Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” #Addiction

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”

--Jack Kerouac

I am a very passionate person, so when I care about things, I tend to care about them intensely. Consequently, when I want something, I want it just as intensely. An addictive personality can be described as "a particular set of personality traits that make an individual predisposed to addictions. Addictive behaviors are defined by the "excessive, repetitive use of pleasurable activities to cope with unmanageable internal conflict, pressure, and stress" (Wikipedia).

Both of my parents and numerous family members have addiction problems, so I feel l need little evidence beyond this to know that I inherited this trait. Furthermore, it is believed that while not all those with the predisposition for addiction will develop such an addiction, those with "severe childhood distress" are significantly more likely to become addicts themselves.

So here is the thing: I have conquered every addiction I've ever had with one exception.

I am currently the healthiest I've ever been. I have stability and peace which I dreamed of and prayed for during my "severe childhood distress"--something that will pull me out of the darkness and despair that I'm prone too.

But there feels like something is missing. Like any addict I feel that desire and need for the extreme and excessive indulgence, even knowing it is bad for me. Even knowing that I am risking everything I've worked so hard for, just because I'm desperate to scratch this itch that I've carried my whole life. And I've found myself tempted by old destructive habits that I thought were long in the past. 

So this brings me to my question. Is "passion" by nature unhealthy? Is it--because it is by nature 'excessive'--naturally unbalanced? Is it better to walk "the middle way" as the good 'ol Buddha says, or should one always indulge their passion because life is short, etc.

This idea is what I currently struggle with. I want to be stable and happy and have more peace and contentment in my life than either of my parents experienced. But I am also naturally inclined to the excessive, the unbalanced, the reckless, and extreme. 

So knowing this about myself, what is a girl to do?

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