The Phenomenon of Craving

I’m an addict.  I know the phenomenon of craving.  If one (of anything) makes me feel good, more (of the same) will make me feel better.  Give me a cherry Jolly Rancher, I want the ranch. Give me  a drag on your cigarette, I’ll be at 7-11 buying a pack of Camel Filters.  Another pack the next day.   Give me a beer, I want to be Coors-filled.  Bet I can’t eat just one Lay’s potato chip?  Damn right I can’t.  For me, one (of anything) sets off the phenomenon of craving.

It’s at the heart of addiction, this phenomenon of craving. The Japanese have a proverb:  “First the man takes a drink.  Then the drink takes a drink.  Then the drink takes the man.”  The “drink” comes in many forms:  from prescribed varieties to those you can buy in the park.  My “connect” can be wearing a hoodie or a stethoscope.

Years ago, Nancy Reagan sloganized “Just Say No.”  It only works BEFORE the phenomenon of craving seizes the addict.  No recreational drug user, no experimenter, sets out to become addicted. “Control your drugs before they control you” is the mantra.  One cannot know beforehand that  you will set off the phenomenon of craving until you do, indeed, set off the phenomenon of craving.  For addicts, the phenomenon lies in wait.

So how do we get to the potential addict before the first experience?   What does the drug (drink, prescription, chip, sugar)  fill in us  in the first place — then seek to fill again and again?  Some say it is  a God-shaped hole within us.  Some say it is an addict’s  overly sized ego.  Some say it is an addict’s low self-esteem.  Some say it is never feeling like we are quite enough.

What was it with Whitney?  With Michael?  With Keith Whitley?  People who seemingly had it all still had a need to feel differently, to escape somehow, to fill something inside that money, fame, fortune, talent could not.  What shape is their hole?

Perhaps when we develop a standard of right living rather than common core academic standards as the true measure of education, when we foster in our children, in our selves, a sense of well-being and acceptance of ourselves, then we will not experience a craving that must be satisfied.    Perhaps when we  nurture a sense of belonging, of being loved, of “you matter,” then we will have no void to be filled, no craving to be satisfied.

I don’t sit in judgment of Whitney or Michael or the alcoholic under the bridge. I wonder, though, why it is as easy to die wrapped in a blanket under the Bijou Street bridge as it is to die submerged in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel.  When will “I’m saddened by the loss” be replaced with “I’m outraged at the condition”?

3 Responses to “The Phenomenon of Craving”

  1. Great post, vince! So. Well said and honest.

  2. Wow–you say much about the condition of many things. Society. Education. Families. Puzick for President! It has a nice ring to it, too.

  3. […] 1:24 pm and is filed under Uncategorized . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own […]

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