If you have an addictive personality …

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, December 11, 2021

I have an addictive personality.

There, I said it. I acknowledge it.

It’s apparently somewhat genetic, possibly stemming from one of my several labels — “Adult ADHD,” “anxiety,” “chemical depression,” “doesn’t know whether to be intro- or extroverted in the moment,” “Please do not press the red button” and “Florida State Seminoles fan.”

A brief stroll through my home would let the careful (or even casual) observer know that I have a love for and even fascination with hot sauces of all varieties, coffee blends, cigars/pipes, pocket knives, books on just about any subject matter, movies, music and art.

A more careful observer would note that many of my books and films have similar themes — history, the military, horror, theology and the Bible.

You’d see that my varied coffees tend to be medium to darker blends, as do my cigars and pipe tobacco.

My knives are varied and most of my guitars — as much as I love them — probably have layers of dust on them.

I am addicted to many things.

Hello, my name is Brett, and I am an addict. I am addicted to coffee, Coke Zero (or whatever it’s called now), reading, drawing, listening to music, eating hot sauce and other spicy stuff … and the list goes on.

It’s perfectly fine to enjoy things, but there is a fine line, as well. At what point does enjoying something reach loving it, and loving it then reach having an unhealthy obsession with it.

I look forward to a lot of “little things” — like making a cup of one of my favorite coffees and sitting down with a book I’ve been wanting to read. But if my head is pounding, my hands are shaking and I can’t wake up because I haven’t had coffee, maybe it’s become an addiction — an unhealthy obsession.

OK, OK, I can hear you telling me I’ve stepped over the line there, but is it not true?

C. S. Lewis used the perverted approach to sexuality to illustrate much the same point:

There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent their time looking at pictures of food and dribbling and smacking their lips … Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally [strange] about the state of the sex instinct among us? (Mere Christianity)

Are we obsessed with — addicted to — the wrong things? What if we were instead obsessed with loving God and loving others, instead? I propose that to be a healthy addiction.

Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.