Dear Roomie #4: Addiction is as addiction does

January 15, 2010

From a dictionary.com medical dictionary definition:

ad·dic·tion
Pronunciation: ə-dĭk’shən
Function: noun
: compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal

Hi, my name is Topher, and my roomie is an addict.

Cigarettes, vodka, TV, and internet are his vices. On any given day when he is not working, the routine is coffee in the morning and vodka the rest of the day, 30-40 cigarettes, internet most of the day, and the television is never turned off. On days he does work, it’s pretty much the same except for the chunk of time in the middle when he is actually at work.

I find myself both saddened and disgusted at the same time. I pity him for his vices, but he does nothing to overcome them. He is completely content smoking nearly two packs of cigarettes each day. He is perfectly ok with drinking a 1/2 gallon bottle of vodka every 3 days. I’m not. Even though it may seem like I don’t like him much (if you’ve read previous posts), he is a dear friend and I care about his well-being. That said, here we go…

Smoking

Addiction = when you can’t go to a Greek Festival for two hours and not smoke a cigarette. (no, I’m not talking about me) 9/17/2009. We went to the Greek Festival downtown in September. We looked around for a bit. A short time later, we went into the church and bought some Greek food. It was very good, those Greeks sure do know how to eat. Then, we went back outside to look through some of the wares they were selling, but my roomie had to go have a cigarette. We’d been there for about 75 minutes tops at this point.

Dear roomie #5: No, it is NOT ok to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, then keep me up all night coughing (and NO, it’s not your allergies) 11:27 PM Dec 3rd. This is a nightly occurrence. I don’t know if it’s COPD, I’m not a doctor… but, it sure sounds like it. It’s almost scary sometimes, the way he sounds when he is having a coughing fit. Most of the time, he doesn’t even wake up! I don’t know how he does it, I’m in another room and it wakes me then keeps me up.

Dear Roomie #7: No, it isn’t ok for you to take a nap when I try to, coughing up a lung and keeping me awake (after keeping me up all night) 4:26 PM Dec 5th. Yes, sadly, it isn’t just a nighttime thing. He keeps me up during the day as well. It’s a good thing I have insomnia, otherwise I’d have gone crazy from exhaustion a long time ago.

Dear roomie: The response to waking yourself up coughing (and me..grrr) is NOT to go have a cigarette. Really, it isn’t. 2:16 AM Jan 14th. And here is a perfect example of his addiction. This was one of maybe 3 times he has actually coughed so hard, so long, and so loudly that he actually woke himself up. He got up and immediately went outside to have a cigarette. Are you kidding me? It’s one thing to smoke, but when it is killing you (now, rather than later) I’d think you’d want/try to quit.

Alcohol

Orange juice and vodka bottles…That’s what’s in the recycling bin. (and I don’t drink vodka) 9/17/2009. FYI:vodka bottles are recyclable. Don’t put thm in trsh.If u r embarassed abt the quantity of bottles,drink less(again, i don’t drink vodka) 9/20/2009. Yes, he drinks…a LOT. I can’t even comprehend the amount of alcohol he drinks. If I drank half as much, my liver would have packed up and moved out.

The recycling was picked up this morning…this was what I just took out of the trash & off the kitchen counter. http://twitpic.com/wcw5x 9:35 AM Jan 2nd. See previous tweet… I just wanted to add some reality for you folks who read my “Dear Roomie” posts. File this one w/recycling & alcohol 9:36 AM Jan 2nd. RE: previous tweet… FYI: NONE of these 5 items were mine. 9:37 AM Jan 2nd. Obviously, this wasn’t one day’s worth of liquor and juice (it was three, four tops). Which brings me to another point, I live in a house where OJ is not a breakfast drink; it is a mixer. I’ve never known anyone who drinks this much… If it weren’t so horribly worrisome, I would be amazed at his functionality. In truth, I kind of am.

As for the television or the internet, sorry I’ve no tweets concerning that. You’ll just have to trust me on this one: his computer is never shut down and the tv is never off.

The roomie has an addictive personality (obviously) and has many vices — who doesn’t? However, the saddest thing is that nicotine and alcohol are two things you can quit when they are affecting your health and quality of life. Is it hard? Of course. Is it worth it? Likely.

I don’t understand — nor do I want to — someone who chooses addiction over life.

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6 Responses to “Dear Roomie #4: Addiction is as addiction does”

  1. kwbridge Says:

    Hmm … his addictions are excessive. It’s a shame. I don’t judge because I have my own but it’s not hard to cut back and you should be able to go longer without a smoke.

    My computer is on all the time but that’s because of a hard drive issue that I’ve been too lazy to repair. If I leave it off too long, it might not start back up 😉

    And tv, well, I just don’t get it. It seems like most people have more than one, they are always on and cable is considered a necessity.


    • They are excessive, but then you’ve read all the posts on this blog, excess is his mantra. I’m not judging either, just a commentary. I don’t get the TV thing either. There’s just not that much of interest on it.

      By the way, he is doing dishes as I type… I swear I think he’s reading the blog lol

      @kwbridge Thanks as always for your comments and feedback!

  2. sharnon007 Says:

    Wow. The addiction is not a choice. The initial trial of the substance was the choice.
    The brain actually rewires itself and the drug is what it needs before food, pleasure, sleep, etc.
    I remember reading a study that some scientists did on mice. They were given a choice of either, as much cocaine as they could eat- without killing them from OD- BUT they had to remain in isolation; OR, all the food and water they could want and able to ‘hang’ with other mice.
    It never failed- if one of the mice tried the cocaine, it would choose to stay by itself and do cocaine for… I can’t remember if they did it until they died, or what.
    ANYTHING that can cause a mother to sell a newborn baby’s milk and diapers- that sounds to me like it’s not a choice. Do you know a mother in her right mind that would EVER choose that?
    Unfortunately, it usually takes hitting rock bottom and being FORCED to go without his demons.

    I know it’s hard to watch. I know it is. I really hate it for you.

  3. zaradzki Says:

    Good luck with your roommate and the so called passive smoking.
    I went to russia last month and I was amazed to see that in Moscow smoking was allowed everywhere even in hotel lobby, restaurant and … at the airport;
    http://grabacupwithstan.com/2009/12/16/memories-from-the-90s/

    stan


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