coffee is the only thing I’ve ever been addicted to. I’ve gone years, multiple times, without consuming it, and still craved it. If I’m depressed I crave it more. Or, if it’s readily available, such as happened during a number of my hotel stays this past spring and summer.
Despite the enormous thirst (for water) it creates in me, I’ve taken up coffee again, black, and I’m trying to examine it for what it might really be.
When I’m in a low-mood, coffee is a reason to get up and start the day. It’s something to look forward to.
I had an interesting conversation about addictions with a friend a few days ago. He’s someone who has experimented with many serious drugs, including heroin, but never got addicted. (I was always ‘taught’ in school that using heroin caused one to get immediately addicted. scare tactics, apparently.) The only drug he ever got addicted to was cigarettes.
The German word for addiction is “Hang”. Which seems appropriately evocative to me.
The thing with addictions is that even though one can exert control over the desire, if the desire still exists, the addiction is still there. That is what it was like for me with coffee. For many people this exhibits itself as “dry-alcoholism” or, to use the same lingo, “dry-bulimia/dry-anorexia” or “dry-smoking”- i.e., despite using will-power to not indulge, the addiction is still present and creates a mental space, creates mental noise, that reduces calm and present-ness.
If your addiction is something relatively harmless (like coffee)- after a certain point it seems pointless to keep feeding the restlessness and desire by resisting the substance. (I wouldn’t say this about heroin of course…)
The interesting question, really, is why some people get addicted to cigarettes, some to coffee, and some to heroin. Is it luck of the draw?
When I was a teenager, I “tried” to get addicted to cigarettes, since they increase metabolism. Of course, I never did, and never even really liked them. My friend willingly tried every drug he encountered, and, in the case of ones with withdrawal symptoms, never really wanted to try them again, feeling that the discomfort of withdrawal outweighed the pleasures of the drug.
Many people with dormant eating disorders are frustrated because they live with a constant mental-chatter about food, eating, and body image, despite eating “normally.” It makes keeping the eating disorder dormant hardly worthwhile.
My dad quit smoking after 45 years 3 years ago. He had laser acupuncture, primarily focused on his ears. I haven’t asked him the question, but I wonder if the acupuncture actually did something for the addiction, and not just his willpower to avoid smoking. Meaning- somehow that method of healing cured the desire, healed at the root, rather than just providing strength to resist.
Spiritually, living in resistance creates friction, leading away from calm and present-ness.
I’m curious about how healing modalities can work on the desire/addiction, and not just will power. Also curious why some people have the bad luck to get addicted to heroin, and others the ‘good luck’ to only get addicted to coffee.