you are still enjoying the activity, partly because of the addictive nature of the substance and partly because it has now been integrated into your daily routine that you don't want to move. Same as brushing your teeth, or putting on makeup in the morning, you now have that drink with that meal or the cigarette at 11am.

In particular, I would say that most of us are 'addicted' to some everyday habits, that we do all the time without even noticing. And we don't label it as an addiction because of the negative connotations of the word. I don't think all addictions are a bad thing though. For instance, if you are addicted to a song this is a harmless activity and causes a huge amount of enjoyment. Which is the main thing really. But whatever you are addicted to, as long as you are happy, then I don't think it really matters. Society should do away with all the negativity and embrace your addictions to everything that you love and worry about the consequences later. In my case, I think I might as well just move a bed into the theatre.

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