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.