Addictions can be scary things. Misunderstood. Misinterpreted. But what most people don’t understand about addictions is that addictions are an every day thing.

Life is an addiction. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t hunger for it. Understand when it’s slipping away, and want it, desire it. Fight for it. Perhaps kill for it.

I quit smoking just over a month ago. I cut back on my alcohol consumption five months ago. My addictions. Such as they are. But those are the ones that could be interpreted as the worst. I’m not so sure of that, though. It’s all a matter of perception. How they affect me. How they affect those close to me.

Really? Is the impact of an addiction how they affect those close to you? Or how they affect you, yourself? It’s all a matter of perception, no?

My understanding of an addiction is that I (or whomever) cannot live without it. That my life is poorer without it, that my psyche, my integral self, hungers for it and I am reduced to poor (read: bad) behaviour to sustain it.

I understand that, and understand also that that is a limited view. Yet my addictions have never been anything I could not overcome. Then again, if I were to take into account my own addictions, smoking, drinking, I’ve learned I can do without them. Quite easily, actually. For me, it’s always been a choice. Granted, my addictions have never been…all-encompassing. They’ve been present, certainly. And, for a bit of back story, when I looked into my own history, and asked CFS to look into my family history, and they found my biological father, he told them what he knew of my birth mother, that she’d died of alcohol-related causes (I don’t even know what that means, and he didn’t elaborate), but he made a point of stating that he didn’t wish to meet me, since his involvement with her was then, and this is now, and he had his own life that had nothing to do with me, and could I please just leave him alone. Yet he’d made a point of stating that I must be told she’d died of “alcohol related causes”. And then, that he wanted nothing to do with me.

So, if I’m to understand anything, he had only one thing to do with my conception, and beyond that, no responsibility whatsoever. And if I’m to learn anything of myself, where biology is concerned, it’s that alcohol has played a part. I’m not quite clear on this. I never will be. I can make assumptions, of course. I think, however, that it would be wrong to do so.

But I was speaking of addictions.

Tonight, for the first time in over a month, I wanted a cigarette. I refuse to go out and buy a pack now. I never smoked that much to begin with, it often took me a week to finish a pack. But I’ve been smoking for 16 years. Not heavily, no. But enough for it to be a habit. Enough for it to be an addiction. And I’d started drinking, seriously, about the same time. Enough for that to be an addiction, as well. There were times when the two of those, smoking and drinking, were enough to sustain me through a day. When things were really bad. When I didn’t know if waking up was worth falling asleep for.

I’ve often felt that life is a poorly misunderstood state. People take a lot of things for granted. Taking life for granted is the worst you can possibly do. You can lose many things. You may live to see all you took for granted to be lost. The one thing you may never live to see is that you took for granted your own life. I look at the things people say, on the news, on facebook, on whatever media or platform they choose to mouth off on, and I am appalled. Responsibility for self, for self-expression, is the one thing we should all take seriously. Yet continuously, people just spout off nonsense, and refuse to take responsibility for their own words.

Addiction is not relegated to substances. Addiction can also be applied to attention. To stature. To narcissism. When people finally take responsibility for their actions, and own up to the shit they have flung about, where they are concerned, I might actually sigh in relief. Because addiction to a substance is one thing. I get that. Trust me. I do. But addiction to a behaviour? Or what a behaviour garners? Or what one hopes it might? I don’t get that. I really don’t.