[noun; ~ Pronunciation: /uh-dik-shuh n/]
- Definition: Anything you need to take/use/consume in order to keep your body happy, while in fact most addictions cause health damage. Talk about a paradox…
“All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation” – W. H. Auden
My lips are doomed. But before I come to that, let me open this post by explaining the title with a cute little anecdote in which I make fun of French people only to help an old man grow some confidence (no offence to the French, though – you have a lovely country).
Once I worked in a store where we sold all kinds of household appliances and items. Among those items were drinking glasses. Long-drink glasses, but also glasses for juice, water, wine (red, white, pink), champagne, everything.
One day an old man entered the shop and asked me if I could help him find the right glass to drink port from (that’s what us Dutch folks call wine from Portugal, but I couldn’t find a decent English translation. At least now you know what I mean if I write “port” in this post).
I showed the old man the right glasses and thought he’d be happy. Instead, he had a sad look in his eyes as he stared down at his future purchase. I asked him what was wrong and he explained his worries: “My doctor tells me I have to drink a glass of port every night, as it’s apparently good for my heart, but I am afraid that will make me an addict. Do you think you’re an alcoholic if you drink wine every day?”
I told him if drinking one glass of wine every day would make you an alcoholic, the entire French nation would be so.
Which is probably not true, but at least it made him laugh. He was obviously relieved, especially after I confessed I’d rather have to drink a glass of port each day than take pills for the same purpose.
But his anxiety set me thinking about addictions. Which is funny, because this happened at least five years ago.
Something else happened, though, and only a few weeks back. I talked to my eldest sister about how my (doomed!) lips are constantly dry and painful, and she asked me if I use lip balm. I confessed to doing so “even more since they hurt so bad.”
She told me to quit using it. I told her I thought she was nuts. She told me lips produce a natural form of balm but stop this when you use a lot of chapstick. I told her I saw an item on TV explaining this was an urban legend. She then asked me who I believe in more: the TV or someone with a real medical background? (She’s a dentist).
At this point I stopped arguing, thinking to myself she’s wrong anyway.
But my lips didn’t get better and suddenly I remembered the old man in the shop. He clearly wasn’t an addict, but it made me think of what an addiction is, exactly. Addictions come in all shapes and sizes, but you know you’re addicted when it’s something you can’t stop doing, because your body (or mind – but that’s part of your body) keeps asking for more.
I then realised I am a lip balm-addict! I’m burning through chapsticks as if I’ve got nothing better to do, and my lips keep asking for more and more. And more.
They’re like two tiny sponges sucking up all balm within seconds, only to proceed to beg for more and repeat the process.
So now I am trying to lay off the lip balm. Which is frustratingly difficult (I never realised how much of the stuff I actually use on a daily basis! It’s ridiculous!). Even taking the photo for this post was heinous, because I really wanted to use some (my lips are in agony!), but I told myself I can’t. I’m cutting back on the balm, people! I have let go of my arrogance and decided to listen to my sister for a change.
I am not sure how long it’ll take before my lips are painless and naturally moist again, but I’m relentless. I refuse to enter W. H.’s mentioned damnation because of something as silly as lip balm!
Chocolate, on the other hand, might be worth being doomed for. Maybe I should try that, instead.