Good Addictions vs. Bad Addictions
ad·dic·tion noun \ə-ˈdik-shən, a-\
a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)
an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.
There are good emotions and bad emotions. Good pain and bad pain. Good cries and bad cries. There is a duality between good and bad in most aspects of life, if you think about it. The same goes for addiction. There is good addiction and bad addiction. Now, I know that there are people out there, many of them, that would argue with this statement. And that is fine. I am just sharing my opinion.
A friend pointed out to me the other night an interesting take on good addiction vs bad addiction, and it made perfect sense to me. He said that bad addictions feel great, while you are doing them, but make you feel horrible after the fact. While good addictions might not feel so great in the process, but you feel fabulous after.
Let’s break this down a bit. When I was drinking and getting high, it felt GREAT while I was doing it. The vodka burning my throat on its way down, or the drugs making their way to the pleasure zones of my brain. Oh how wonderful it felt throughout the process of getting high. But what about when it all came to a sudden halt. The next day, when you are faced with nothing but foggy memories of the night before. And a massive body ache that won’t go away without another dose of the same poisons you laced yourself with the night before. That feeling of incomprehensible demoralization. Gross.
Now let’s look at another addiction. A good addiction. Working out, for example. People can easily become addicted to working out. I suppose if you are obsessive about it, it can be a bad thing. But for me, I am not obsessive about it, but I am addicted to it. It’s a love hate relationship. I workout about 6 days a week. 3 days with a trainer and 3 days on my own. I do cardio, boxing, weight and strength training. I hate it (except for the boxing part). I hate the process of working out. It’s difficult. Its painful. It’s exhausting at times. I generally have fantasies of strangling my trainer during the session. (L.O.L.) But after a nice hard workout, I feel amazing and can’t wait for the next session. My body feels GREAT, and my psyche is on fire. I am generally happy and my esteem is high. That, is a good addiction. It doesn’t always feel great during the process, but it feels amazing after it’s all over.
So the theory that good addiction feels not so great during, but awesome after and bad addiction feels fabulous during and terrible after, seems to hold true, for the most part. You can compare other things as well…like food addiction. Damn that food tastes great while eating it, but boy do most food addicts feel awful after they’ve stuffed themselves with a whole large pizza! Or gallon of ice cream. I’ve done that before, and it was mouth-watering while going down, but it was awful after the last lick. Stomach uncomfortable. Self esteem dropped. The voices in my head began telling me how horrible I was. How fat, and gross, and disgusting. That is a bad addiction.
Now how about one more good addiction (Yes it is harder to think of good addictions vs bad addictions). How about…blogging? For some bloggers, it is like an addiction. They MUST. BLOG. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. This, is not one of my addictions, for sure. But if it were, I wouldn’t consider it bad. It is the process that I sometimes don’t love. Thinking of a topic for the new entry. Researching facts if need be. Finding images that work well with the subject at hand. Attempting to make the read short enough for todays attention spans, yet still interesting. And then editing/re-reading, etc. it is a time-consuming process. Not one I would say is “fun,” by definition. However, after a blog entry is finished and posted, it feels great. There is a sense of success, and follow through. It generally, feels good.
Can you think of some good vs bad addictions to share? What is your opinion on the subject? Do you feel there is a such thing as GOOD addictions?
I don’t know if I agree with the idea that there are both good and bad addictions. I believe that there are both good and bad coping mechanisms and when either a good or bad coping mechanism makes it way to the addictive stage, it is no longer good.
I agree that a lot of good coping mechanisms feel pretty awful/awkward/uncomfortable/strange during the process but feel wonderful after, such as working out, talking through your problems with a friend/ loved one, challenging yourself, etc. All the while bad coping mechanisms (i.e., smoking, drinking, drugging, gambling, impulsive behavior, promiscuity) feel great during but terrible after.
However, I believe if any of these behaviors, good or bad, reach the point of addiction ” a strong and harmful need to have something or do something”, then you could be in trouble. Needing to work out every day or every time you feel stressed can cause extreme anxiety if you miss a day or are injured and can lead to more stress and anxiety if you don’t get your “fix”.
But if working out is just one of your coping mechanisms that you have made a habit and not an addiction, then it can be truly beneficial to you.
In that sense, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a good addiction. Everything in moderation 🙂
Then again, that’s just my opinion. Great post though!
thank you for your comment 🙂 you make VERY valid points.
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