Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Addictive Personality?

Topic: Addictive personality; real concern or simple excuse?

Here is the background story. As I mentioned before, this past weekend was a work event I have been planning for the past few months. Things were hectic, though it all ended well. In the morning, we served doughnuts to a staff of volunteers and there they were. Chocolate or glazed covered discs of fried dough. I probably could have eaten one, even two, without much harm, but it was nerves that drove the desire at all. The event was getting to the point where it was going to start running itself and I was crazy. I stepped out of the area and found a co-worker smoking a cigarette. Now, I chewed snuff for years and quit about seven months ago for the surgery, but cigarettes I could pick up and put down easily. So, I enjoyed a smoke with my colleague and found that it calmed me, allowed me to think a bit more clearly.

The following Sunday, my brother-in-law and my sons are in the car together. Somehow the discussion of alcohol began between my brother-in-law and I. I am not much of a drinker now, but don't ask me to recall too many Friday or Saturday nights from my college years. My 13-year-old kidded, "I enjoy a cold beer every once-in-a-while too."

This child and I, probably more so than my other two kids, have more in common when it comes to personality traits. Very instinctive, very impatient and very need-it-now. Knowing that he has probably already been in social situations where he was offered alcohol, I tell him he should wait even longer past 21 to try alcohol because he and I have the same "addictive personality."

Mind you, the same personality that would have driven me to eat four or five doughnuts the morning before.

Sure, it's a real concern. But it is it too simple to classify every over-indulgent act an example of an addictive personality? And remember, there is not a single court room that allows for the "addictive personality plea" in cases involving drugs, alcohol or even gambling. Though, addiction treatment is often part of the sentencing process.

Whatever the case may be, I wish they made a pill for it.


  1. If they did have a pill for it, I'd take too many! At least you're in good company.

  2. I believe in addictive personalities just because I've seen family genetics pass them down from great-grandparents through to my own child and her second cousins. We all have different things to be addicted to, but I think it has something to do with being linked within the ADD gene, you tend to focus with intensity on one thing because, even if it's bad for you, it calms you. Luckily, a lot of what my daughter is "addicted" to right now is harmless, but I've been through food, cigarettes, even minor addiction to drugs... granted, I can pick up and put down the smokes and the pills because I somehow manage to signal in my brain that it's no good for me, but food you gotta eat, right?

  3. I think we can't 100% blame our daily bad choices strictly on addictive personalities. I mean, once we acknowledge our challenges it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to accommodate.
    Is it hard sometimes? Of course. Do we still have to find solutions to compensate for our triggers? Absolutely.
    I think it's not JUST the addictive personality, it's also the ability (or lack thereof) to acknowledge it and willingness to make the choice to manage one's own behavior responsibly once the addiction had been realized.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that we cannot allow ourselves to use addiction as an excuse. It may be the driving reason behind the negative behavior, but once we're to the point that we recognize it as addiction then education and free will come into play. If one has recognized it, then I feel one can no longer use it as an excuse.
    In AA they tell you to take it one day at a time. This puts empowerment back into the individual's hands and emphasizes that they have a choice. Big bad evil addiction (to whatever) can be overcome by our own choices daily. So when we give in to our urges, it has become a decision we made at that moment and not the power of the addiction its self.

  4. It is such a great thing though that your son told you about the few he has had. Keep those lines of communication open and it gives him an outlet to share.

  5. I, for one, am TOTALLY addicted to your personality! *wink*

    For me, I would have to say, the biggest thing the band is doing is really making me AWARE of my thinking in terms of my addiction to food. There are definitely times where I am eating something AWESOME and I am just pissed off at my band because it's keeping me from utterly pigging out, but it does. It just makes you so aware. And I really think that it's changing my way of thinking where it comes to food, whether it's out of fear, or whatever. Who cares, right? Change is good!!

    PS: Don't smoke...that shit'll kill ya! ;)

  6. So good to hear from you! I've been MIA from blog-land lately and I think you were too for awhile? Anyways...it is nice to see some more testosterone. Poor Andrew was getting lonely.

  7. I suppose in a sense they do have a pill for it, if you have OCD.
    I really do believe the whole addictive personality stuff, when I was younger and drank, it wasn't just a little, it was jump right in and drink as much as I could. I don't really think I was an alcoholic but I certainly did abuse alcohol for a while. And I know I have issues with food in that sense. So I probably would have said the same thing if that were my son talking about alcohol, I would have suggested he wait and tell him about my addictive personality. Since it likely wasn't the time to delve further into the issue in the car, I might even take time to talk about it again in a more private place so I could really share a lot and let him grasp where I am coming from. I see my 4 year old eat and I'm already worried for him. I refuse to withhold food from him at age 4 but you can bet I try to offer him healthier choices. Now our older kids, not much I can do there since they're 18 and older and don't struggle as much with food as they do alcohol and you can bet I ride them about it too.
    Sorry I took off in my own direction here, I guess I just wanted you to know that I would have said that to my child too.

  8. If our lives are empty or sad we search for pleasure, and often as not find it in the wrong places. Nothing gives you instant pleasure the way food does (no, not that either), and that, I have always believed, is the root of our problem. We demand instant gratification to make us feel better, and what we need to learn, preferably from childhood, is patience. Plus the ability to smell doughnuts and not be prepared to kill for one.
    That's how I see it anyway.

  9. I wanted to thank you for commenting on my last post. I am going to try to keep in mind that if other people are negative, it's their problem, not mine.