No addiction is easy to overcome. But one of them is substantially harder to overcome than the others.
You’re an alcoholic? You give up drinking. (Please return to “Sentence One” for my “Global Disclaimer” – “No addiction is easy to overcome.” Just in case you think I’m an idiot.) But you don’t really give up drinking, meaning you are not required to give up all drinking. You give up all drinking, and you’re dead and dehydrated in a couple of days.
Drinking lots of water? That’s a good thing. Drinking lots of water won’t get you into a “Twelve Step Program.” It will get you into a “Nutrition Program.” Standing on stage wearing that skinny-wire-down-the-side-of-your-face microphone that big-time singers wear during their concerts, saying, “Drink lots of water!” and signing copies of your “Best Seller”, Drink Till You Slosh in the lobby. (And spending substantial time in the bathroom, making room for more water.)
Alcoholics can’t drink alcohol. But they can drink – they better drink – anything except alcohol. Meaning, of all the available potables, there is only one category of them alcoholics are prohibited drinking. (Time again to repeat of my “Global Disclaimer” – ”No addiction is easy to overcome.” I get it. I really do.)
Smoking? Nobody needs to smoke. In fact, if you want to avoid a greater likelihood of lung disease and correlative heart problems, what you really need is to not smoke. What I’m saying is that smoking, though an addiction – and therefore, as twice mentioned, not easy to overcome – is in no way essential. I mean, It’s not like breathing. It’s more like breathing with a hacking cough.
Drugs? The vast majority of people go their entire lives without feeling the slightest compulsion to jab a hypodermic needle into their arm. So you obviously don’t need to do that. Ditto for snorting stuff up your nose which you also do not need to do, barring serious stuffiness, and then only till you’re better. (Though all are admittedly addictions and so “See Above”, three times.)
Moving from the generic to the personal, I have now discovered that I can live quite contentedly without watching MSNBC (whose shows I have not watched for six months) or Law & Order SVU (which I quit “cold turkey” a couple of weeks ago.) Even if I momentarily drop by for a cursory peek, I have not found myself falling ignominiously off the wagon. I am there, and then I’m gone, feeling no driving urgency to return. And believe me, I was once helplessly addicted to both.
Not watching certain programs is hardly the end of all television watching. There are tons of other programs on the air; I can always watch those. (How about not watching any television at all? Yeah, not yet. Hey, that medium made me a handsome living – I owe them. And besides, although there are worthy alternatives –like reading a good book – I am, as yet, unable to break free.
“Let me go, television!”
Sorry, I just lost it for a second. I’m back now.
There is one addiction left in this acknowledged hardly comprehensive list. And this one is the hardest. (Do we need the disclaimer again? They’re all hard. ‘Nuff said.) Why is it the hardest? Because, although there are certain issues you may unquestionably need to get under control
You cannot, in an effort to do so,
You can stop the other stuff – often with prodigious difficulty – because, though you may have once believed otherwise, those activities are in no way essential to life.
Meaning, unlike any other addiction, you have to bring your eating problem under control
While still eating.
You can’t stop eating. Your body won’t let you. Barring, for some of us, Yom Kippur. And don’t think you don’t hear about that.
EARLO’S STOMACH: “Where’s the food!!!”
Oh, my. Once again, my “setup” has extended too long, and I have to end just when I was about to get started. I apologize for that. You can see why I’d be useless on Twitter.