I have an addictive personality. I firmly believe that if I had been born into different circumstances, with a different family, different values, and didn’t know the Lord, then I would be an extremely different person now. I would probably be addicted to all kinds of drugs, have no money to buy those drugs, and more unattractive things.
However, I was blessed enough to be born in the life I was born in. I was given the family I have and I’ve known the Lord since I was a kid.
But that doesn’t mean I suddenly don’t have an addictive personality.
Because I do.
I’m just not addicted to drugs or sex or alcohol. I’m addicted to other… weirder things.
Now I’m not talking about the things everyone is addicted to. Belief in a higher power, for me that’s the Christian God, human contact, with family, friends, relationship, etc, and safty/health, food, houses, etc. I’m talking about things that are a bit more… unnecessary.
(Before I continue, I want to say, yes I know ‘addictive’ is a strong word. Yes, I could go without these things and be okay. No, I don’t want to, I don’t have to, and I’m not going to. No, none of these things are the most important thing in my life.)
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, let’s move onto my addictions!
Man, this is exciting stuff.
“Wait, Madison, isn’t that the same thing as health?” No, voice in my head, it is not. I am not addicted to the necessary amount of water a human needs to live and I’m not talking about fancy water.
I have a water bottle that I’ve had for years. I take it with me everywhere and I have to refill it multiple times a day. I recently figured out why I feel uncomfortable when I don’t have my bottle. It’s because I have turned this container into a security blanket. When I get anxious, uncomfortable, or feel awkward, I hold my water bottle close and drink until it’s empty. When I don’t have my bottle I have to make due with normal cups.
This last exam season, I was incredibly stressed. The day before my hardest exam, I spent an entire day at a coffee shop. That day I drank over 200 ounces of water (I lost count) and peed 17 times. (TMI?) Either way, I need water. More than just for survival.
“Mattie, everyone loves entertainment.” Alright, voice in my head, you have a point, but take a seat while I explain.
I’m a writer, (What?! I am shocked.) and as a writer I crave stories. I go through books and TV shows like nobody’s business. I love the thoughts they provoke, the friendships they create, and the feelings they cause. I crave the feeling of fear, sadness, happiness, that comes from a raw book or show. Sometimes it’s hard for me to know my own emotions, and these forms of entertainment help me figure that out. I use the worlds other people have created for me to escape from this world. I press pause on my life while I dive into another life. And when I’m writing, I get to create that life. I get to make it how I want it. My words make worlds. (Hah, tat reference) I use this tool to process… everything. My counselor used to tell me to write short stories that had to do with whatever I was struggling with at that point. I create other people and place them in fictional experiences. I watch as they get themselves out of the experience. By the end, I have a better idea of my own experience. The best part, I pretty much never share these stories. They’re mine. My entertainment, my worlds.
“Matt, everyone likes change.” Go to sleep, voice in my head.
I am a creature of habit that is addicted to change. I like having a routine, knowing what comes next and not being afraid of tomorrow. But I also like breaks in the routine, something to shake me up, and being afraid of tomorrow.
Therefore, change has become one of the things I need in life. And I ease this craving through four major ways: Changing my hair colors, getting piercings, getting tattoos and traveling.
Unfortunately, I cannot do all of these often. I can change my hair color but I have to be careful with how often and how harsh I am with it. Also, money. Piercings are fairly easy and cheap, but I’m running out of places to pierce (that I want to). I would get a new tattoo every week if I could, but they’re really expensive. And I would never stop traveling if I had the chance but… you guessed it, MONEY.
I do these things to satisfy an itch, express myself, (what better way than to show who I am through what I pay to have permanently inked onto my body?), and to break from the normal routine.
Also, honestly, these things, especially the first three, have become my own form of rebelling against society. “Tattoos are unprofessional.” False. “Only lesbians dye and shave their hair.” False. “Only…” False. Stop generalizing. Stop telling me who I am. And let me do what I want.
- My Cat.
“And all animals.” You got something right, voice. And there’s nothing else to add about this one.
So yeah, I have an addictive personality. And yeah, I could point out the things in my life I’m addicted to, but at least I’m not addicted to meth.