The Spell of Everyday Addictions

I guess everybody would agree that "real" addictions are a serious issue and they often require professional help to get over them. I'm talking about drug addictions or gambling addictions for example. But what about all these "every day addictions"? Is it worth fighting against them? Or shall we just resign and accept them?


Let me give you an example. I'm a coffee addicted person. In the sense that I simply can't handle moderation with coffee. I go through phases of having 3-4 cups a day and phases of withdrawal when I try to avoid coffee at all. 1 cup a day? It just doesn't work! When I give up coffee, I go through 3 days of terrible detox. Headaches, dizziness, depressive feelings - almost like having a proper flu, really...! 


Once when I was in the middle of my coffee detox phase, my dad asked me: "So what's so bad about being addicted to coffee? I'm totally addicted, too. But as long as the world is not running low on coffee supply, why should I care?".  He has a point there. On the other hand - don't we claim to be self-determined beings? When I picture myself structuring my day around coffee breaks, I sometimes doubt that I can be addicted and self-determined at the same time...


The other thing is the YOLO argument. If you only live once, why deprive yourself of the pleasures of life? And I do enjoy my coffee..! But if you argue that way, you easily get into trouble drawing the line between small guilty pleasures and ruining your life by eating unhealthy stuff and being lazy. Because in the end of the day, a lot of these "every day addictions" are actually quite unhealthy. Too much caffein is bad for your blood pressure and fertility, too much chocolate is making you fat, too many cigarettes give you cancer.


The mindful answer to this dilemma is moderation. But isn't moderation the hardest part when it comes to addictions...?


What's your view? Are you happily addicted? Or do you live an abstentious life? Or are there people out there who just don't get addicted that easily?

Comments: 7 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    Ravi (Tuesday, 03 February 2015 21:31)

    The perpetual question :

    you control your desire? or the desire controls you? :P

  • #2

    Karina (Tuesday, 03 February 2015 21:32)

    I am also a coffee addicted person and sometimes I think that I should reduce my consume. But on the other hand, it is the YOLO argument that keeps me from quitting my addiction. It is a pleasure to me and I haven't any side effects yet. If I get some, I should rethink my consume. And aren't we all addicted to small "pleasures" like sweets etc.? It is really up to my feeling, if I want to quit it or not. I decide what I do and to what extend.

  • #3

    Nicole (Tuesday, 03 February 2015 21:32)

    I go through phases of abstinence and addiction and I think that this is okay. :)

  • #4

    Tim (Tuesday, 03 February 2015 21:33)

    Great post Tanja. Def something I think about a lot. Coffee is not such a big problem for me. There are other things though. I try to fight addictions and very much agree with Ravi: I feel uncomfortable not being in control. I don't like any substance making me things I wouldn't do otherwise. If I feel I'm losing control I stop.

  • #5

    John (Tuesday, 03 February 2015 21:34)

    Interesting topic and well written article.
    1. Environment is the massive impact that we have to deal with everyday and our willingness to change our habits. First, if you are living in a cold country, you ll be more likely to build a habit with hot drinks.
    You could force yourself to change and replacing the coffee by another drink : natural water, fresh mixed juice, a fruit..
    What happens to your addiction in another environment ? if you are living in Australia right now, will you still have this habits everyday ?

    2. As Ravi mentioned it : how much control do you have on yourself ? desire - appetite for the coffee taste, or biology : your body needs a "hot drink". ex: February, winter weather.

  • #6

    govoi (Thursday, 05 February 2015 20:15)

    I hear every body here, it's easy for us to base our arguments on what other people said, what the researches found out, what we believe that the environment is doing to us eg, we live in a cold country, so coffee is just unavoidable, well it's not bad, all that is good, but to some point you are killing your inner power, we are killing our inner power. forget about what has been said, researched and all that you feel contradicts your expectations and focus on your innerself and what you want to stop, in this case, coffee, too much chocolate or anything, that's it. but if one bases their arguments or intentions or other people's findings we loose it cause we are not in our body by then, we are very much out there to listen to what they say, copy what they do and never with what our bodies want.

  • #7

    tanjaschomann (Thursday, 05 February 2015 23:55)

    @ Ravi: Such a yogic answer :-) Say "hi" to guruji!
    @ Karina: Do you get any withdrawal? Because I don't really have side-effects either, but the crazy withdrawal from coffee is a sign that it has a pretty heavy influence on my body...
    @ Nicole: I like that you're so forgiving with your own habits. I guess that's a really healthy attitude!
    @ Tim: Yeah, it feels weird not to be totally self-determined... But how to decide when it's too much loss of control? And when are you just too strict with yourself?
    @ John: Wow, the weather aspect is a good point. From some living experience in India and Kenya, I can tell that I would still crave hot drinks. In India, I totally switched to tea though. So the caffein does seem to play a big role for me...!
    @ Govoi: "focus on your inner self and what you want to stop - that's it" - it's sounds so nice and powerful when you say it :-) I'll use this as my mantra from now on!