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…”

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?!”

​When they say ‘Why’, Ask them ‘How’

A series of Office Psychology discussions about how people behave at your workplace and how you can handle those situations.

This particular discussion is about those cases where your superior starts getting upset about your particular decision (say unplanned leave or even planned leave in some cases).

… …

Many a times, at our workplace we find that other people start getting upset with our particular official decision. When we communicate that decision to them, they get scared, start making different types of arguments and conclusions and get us scared too.

If we do not handle that situation properly, possibility is that you may end up ruining your relations with that person or may end up canceling / reverting your decision, which is often disheartening to yourself and often your family.

And when you look back at your decision of reverting your decision in the past, you see it very clearly that there was no need to revert the decision and the situation could’ve been handled very easily, even with the decision that you made. That you got scared unnecessarily. That your colleague meddled with your mind in his fright.

So, what to do when we are in such situation?

The answer is simple – Ask questions. Yes, as simple as that.

Asking questions to your superior or questioning his conclusions is a good thing. Don’t get scared of him. And if he’s that type that he’ll make your office life hell if you raise your voice, why haven’t you left him already! You didn’t sign up for slavery, did you?

Let us discuss this with a very simple example – say taking a half-day / leaving office early than the usual time.

Obviously, your manager will get upset on hearing this 90% of the time. Sometimes, his getting upset would be valid, but still there’s hardly a possibility that your absence can’t be managed with other resources.

So when he starts telling you irresponsible on taking this decision or sharing your possibility of taking this decision with him, ask him questions. Ask him what are all the assignments which are due that day or in near future, and discuss with him how your absence for that period will affect those deliverables. Discuss the meaning of ‘Urgent’ status that they give to each and every assignment on hand. See to it that that urgent status is actually urgent, and not just superficially made by your boss.

Many a times, it will be the case that when you ask him the question, he will start faltering. He will lack on substantial evidence or explanation as to how your presence is actually required. He will not be able to justify his concern about your leave and thus, you’ll have your dilemma cleared to make that decision.

This is valid in various other scenarios, apart from taking a leave. Even in official decisions taken by you in your power can be questioned by your colleagues. The best way to tackle such oppositions is through asking questions without seeing their position.

After all, a lower rank on the grade doesn’t mean that you are dump compared to a higher rank person. The worst thing will be him giving out proper justification, and that will obviously teach you for good.

Go on, try this out in the next opportunity you get at your workplace.

Till then, hope you have fun working your but-t out.

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?

“I want my life to be like a movie!”

A small chat with (fictional) grandpa, and an advice about living life we ought not forget.

… …

xgikdy

I was sitting on my couch with TV remote in one hand and an expression on my face saying that I hated my life.

My Grandpa came in the room and sat on his chair. He watched me change the channel frequently which was almost every minute. Then he got up and went back to his room.

I was relieved thinking that another opportunity of talking with him was avoided. Phewww… I was bored already, spare me from yet another long lecture.

Soon after, he came out with his regular diary and started scribbling down.

I watched him for a while. He kept on scribbling something in his decade old diary. He did that a lot. And by a lot, trust me, a lot!

“Don’t you get bored doing that all the time?” I couldn’t resist myself from asking.

“Nope.” Said he without even looking up.

After another few minutes of changing the channels I asked him “How can you like your life when you have nothing exciting to do?”

He finished his last para without answering me anything. Then he kept his stuff aside and looked directly at me.

“It all depends on how you define excitement…”

I made a confused expression at him.

“Why do you think that there’s no excitement in my life?” he asked. His eyes behind his round glasses showed excitement already.

“All you do is roam around the house with no work to do. Half the times you keep on humming your old songs, which I don’t understand, and at times you write those stories and stuff in your diary. There’s no wow moment in your day or any shock moment at all. Sometimes you fall asleep sitting in your chair, which gets me so scared at times. Where’s excitement in all this?” I blabbered out.

“Is your life exciting enough for you?” he asked a question, keeping all my questions aside. I hated when he did that, but he will weave everything together I knew it.

“Nope. And that annoys me a lot. When I see in my past, there was lot of excitement all the time. New people to meet, new places to go, new things to learn… There was always something to look forward to. Now all I do is work all day long. There’s nothing to do on weekends but another kind of work. Nothing excites me. I miss da old times…” I said in a fashion, which felt weird afterwards.

He kept on looking at me for a while, then said “So how do you want your life to be like?”

I was waiting for this question. “I want my life to be filled with emotions and zest. I should not be having even a single second of boredom. One after other, there should be some or other adventure. Nothing should repeat in my life. Every new day should be a new episode of life. In a way, I want my life to be a movie…”

My eyes were gleaming with elation. My fantasies and dreams had rushed out of those tiny little imaginative eyes with a thrill on my face.

“Isn’t it already a movie?” he asked.

“No way! And even if it is, it is hell of a boring story!” I said.

“Hmm… You remember all of your days back in your past?” He asked.

“No. Just a few moments.” I answered.

“And why’s that?” he asked.

I wanted to say ‘How am I supposed to remember everything?’, but this was a trick question I knew it. So I just shrugged.

He continued “Your life is already a movie if you look at it. When you go back in your past, all you see is those moments which were extreme for you, be it anger, happiness or grief. You will remember only the best of episodes. And all the boring normal stuff will not come to your mind.”

“You feel bored in present. And fear that future will be more boring. You want twists and turns every minute in your life – like movies. But tell me one thing… How long is your favorite movie?”

“Around 3 hours…?” we both said together.

“And your life is stretched for more than 20 million times of that.”

He took a pause for letting me chew over that.

“You’ve not even reached intermission in your life. And you think that it’s boring already? If you scale down your whole life to 3 hours time, see how excitement fills up the empty spaces. It may not be as dramatic as an actual movie, but why don’t you make it that way?”

“My dear child, each one of us here… has a life like a movie story. Only the genre is decided by us. You like comedy, comedy it is. You like action movie, action it is. But if you stretch a movie to 70 years long life, there are bound to be empty spaces, boring frames in between. Accept that boredom and live on… Make the movie worth the ticket price.” 😉

He completed with a winking eye and went along humming his old song. I still couldn’t understand what he was singing, but yes, his words were engraved in my mind.

The Look

The bus was silent except for the artificial lady announcing arriving stations and occasional advertisements. People were settled. It was a long route with few stations and majority of the travelers used to travel till the last station of this route. It was the first bus on that route, early in the morning before the crowd of office commuters starts. Hence, there was always a calm in this particular bus.

And she used to love this calm, this serenity. She used to leave early than her time to catch this bus instead of the next which would be filled with noisy crowd, who all are in a rush to run fast towards a dead end called office. She had to bunk her college lectures to catch this bus, and no one knew that she was doing these dancing classes, but she never cared about others. She was a dreamer. And she had to pursue her dream, even if that would make people around her sad. Because, dancing was what made her happy.

She used to take this bus everyday, and almost knew everyone in the bus. Not by name, but by a character description she made for them out of sheer observation. There was a guy who always used to sit near that last seat window reading a book with headphones on his head. She had never seen him look outside his book. He came before her station and probably got down after her destination. So, he was more of a part of the bus for her.

There was one old man who used to sit next to the exit door, quiet and composed. He always used to stare out of the window. He would hardly talk to anyone who sat next to him. Once he saw him talk to a little girl and even smile a bit. But otherwise, he was a lonely man, probably away from his family.

Likewise, there was a whole family of commuters in that bus she knew so well that she could almost feel if anyone was missing someday, without looking through everyone inside the bus.

One day, she was late, and could catch the bus just at the last moment. That day, her regular seat was taken by another person, someone new. She was disappointed to lose her seat. She walked towards the end were there was empty space to stand. That day, she thought about all the things that she lost in her life due to not getting late.

Next day, she was on her usual time. And she got her seat well. But today, that new guy from a day before was sitting in front of her. She sat there without giving any look to him and casually avoided looking at him – her usual behavior with new people she met. A reserved behavior that the so called rich and reputable society had taught her.

While she was observing people around her, her eyes fall upon him sitting right in front of him. He was constantly gazing towards her chest. There was weird smile on his face as if he was daydreaming something. It totally made her uncomfortable. And she got up from there and went to sit somewhere else, where he could not see her directly.

Next day, again, that guy was sitting in front of her regular seat. She felt miffed, but had nowhere else to sit. At first she felt to go and sit somewhere else, but then she recalled her grandma’s advice to her that she should never run away from her problems and face them with brave heart.

So, she sat right in front of him. Today also, he looked towards her. His weird unfocused eyes gazing towards her made her annoyed. She even made an angry face at him, then scorned and stood up.

Next day, the sit in front of her regular seat was empty. She thanked God that that peeved guy hadn’t come. She sat there and started reading her book. While reading a humorous para, she looked up, smiling, when suddenly she saw that guy sitting on a seat two boxes away. From there, the guy was looking constantly at the another girl sitting in front of him.

She felt really miffed upon him and she straight up went to teach him a lesson. When she reached the guy and was about to shout at him, he got up and hit her. Their heads bumped and they both stepped away for a while. What happened next was an eyeopener for her.

The guy had sat down again after he hit her on her head. He clenched the seat tightly and stood up slowly, unsteadily. He was still looking constantly in front of him, while she was standing right next to her. He extended his arm in front of him and said “I am really sorry, I didn’t see you…” and then started laughing “…I couldn’t have seen you anyway you see!”.

He was talking to her but he never looked at her until she spoke “umm…”

He was blind, with proper looking eyes, but lost vision.

She said sorry to him. Her anger had washed away in the abasement she felt for thinking bad for that guy. Well, she misunderstood ‘the look’.

After that day, she never saw him again, but she had made a separate entry of her little encounter with him in her daily diary.

Living alone vs Living with a family

Living Alone vs Living with Family, which one would you prefer?

… …

When you live alone for long enough, you tend to develop mixed feelings for both these types of living habits.

I stayed away from my family for more than 5 years to complete my education. Thereafter, I have a job away from my family. However, mother or father or both do occasional visits to my place. And so do other relatives.

While I stayed with my family, I never had such thought in my mind. But now I am confused whether I like to stay alone more or with my family.

Look at my own-self argue with other regarding which lifestyle is better:

When we stay alone, we are totally free to do whatever we want. We can give our entire time to ourselves. There’s no one to give us any work, there’s no one to interrupt in our personal time.

While at the same time, there’s no one to talk to. There’s no one to take care of us when we are down with sickness or just depressed. There’s no one to look forward to when we are returning home. It feels lonely at times and depressing even.

But when we stay with our family, we can’t watch whatever we want on TV. Sometimes your favorite show coincides with that of someone in your family. (No you don’t have another TV and neither do you have recording facility). What if there’s someone elderly and their views about something are not the same as yours? What if all they talk about is God and your marriage? It’s better to stay alone than to handle this.

But then whom would you tell all the incidents from today? Whom would you play games with? Whom would you show the profile of your crush and ask for some ideas to approach her? Whom do you ask for a warm hug when you need it so dearly?

But then they invade your room without your permission! They keep on asking weird questions and annoy you. They use your things and change their places. They put their views above yours b’cuz they are elder. Their needs become your priority above your own personal pass time. Your free time gets occupied by their activities.

Nevertheless you were not going to do something great in that free time, were you? You were going to watch some stupid movie or waste your time organizing your library. Or you were going to go through all your friends’ updates and feel miserable about your life.

But then you missed that movie with your friends as you had to take your elder shopping. You missed your night out with your best friend as your family won’t allow you to do that. You couldn’t arrange that match at your house as your grandma won’t like it.

Yes, but no one is stopping you from enjoying. Family deserves your time too. And you can have lots of fun moments with your family too! And you can always mix your family and friends to enjoy events.

But you can’t enjoy the same way as you enjoy with your friends alone.

Vice versa applied too…

Yes but then there are lots of restrictions.

You consider them restrictions. They are only guidelines. For your own safety. And when we live with someone we have to take care of their needs to. Don’t your family takes care of you in all circumstances?

They do. But we don’t have to sacrifice our desires with friends.

Oh is it? Don’t you have to go with them even when you don’t want to? Doesn’t deciding a place to hangout makes you sick with all those arguments and discussions? Don’t you miss your brother or sister more when your friend doesn’t help you with something? You sacrifice in case of friendship too. And haven’t family members sacrificed a lot for you? Now don’t get me started on that…

Yes, but then as we grow up, we have our own views about life. We can’t follow someone else’s views. With change in time, we have to change our views. We have to accept new culture and move with it. We can’t live in past. But these elders at home won’t understand this.

True that. But that is generation gap. You have to make them understand. You have to prove it to them that what you think is actually valid and safe. It takes time and effort but remember that will help you too, when you’re on the other side of the table.

Do you think I wouldn’t have tried? I have tried explaining them my point but they always take the discussion to that point where it is question of their respect and seniority. And hence, we cannot speak anything further. Besides, don’t you think you lose your freedom while living with them?

Freedom is a relative word. What you consider freedom might not be freedom for me. While I might just solve all conflicts with a simple discussion with my family. There’s nothing a discussion can’t solve.

Yes, but discussions do not always come to your favour. While if you had been staying alone, there would be no need of these discussions.

But don’t you feel lonely at times while staying alone?

Yes, but I miss my carefree and independent life more…

But…

Their arguments would never end…! And I don’t think they will ever come to a conclusion either.
… …

What about you? Which lifestyle do you prefer – Living alone or Living with a family? Say in comments…