January 25, 2014

I'm a drug addict

My addictions cause major changes that significantly affect my psychological and emotional state. I can intentionally bring on or avoid the intensity they provide.

My view of self is skewed. I look at some of my posts and the self-abuse that I lavish on myself when I'm down. Then I recognize the difference when I chat with my girlfriend online. My mind turns toward my invincibility, I am a king.

This is not just a show for her, for she gets to see me in all states. Nothing is hidden from her. Though I wouldn't say she's the cause of specific emotions, she definitely becomes the vessel through which I express my current state into words.

She's a shrink for kids who've been through abuse that the first world couldn't imagine and has a non-judgmental reaction to whatever I can dish out. I'm sure she's seen worse. Sometimes she'll tell me, "You're so high right now, how can I get some?" I recognize though that the cause in two-fold: (1) Last week was a down week; (2) I've been Crossfitting hard lately.

Crossfit is a place where I can express myself. Through rowing, deadlifting, technique work, and focusing on weaknesses, I self-actualize in a different dimension. Some days, I am stuck and getting overhead is impossible, thus the weight on the barbell must be lowered during the WOD. It is impossibly frustrating emotionally to feel that you can't control everything, but I tell myself that there is another day of Crossfitting tomorrow. Some days mobility is better than others. No problem. I'll get overhead in the next few days.

Other days, your body feels amazing during heavy front squats. Your movement is fluid and lifting is like butter. The satisfaction is immeasurable. Life is good.

I come from the first world, where consumption is everywhere. There is no scarcity. We go to school and are fed by teachers. To be ravenous is rewarded. I never lost this bottomless hunger. My heroin-like addiction to learn cannot be sated. I read everything I can get a hold of, like a tiger mauling a piece of meat. I want to learn politics, economics, social commentary, culture, biographical sketches, give me more, I need more.

The internet is a dangerous place. I simply search what I want to learn, and it is at my fingertips. There is no end to the content that is provided to me. I am like a zombie seeking human flesh, but instead, my obsession is in improving my understanding of the world, building my brain, and knowing more.

I'd been intensely private, but am opening up. I am starting to write publicly, and to comment on what I read, and to interact. It is a fascinating thing to be part of my surroundings in internet world. The internet is such a place that can easily go in just one direction.

I would venture to say that most people are simply consumers of the internet, and don't produce. That's ok, but I challenge you, my readers, to change your habit. See what it's like to comment on a post. Comment on a youtube video. Share on Facebook. Do it five times today.

It is freeing and gives you a jolt of excitement... especially when someone else is touched enough by your thoughts to say something back. I sometimes put my analysis on a youtube comment, and someone else on the other side of the world continues the conversation.

I am experimenting with these drugs and am learning how they affect me. My addictions are my girlfriend, Crossfit, consuming information, and writing. What are yours?


  1. You're lucky to have her!

    My addictions are traveling, cats, and my blog. Hopefully this year I will add running and Crossfit too, if I survive my first month of CF.

  2. I must agree with Aleah that you're lucky to have your girlfriend, if she is as you describe her!

    I have things that I am deeply committed to, which are my family, my work, my community organizations, my religion and my running. However I don't describe them as addictions. An addiction is something harmful that deprives us of our free will. Things like family, work, community, religion and athletic pursuits are life sustaining, and are chosen as an act of free will, not a limitation on it. It strikes me that what you call your addictions are actually very healthy things that you choose as a positive exercise of free will. If you think you are "addicted" to a good girlfriend, Crossfit, a thirst for knowledge and writing, you are not really addicted; you are living life with meaning and purpose.

  3. @Aleah Surviving your first exposure to Crossfit is mental. Your body will be fine.

    @Anonymous Regarding your claim that I'm using the wrong word: I believe that language is to be used in the way we wish them to. Clearly the idea was communicated. To obsess over precision is to take the life out of words. Being playful in spoken AND written word is essential to my communication style. It is my first defense against living a boring life, having fun as I project my ideas into the world.

    Second, if you want anyone to read what you have to say on the internet, you need a bit of click-bait. With the mass of content on the internet, without an attention grabbing title and something to keep people reading, you will be writing for yourself alone. If you have no one reading, then much of the fun of the internet is gone... no interaction, no affecting others, there would be no purpose to posting online whatsoever!

    Third, I actually do see these things as addictions.