I’m an Addict

A speech by an addict, admitting his addiction in a self-help group.

… …

*An awkward moment of silence on stage before the speech*

“Hi, I’m … *Thinks of a name* … Bob. And I’m an addict. *Makes a gullible face*

I live upon, have always lived upon my addiction. I’ve never been able to successfully get rid of it. Although I’ve had convinced myself for a long time that I don’t have any addiction and am a perfectly normal human being. Misleading pretense.

The mornings are said to be the best time to start anything. So I’d start with my addiction. I’d wake up and fall for my dark urges, for doing them, for giving up other things against my addiction. It won’t even go away after the shower. Sometimes, its intensity increases after that!

I know what it does to me. I know that it’s doing me bad. That it will… *Thinks for the perfect word, but couldn’t remember any* stain my life, forever haunting me and to all those around me. I know these black urges, these sinister impulses will give me a hard time, but… It’s my addiction.

Till now, I couldn’t admit to anyone, not even to myself, of having an addiction. I would just shut up anyone pointing it out for me. This is the first time that I am actually professing this in front of y’all. I suppose it the first step to get over your addiction – accept that you have it.

We all have our addictions. Whatever it is, it takes over us. It comes slowly, urging us to fall into its trap. Then when it has a slight hold on to our minds, we start to lose our nous. We fall prey to the very thing we were fighting so hard to avoid. How many of we here have done this? Slowly giving up on our routine, just one time, just this time, one more time won’t hurt that much, and so on we yield to our addiction.

You know how it feels when our addiction takes over us, when that itch presses on us with its tempting endeavor giving us a cheering caprice. If we do not give in to it, it has various ways to persecute us. First it will strike on our concentration. That’s the base to all our determination and all our efforts. Without our power to concentrate in something, we won’t stand a chance against its malefic calls. It slyly hives off all our attention towards our addiction, by the time we know about it, it snipes on our will power. It makes us weak from inside and plants a false assurance in our minds that giving in to it will somehow make things better. That surrendering to it will burn all our suffering. And finally, when we are at our lowest, it strikes its final, but strongest blow on our body. We are already feeble from the inside. But it won’t stop till it is able to infirm us from the outside also.

*Sees others reaction. God! This is going good!*

But this time I have decided, earnestly, to stand against all my urges. To fight back each time it comes back with another excuse. To decline all of its enticing offers. With the help of this support group and a good sponsor, I think I will be able to achieve a sufficiently long period of sobriety.

I’ve joined this support group with a goal in my mind to averse to my impulses. I promise to all of you that I’ll fight back to my addiction and will not let it get any heavier on me. I will not fall for its trammel, no matter how elaborate its traps are.

But in doing that, I’m secretly inviting my addiction here. See, I’m doing it right now. I’m using it right now, I’m giving in to it while talking about fighting it… You see it?

Yes, I’ve an addiction. And now I admit it. I’m addicted to being in my comfort zone. I’m addicted to procrastination. And I’ll try to be sober from tomorrow…”

Temporary Happiness

Life is a journey with many destinations. Some destinations make us happy while others don’t. And there’s always a cycle of happy and sad destinations. It is for us to decide where to stay a little longer. But one thing is for sure, we will have to leave every destination in some time.

Then why does the time happiness stays in our life look very small compared to the time sadness creeps in?

… …

On a particular morning, I woke up filled with boredom, resistance to wake-up and live another day of nothingness at office, and self-loath for this melancholic feeling. Then I decided to get ready a little quickly and go for a ride. With the turning off of the engine, the silence marks way for the sadness to crawl in again.

A long, lone, silent drive lifted up my spirit and I was willing again to fight the day, no matter how hard it might become.

Another morning, I woke up with similar somber tone of my mind. The tedium was like spikes growing up on insides of my mind, hurting every time I thought. I decided to cover it with freshness through watching some episodes of Friends, any random season. That series always lifted up my spirit, helped me turn happy, momentarily. Pressing the button to switch off the TV also turns open the door for sadness to come in, almost instantly.

Similar series of events happen just another night when I returned from a long boring day at home. I was unable to sleep as that meant waking up again the next morning and going over all of this again. But then I had to sleep, eventually. To make it more promising, I thought of listening to my favorite playlist. That always turned on the ‘happy switch’ in me. I slept peacefully, for almost few minutes of that night.

So then I thought about it, ‘bout happiness. It feels that happiness is momentary, temporary. It is fugitive, fleeting right out of us when we least expect it to. All the reasons for us to be happy, be them small or big enough to throw a party, they eventually turn sore and we tend to get sad again.

Sadness on the other hand is steady, unwavering. It has to come, it will come and we know it. It doesn’t scatter away due to a few moments of happiness, it stays – calm, patient, waiting – for happiness to pass, and then showing it’s slimy face again. We feel more sad after feeling a happiness, as now we miss it even more.

Sadness knows it that happiness makes us envy sadness more. And it takes all the gain our of happiness in our life by getting stronger and bolder.

Happiness is a kid. It doesn’t understand the schemes of sadness. It falls prey to the plots of trickery by sadness. It doesn’t keep relation with different lots of it and thus is weaker compared to sadness. It is able to drive away sadness almost instantly, but it is not able to mark a permanent place in our mind like that of sadness.

And whether we like it or not, happiness doesn’t care. It is too happy to think about sadness that follows happiness.

We, on the other hand, care. We think about it, sometimes too much, this post might be evident of it. We let sadness get stronger by thinking about it even in the moments of happiness. This we should avoid, debar strongly.

Although we know that sadness is going to come, now or in some time, we must not spoil our moments of happiness with it. When we are happy, we should only be happy and ignore the sadness just the way happiness does it.

But what can we do about the temporary nature of happiness? Can we do something about the sadness that always shows up like a rainbow after a rain? Can we do something to not let it in our lives once the happiness quotient drains out? Can we fight against it with the memories of happiness that we stash up in discreet corners of our mind? Can we make the temporary happiness to last a little longer, if not make it permanent?

Why does it feel like the sand in the hourglass runs faster on one side compared to the other upside down side…?

Sorry.. Who are you?!

Who are all those people who come rushing and buzzing towards us when we find some happiness in our life, like a honeybee attracted to the fresh flower pollen…?!

… …

There was smile spread across my face, and was probably gonna stretch out of the boundaries of my cheeks. But I didn’t care. I was happy and that was all it. I strode, and strutted, almost hopped and skipped. When I entered and got a glimpse of my new car shinning in the morning sunlight, I stood there admiring its shapes and curves – the only shapes and curves that I admire after you know who’s.

“Ah! You brought a new car…! But you brought it so plain!”

I turned around and found a person from my neighborhood, I didn’t know his name or nothing for that sake. My expressions probably said a big, confused “What?”, so he repeated.

“You brought your car in a very plain, vanilla fashion.”

This time I said out-loud “What?”

“You bought a new car, but brought it in a very non-festive style. No observance, no fete, parade…”

Okay he didn’t use these many synonyms, he just repeated his earlier sentence again, but this time I understood him. By plain he meant that I brought a new car home without “sharing my happiness with others”.

So whenever we find a new happiness in our lives, people of this species pop-up out of nowhere and stand before us. Eyes popped-out of their sockets, weary, like a zombie, looking directly at us; their twisted hands, with bones tearing out of their sordid skin, extended towards us, not in attack, but in anticipation, which is almost similar to an attack; their body bent towards us, not in respect, but as their spines have corroded in expecting things from everyone. They come to us dragging their feet, brushing the dirt on the ground, with their saliva-leaking mouth open, trying to say something while spilling all their gluttony for parties all over us, which will emulsify a stink on to your body and soul…

They are like leeches who feed on people’s happiness.

You can’t run away from them. They will hunt you down even with their perverted legs. You have to face them and choose either to be good or bad, in their ever-judging eyes. You choose to be bad, they will not rest till they are able to spread various kinds of rumors about you everywhere. Some of them might even manoeuvre an evil ambush upon your pride possessions or your newly achieved happiness. You choose to be good, they will disappear almost instantly, if you’re lucky.

Some of them are so hard-skinned, they might even keep sucking out of us even after we have been good to them. They will come with questions, inquiries and desires, more expectations, which will take the toll out of you.

It is said that sharing happiness increases it exponentially. But that doesn’t mean we go sharing our happiness with everyone in this world. That’s just a poor implementation of a good thought.

Our immediate family and friends and others, whom we love and like to be around are the people we want our happiness to be shared. We can also share our happiness with people who have silently helped us in various ways. If we want to share our happiness in monetary or material form, we should choose people wisely. And if you aren’t sure about it, share it with people who don’t expect from you this sharing, but will be more than just happy if you share it with them. They will actually wish good luck for you, unlike those other species of parasites who will almost instantly disappear once they have reaped the benefits out of you.

He came close enough to me, I almost got scared of him attached his suckers upon me, I backed off.

“Let’s see. We will do some celebration once my parents, my friends come visit me. (And I am definitely not calling you in that!” I snubbed his aghast expressions and moved on to leaving from there. He started giving out his precious advises as to how I can park my car and other details, which I half- no- fully unheard.

Why should I share it with my neighborhood, colleagues or those so-called friends, who don’t care a dime about me? Unless you are gonna help me pay the EMI or clean my car every weekend, why should I give a party to you? My dealers terms didn’t mention anything about you earning a right to free food and drinks upon my car purchase…

While moving out, a kid in his skates went past me looking at my car and then shouted “Nice car, uncle.”

I smiled and yelled thanks. Then I re-heard his statement, noted the “uncle” in it, and frowned. Moving on to the gate, I saw the security old guy who keeps a watch at our possessions. I celebrated with him about my new car and he beamed of happiness, giving his blessings out to me. Yes, they were some people I could share my happiness with, not that scrounger!

To him, I should’ve just said “Sorry.. Who are you?!”

Chronicles of a 25 something Man

An essay on the life of a 25+ boy, who juggles through his changing life between almost similar choices, taking tough decisions, living up to weird and new expectations thrust onto him and trading his dreams for buying time for other things…

… …

He is sitting in his big office chamber. There are clients waiting outside for just 5 minutes of meeting with him, for which he would charge them ample sum of money, while they are willing to pay that as his advice really makes them a great deal. He has found his love of life and is happily married to her. It was life-changing for him to marry her, yet she somehow manages to keep his life as casual and fun-filled as it was before their marriage. Surely, they are great together. His parents are proud of him of achieving so much and settling down happily in his life. They are currently on a world tour, which he gifted them as a surprise for their Silver Jubilee together. He is planning yet another trip to a new country, planning to expand his services beyond borders. But right now, he has to give an inspiring speech to young minds over the web. Surely he loves to pass on his wisdom to young and aspiring students. He couldn’t ask for anything more from God, as he loves his life and his job and his family. A Pigeon comes flying from the balcony and hits hard on his glass window, breaking a crack on it…

He wakes up to find a pigeon making mess in his balcony. He lazily lifts up his leg and falls it hard on the bed again, making a huge thud sound that scares away the bird. He knows it is dawn, and that he should wake up and run the race, but he prefers to dream that dream, so he goes back to sleep. Just when he could recreate that scene again in his mind, the door bell rings. The maid’s here.

He walks to the door, opens it and pays not even a fraction of time to look who’s standing at the door. He comes back, dragging his feet back to his bed. And looks at the wall against his bed for all the time the maid cleans the house. When it is time for the maid to go, he gets up and quality-checks the whole house to find flaws, if any, in maid’s work.

As soon as the maid leaves, his daily routine starts… While brushing his teeth, he thinks of all the decisions he has to make, of all the pending tasks on his plate and of all the big habits that he has to adhere to. It gets more than mouthful, and he has to spit them all out. Both lather and tasks.

While bathing, he thinks about changing his current consuming and growth-free job and choosing something else. But he’s unable to decide onto a particular “something else” on which he can focus. The whole time while bathing, his mind is occupied with various career options available to him and also considers an option to study further, which opens up some more career options…

It’s Friday, but that doesn’t lift up his spirit like it used to a few years back; as he could wear his favorite t-shirts and jeans. Now, formals felt him safer as he had to choose from only a few (one or two) washed and ironed pair of clothes from the wardrobe, or just grab something he had worn earlier and spray it with an ounce of deo. Looking good is no longer his priority, as it doesn’t make him feel good about himself, not any longer.

He goes to the mirror and looks at his messed up hair. If it was a few years back, he would have spent a few minutes, or may be more than a few, to make his hair kempt. But he no longer had anyone to look good for, neither he have that much time now. He had start working on his task list he had prepared in the morning.

He has to choose from several totally similar looking investment opportunities to earn a better returns on his savings. He has to choose between buying a new house or postponing that idea to future. He has to take decisions about his life… big decisions, that required quite an introspection to find out what he wants from his life – something he was no longer sure since a few years now.

He gets a series of notifications from his father. They are all about prospective life partners for him. His father is hasty about getting him married, and he isn’t sure about that manner of marrige. He had always thought he would eventually know whom from his known circle he wants to marry. Choosing from a bunch of strangers haunts him, let alone his disbelief in the concept of marriage. But he has to check those profile anyway, he’s getting older and has no serious friends, no relationship prospects and no life, for that sake. He is already late, like everyday, for his 9 to 7 desk job.

He starts his bike and it gives out a groaning cry, asking for relief from its services. It has been 10 years now. He thinks about buying another bike for him, or a car as his family wants (to show to others and prospective bride’s family, and of course, for his comfort too). Another choice, which invites several series of choices, one after other. He has several brochures and options bookmarked in his wishlist. But choosing one is a task he’s been working on since several months now.

It isn’t easy to drive while your mind is pre-occupied with several things at once and you’re not concentrated on the road. But he has driven on this road for so many years now, that he knows the potholes and even other fellow drivers on the road and makes his way smoothly even without looking around on the road. More so as he couldn’t care much about meeting with an accident. He needed a break anyway, from everything.

He reaches the office and shuffles through his backpack to find that darn ID to prove his belongingness to that building, even when those walls knew him in and out. His bag had never been this messed up before, but now, he didn’t care. He had bigger things to work out in his life. Bigger mess to clean…

His phone started ringing and he woke up from his daydreaming at his desk. It was time for another meeting. He got up and rushed towards the conference room, without anything in his hands, or even mind. He had many years’ worth of experience for those meetings, they yielded nothing. All the while in the meeting, he thought about why he couldn’t remember anything from the point he was searching for ID downstairs at the gate and to the time he was daydreaming at his desk. That was 3 hours worth of time, memory, lost.

He shuffled through different notifications on his phone while sipping that sugerless coffee. There were several overdue reminders, cleaning the cupboard, a blog idea, buying the kindle in the next sale, checking out a website for new ideas… Some of them were overdue for weeks now. He crossed out the reminder about working on a new product for his start-up. No, he hadn’t completed that. He crossed it out as that product was already launched by someone else and ran successfully in the market.

He fixed that last spreadsheet for the day and sent it to his manager, replied to another list of queries from client that made no sense at all, filled up a survey about employee satisfaction conducted by the company in which he chose mostly random options as the options like ‘not aware about it’, ‘do not like it’, ‘dissatisfied’, ‘no career helps available’, or option to write your own answer to a yes/no question weren’t t available to those set of questions.

It was weekend the next day. That was supposed to cheer him up, but he was working on Saturday. Anyway, it didn’t matter as if he had not been working, he still wouldn’t have had any plans anyway. He hardly had people he could call friend, or to better put it, he hardly befriended anyone and gave them opportunity to get closer to him and his life. Sunday went without any smile on his face and he completed a few of the tasks from his long to-do list. But that added several other new to-dos in his list…

Sunset was always beautiful to him. That would give him ideas for his blog. And night was the best time to let his creativity out. And by the time he would wake up, he would have created a masterpiece of a story or a discussion or just an observation narrative. But this time, sunset reminded him of another choice he had to make today – dinner options. He stayed alone and had to eat outside everyday, alone. He skipped the decision and assumed he wasn’t hungry. The real reason was he was just bored of eating the same things everyday without any company. That night he slept bad, empty stomach does feel bad, but he knew that already.

While watching the fan above his head, he thought of a few lines and a poem formed on its own in his mind. He immediately got up and started scribbling it on the piece of paper he kept besides his bed. The start was good, but in the middle, he got lost of his idea and the words that had earlier popped up on their own. And by the time he reached its end, he had already creased up the paper to throw it in the garbage can. His mind hardly supported him nowadays.

He started thinking about the pros and cons of various choices that were available for some big decisions he had to take. The thinking continued for a long time, making an elaborate and detailed list of pros and cons, but not giving out a winner… Soon exhaustion took over him and he was lost again in his dreams, probably the only place he loves being at, but can’t. He has a life to live…

Non-stop Series – F.R.I.E.N.D.S

What happens when you watch a whole series at one stretch, non-stop?

Let’s try it out with ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ this time.

… …

It was a big weekend, and I had no plans whatsoever with anyone alive or dead, from this world or otherwise, in real or even in my fantasy.

So, in order to stop my mind from feeling low and depressed, I started watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. One after the other, each episode indulged me to watch more and except for a few “necessary” times, I didn’t get up from my bed during the whole long weekend.

By now, I would have seen this series several dozens of times, but still it’s my favorite pass time.

But as soon as I finished all the available seasons of this series, something weird started to happen with me. I started behaving strangely for a couple of days after. It was no longer my world that I was living in, it was the world of F.R.I.E.N.D.S that I had fallen into.

All my surroundings and my behavior changed to match to some or other character from the series. And reading the following scenes, you’d surely understand it had been weirdly funny:

– As soon as I opened the door to my house, I’d announce my arrival in some funny way, expecting my friends to be present in the hall. Although, I live alone.

– I’d want to go to the coffee bar all the time with my (fictitious) friends.

– While sitting alone in my room, suddenly I’d jump up to tell something really interesting I remembered by saying ‘Hey! Guess what!’ or ‘You know what…’ but then I’d realise there’s no one around and would keep that thought to myself.

– Whenever I’d see someone appealing, I’d instantly speak up, ‘Hey everyone check out the…’ and then realise I was speaking to myself.

– Unknowingly, I’d start singing “I’ll be there for you…” Or while playing guitar, out of tune, I’d start playing the intro music, surprisingly in tune.

– I’d suddenly realise that life without real friends is so miserable and that I’d been living such a life since a long time.

– Suddenly I’d choose a character similar to me and start quoting his dialogues everywhere. Everywhere.

– I’d pay more attention to details and try to say something sarcastic, the moment I get a chance. And then smile like an idiot as no one else would have understood that. (Remembering Chandler)

– I’d make a loud expression saying “I don’t share food!” whenever someone tried to take a bite out of my plate. Just to laugh later to see other’s shocked faces. (Remembering Joey)

– I’d clean the mess out of my house every weekend and will go all crazy on people who move things from the places. That’s actually me, even without watching friends. (Still, remembering Monica.)

– Sometimes, I plan a wicked trick with my friends, let them fight with each other. Then again use some sort of trickery to resolve things between them. I love playing mind games. But then am good at heart and can’t see bad things happening to others, so I help them make better choices. But things make me hard to understand. (Remembering Phoebe)

– Sometimes, I just can’t stop bragging about things and showing off my knowledge, on topics that no one is interested in.

– Thanksgiving, or any festival for that sake, are not fun unless you have the right conpany.

– Watching from the window, checking out the opposite balconies is fun. But not so much without friends nearby or without the ugly naked guy.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S is a television sitcom, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, distributed by Warner Bros. All rights are reserved by them.

Difficult Expressions: Love vs. Hate

There are tons of expressions that we can express through various gestures, signs and sounds. But expressing each of those expressions takes different level of confidence and inclination from our inside. If not found, we would find it difficult to express those expressions freely to that person.

So, which expression is difficult to express when compared to the other? The act of expressing should be to the person for whom that expression was made in the first place.

This battle is between two most felt feelings in the world – Love and Hate.

… …

Love. A feeling so strong that can be expressed in tons and tons of ways to the person for whom we feel so. Sometimes, it can even be expressed without doing anything. And the person for whom we feel so, often can feel or sense our feelings for them.

Hate. A feeling equally strong as love, again which can be expressed in several ways to the person we hate. And the other person mostly understands that we hate them unless we hide our feelings through fake expressions and false greetings.

Often love is difficult to hide from people, but the other person might not understand your feeling and can confuse it with something else.

Hate can be confused, though very rarely, with greed, selfish desires and a feature of our nature. But, it can be faked and kept hidden from the person we hate using acted expressions of care and gratitude.

Both expressions have their own definition and complexities, which when mixed with human desires and intentions, can create a compound, altogether a new feeling. But if all other factors are kept constant, and we talk only about expressing our love or our hate for the person to the person himself / herself, then we can compare which of the two expressions is difficult to express – generally speaking.

Often Love wins the battle and the title of being a difficult expression to express of the two expressions in question. It is easy for us to express our hate to the person we hate. Why so? Well, there are reasons, very clear.

Love is often misunderstood by us. A casual liking or a temporary attraction for someone is often labelled as Love. And for this reason, it is often failed expression or a feared one as we feel that our love might turn out to be something else or might be misunderstood.

As we love the person, we get scared about our expression not expressed properly. We don’t want our loved one to feel sad, or leave us, or hate us in turn. That’s why, we are more conscious and, thus, more scared.

On the other hand, hate is often expressed with disgust or anger in a surge. We don’t care for the person. We don’t care if the person understands us differently than the way we want. We don’t care if the person gets hurt by us or doesn’t talk to us ever… And that is why, we don’t carry burden while expressing hate to someone.

But, even hate can be tricky to express, if hate is mixed with other factors such as our nature to be likable with everyone around us, or hate mixed with care for the person, or gratitude towards other person’s good nature against our hate… All this can make expressing hate complicated.

If you have any such incident where you had difficulties expressing your love or hate, share with me…

According to you, which feeling is difficult to express for you? Love? Or Hate?

The “Perfect Time” Trap

A trap of waking up at the rounded up time in the clock.
… …

The “Perfect Time” Trap is that when one decides to wake up at a time which is a round figure, they tend to never wake up at any time as they always mark a subsequent time as rounded time compared to current time.

What really helps this is that you wake up at any time in the clock, your definition for a perfect figure time changes.

If you wake up at 6:37, you wanna wake up at 6:40. When it is 6:40, you wanna wake up at 6:45, a more complete figure.

If you wake up at exactly 7:00, a rare scenario, you will take several mins to see the clock, which will again be a non-rounded time, say 7:09. Now you wanna wake up at 7:30…

I go through this everyday. And somehow, I have to let go of my desire to wake up at a perfect time…

First of all, I’d be dreaming about some weird thing which will wake me up early than the time I had expected. So I’d think of a better time to wake up and go to sleep again. Again, all sorts of weird dreams will come up. I’ll somehow get out of those, but it will be too late and the time would have ran way ahead. Desperate to wake up at a perfect time, I’d dig inside the blanket yet another time, this time half awake and counting the time. If I wake up on time this time, I’d still not be happy because anyway I wanted to sleep more.

The only way to come out of this is to wake up at whatever time you open your eyes without seeing the time. Taking another nap for a few minutes more is nothing but a trap. Don’t fall for it… The sand in the hourglass never forms a flat surface on its own.

I say this to me every night and do the same thing every morning. As if, in the morning my mind is not in my control and forgets all my talks from the night earlier. It starts functioning on its own wishes and the result is that I’m always late for everything in the morning.

And now, it has become so normal for me – to wake up late – that the day I break from the trap by waking up at exactly a perfect numerical time, I feel accomplished! 😀

So have you been waiting for a perfect time to fo something? A perfect time to start that book, to leave that sucking job, to propose her, to give that guy a tight slap, to start that new business idea or to start something you really wanna do?

Then do it… There’s no perfect time to start.

Till then, I’ll just get on with that extra 5 mins of sleep. The perfect time to wake up is right now (for you), never (for me). 😉

P.s.: I was waiting to publish this on a perfect time… I’m so obsessed with perfection that doesn’t matter! 😛