Life Experiences

Addiction – Withdrawal

I watched a music video, which was a Tamil Song about drugs, addiction & rehabilitation almost a year back. Since it was in a different language I did not understand much of the lyrics, I only watched it because it was directed by one of my favorite directors – Gautham Menon and I really liked how he portrayed some people abuse their bodies with substance, while others don’t need it to get high. This guy in the video chooses not to indulge but was equally high with love.

The video particularly says: “Don’t destroy your body with substance that takes from you instead, inhale the love she gives you, a far more potent drug. A girl who can rehabilitate you from any addiction and then get you addicted to her love.”

The reason why I am writing about this video today is because I somehow came across it again and it got me thinking. It is not just substance or love that gets people high. There are so many things in this world that can get you high without abusing your body for it. We don’t pay much attention to it, but aren’t all our hobbies kind of an addiction to us. Hobbies by definition is something that we do in our free time. But when asked, we would choose these hobbies as the things we cannot live without.

Maybe addiction is not the right word we give for it. We just write it off as being hooked to a particular show, a song, a book and so on. In actuality, it is an addiction. If you think that you are not an addict, just try to switch off the show that you love after just one episode. If you are not able to do so. Then my friend, you are an ADDICT!

I remember the days when I binge-watched Castle and White Collar. And I was totally addicted to these shows. They don’t make shows like these anymore and so, I stopped watching shows altogether. Maybe they do, but they don’t hold my interest like these shows did. Anyway, who needs a show when you can read books. Not me.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Reading is also like any other kind of addiction. You find a book you like, you start with it, read each book in the series. Wait for the next book to release like any diehard fan would: sleep on the sidewalk of the bookstore on the night before the book releases, to open in the morning. So, you will be the first person to buy that book. I have seen videos and pictures of the people who waited out on the sidewalk all night long to buy the last book of the Harry Potter series. What would you call this, if not addiction?

To some, reading these books once, is not enough. And it is not like they don’t understand the story first time around, it is because they can’t get enough. If by chance people around you notice reading the same book twice, they cannot hold themselves back from saying: “Are you doing a revision?” Of course, they cannot understand the high we get out of reading our favorite books – not twice, I have re-read some books more than twice.

And once you are done with a series you liked so much so that, you lived through these books, you will start to feel the withdrawal. With Harry Potter, it was the worst kind of withdrawal for me. I started reading other fantasy books like Twilight Series. Back then, I was just fascinated with these books. Ask me now, my reaction would be a complete 180, after 10 years!

Point is, some books leave a very powerful impact on you. Once you complete that book, you will be looking for the next high. These books will only come once in a while. What you read in between is just to kill time. These books won’t make you feel as invested as your favorite books do. They are not the actual things; they are just your fallback options, until your next favorite book releases.

We don’t plan for these addictions, they just happen. It is up for us to reflect on our habits/ hobbies and decide if we should indulge in them or not.

By Saudhamini Mylaram

HR by profession. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do apart from gardening, cooking and driving.

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