Addiction, a state in which one is enslaved to a habit or activity that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. A thesaurus lists the following: habit, dependency, the monkey on one's back, craving, enslavement, and obsession.
Often we hear the word positive addiction but ordinarily, the word is used when the results are harmful to the person with the addiction. Postive 'addictions' can be devotion to an idea or practice that is helpful to a person's growth. A virtuous act that has become habitual.
In a column of the Catholic Peace Weekly, a poet and essayist reflects on the word addiction. Whether sitting or standing, eyes closed, the object of the craving is present, if only dimly, to give pleasure and not rarely the limitless taste of the bottomless pit.
Ecstasy, fulfillment, and great delight depending on the source may be the results. It directs a person's way to the future with tears or laughter and may teach one the proper way to live the earthly life we have received.
Her older brother had an extraordinary intellect, noticed in the way he spoke. As a student, he learned the board game 'Go' and enjoying the challenges, gave himself to the pursuit of its mysteries spending his time in 'Go' clubhouses. Gradually began betting, his spirit sometimes high and sometimes low; like a child playing by the water's edge who gradually goes out deeper into the water.
He became interested in mahjong, horseracing— gambling took over. His family's worries were no more than oil on water. He was entranced in making a fortune all at once but the ups and downs finally were destructive.
The writer mentions the time she volunteered to work in a hospital for alcoholics. She received all the necessary lectures and the written materials to help her in her work. Many women with the problem were patients at the hospital. Their aim was to return to a normal life again with their families.
Many who left, shortly returned, once, twice three times, after relapsing. She saw many who were lost. For the writer, it was a time in which she began to wonder about what life was all about.
Literature came into her life and gradually it became her entire interest. Literature filled the empty place in her heart, her cries and difficulties were relieved by the consolation and peace she received from literature. Walls she was not able to scale, literature made doors in the wall, literature became her life—literature became her happy addiction.
Addiction has many aspects and the results are different. It can take away everything possessed or can give you joy and great satisfaction. Each of us determines what is going to be our goal in life. Each has the gift of free will and has to determine where and what it will choose. The final results will be determined by the choices one makes.
Many are overcome by addiction. The color, taste, aroma have different faces, the degree of absorption is the test? Each day that passes we get closer to the black hole which is the dividing path between life and death. Addiction beckons us on and we need the wisdom from life to determine our response.