Bundle of joyous addictions
Muse #503 - many I can relate to and live with...
This is the second of the books from my reading list in May. And what an interesting topic it was.
The Addictive Brain: Thad A Polk https://www.amazon.com/The-Addictive-Brain-audiobook/dp/B00UBLMCS6/
When I started with Audible years ago I started with a bunch of books from The Great Courses collection. These were University courses and lecture sessions that came as books and were like attending a course in full on a particular subject. I also used to buy these titles when Audible offered 2:1 credit redemption deals so these books end up costing $5 a pop. And thirdly these books referred me to a rich bibliography that allow me to find and read other books on the related subjects that I am more interested in expanding into.
This book was bought a while back and in the meantime, I have already read a bunch of books on neuroscience, behavior, and related subjects about the human brain, so my review is also based on these alternate contexts.
This book covered a variety of underlying topics including psychology and neuroscience of reward, addictions and highjacking, genetics, the brain, and its related chemical effects. It also covered addictions to cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, gambling, and a variety of stimulants.
I have written about my being addicted to being myself about a year back. There were specific areas that I could relate to including:
Video game addiction: In my early twenties I was a gamer and addicted to gaming. Writing software all night and playing games all day sometimes. Until I totally gave it up. Even after the advent of the mobile phone games I have been stuck in cycles of playing “Candy Crush” but have been off them for good for over ten years now with the trick of not even trying them out. Except for my recent 100-day sojourn with Wordle which I gave up.
Stimulants: I had tried Ritalin and related classes of drugs for a while for my ADHD. The last in 2013. Not being able to handle the side effects and the way they messed with my sleep (I had apnea issues then), I decided that these were not for me and I am going to get my chemicals the hard way. Diet, exercise, sanity approach to sleep timings. By learning to live and work with me. I do use coffee as a support stimulant though, but in a rule-based manner with my last one at 11 AM so as to not impact my sleep.
Food: My craving for food is nonstop. And just like the video games and stimulants, I have given up whole classes of food in order to help me live a better life. I have touched upon my eating habits and coping mechanisms several times in the last two years.
And there are the behavioral addictions - struggle with motivation for doing certain things, a classic obsession with doing certain things, and anxiety that stops me from doing other things. Take this blog for instance. The obsession with not breaking this chain of writing has allowed me to write for over 500 days now. So, instead of fixing my behaviors and trying to be “normal”, I channel the behavioral addictions that allow me to create things that are valuable to meeting the goals that I care for. Though it is extremely hard. I am attempting to do this with a second blog that focuses on work and now working on establishing that cadence, and rhythm and making it an additional obsessive behavior. You would know what happens for sure…
But I do love being me. Warts and all.