Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Can we talk?

It dawned on me yesterday that I might have some problems with addiction. I mean, I knew I had some addictions. But I've been of the mind that my addictions are not problems because they are not overtly illegal or unhealthy.

Well, yesterday, it began to dawn on me that I might have a problem actually, because if you take away my "source", I become uncomfortable. And by uncomfortable, I mean stark raving mad.

Now, this might sound like a joke, what I am about to say, but it's not. My most serious addiction problem seems to be my need for scalding, hot baths.

Deprive me of a hot bath, and within 12 hours or so, I am cranky and off kilter. And when I finally fill up the tub with scaldingly hot water, as I lower myself in, the sigh of relief that emanates from me, involuntarily, from deep within myself, sounds uncannily like the sigh of relief you hear from a heroin addict in the movies, just as the needle goes in.

I realized this last night, and it frightened me.

Another addiction I am just beginning to realize I have is to the handful (literally) of supposedly non-addiction-forming drugs that I started taking when I was being treated for breast cancer. That was more than five years ago. I'm not going to get into which drugs I'm talking about, especially since there are at least four that I can count off the top of my head, but I will say that not all of them require a prescription, and I wasn't even counting coffee. Although that makes five right there. The notion that anything that you ingest is totally non-habit-forming is a crock. Anything that you inegest repeatedly can become the source of an addiction, be it coffee or melatonin or even, I suppose, Vitamin C. All I know is that if I go one day without my pills, within 12 or so hours, I begin to go through the painful symptoms of withdrawal. It is unmistakable. I realized this yesterday when I woke up in a hotel near Windham Ski Mountain, realizing that I had forgotten my little pill caddy at home and knowing with certainty that I was in for a rough day. And it was a rough day, indeed.

The only difference between my drug addiction and say, a heroin addiction, or a Vicodin addiction, is that I can obtain my drugs legally. I can't even say for sure that over time, the drugs that I take won't cause health problems, despite that they are known to be "safe".

A less alarming, but completely disgusting addiction that I have is nail biting. If I stop biting my nails, I start eating more. It's like the lament of the smoker who can't quit. I can't quit biting my nails because I will gain weight. And so I have the grossest fingers of any woman in Westchester County.

There you have it. My confession.

YC

14 comments:

StevenCX said...

If you really feel any of the drugs are a problem, it's probably easier to taper off of them than suffer through withdrawal. I'm not giving up my espresso, but sometimes I have to slowly ease back a shot or two a day!

armani said...

Interesting. Does it also happen with yoga? I'm usually cranky every day, but if I miss a day of yoga, I'm extra cranky and feel out of sorts.

Yoga Chickie said...

I assume it happens with yoga too. And like Steven says, coffee is definitely a powerful drug. Yoga would have to fall into the category of addictions. There are blogs you might stumble upon that will really exhibit that...but I'm not going to point any fingers...

V said...

That's a bit rich coming from someone who said she didn't understand WoMoYoPrac (not sure I wrote it correctly) because she practices every day. Pot? Kettle? :-)

Julie said...

I bet my I win the worst nails competition. I guess it is good I don't live in Westchester.

Yoga Chickie said...

V, whoever you are, practicing yoga every day does not make it an addiction. If you read my blog, and I think you do, I have much more going on in my life than yoga practice. But whatever. The reality is, of COURSE it is an addiction of sorts. But in my case, it is a healthy addiction because I can get my fix easily, and quickly. I can see where it would be less than healthy. If that is the pot calling the kettle black, then I guess I'm calling it.

V said...

"it is a healthy addiction because I can get my fix easily, and quickly"

That statement doesn't make sense. Cocaine is really easily obtained here in London; does that make it a healthy addiction then?

Come on, you are a Doctor Juris (or something like that), no? I'm sure you can do better than that :-P

laksmi said...

yc, knitting would help you with the nail biter. One of my friends was a chronic hair puller and a smoker and knitting helped her stop both of those things. Nail biting is yucky. stop it, or i will put you in Laksmi's boot camp of addiction breaking. I've gotten rid of more than one, ya know...

Yoga Chickie said...

Wow, v, that is just so not an appropriate analogy. Cocaine is illegal, expensive, medically dangerous. Yoga-not.

V said...

Well, then say that yoga is a healthy addiction because yoga is healthy. Easy, eh? I was just pointing at the faulty logic there.

Cody said...

One can form attachments to Yoga, but not addiction. While we frequently use those terms interchangeably, addiction has a more negative connotation.

Yoga philosophy on karma = white is better than black, but colorless is best of all.

see sutra 4.7-4.8 for explanation:

swamij rocks!

laksmi said...

no way is yoga healthy.

bindifry said...

i recently learned about too hot baths & filling the tub above the waist, as i liked to do that in japan, but was told it weakens your heart. it was hard to understand why they all had such deep tubs.
i find addiction to be very complex. i guess a good way to test it is to take away what you think you are addicted to & study your attachment to it.

interesting post.

Carl said...

Lauren, it sounds like you think it'd be good to drop the chemical crutches you're using. I'm sure you'll be fine without them.

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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