I have recently been contemplating the difference between passion and addiction. When does something go from being a passion to becoming an addiction?
I have never really thought about this until I met this chap who is a pro poker player. While many would think of him as being addicted to poker, I wonder if it is really an addiction or merely a passion. I know he loves poker and I have noticed how his eyes light up when he talks about poker. He likes to watch poker while eating and spends some time almost every day playing the game. So, is he addicted or just passionate? (Interestingly, I seem to have developed a certain amount of interest in poker just by hearing about it. I even enjoyed watching poker videos while eating!)
I, on the other hand, love books and my eyes light up when I talk about books. I love reading while I am eating and need my daily fix of books. I also suffered from withdrawal when I could not blog for the past week. I had too many thoughts in my head which I needed to streamline by writing about them. So, am I addicted or just passionate?
The way I look at it, passion has a positive connotation while addiction has a negative connotation. So, someone who loves poker (often considered synonymous with gambling) would automatically be deemed an addict whereas someone who loves reading would automatically be considered passionate. Why not the other way around? Why is it so black and white? What about the grey areas? What about love? Could a person be addicted to another person as opposed to passionate about him/her?
I believe addiction is a term usually reserved for (so-called and actual) vices, such as, alcohol, drugs, sex, cigarettes, gambling etc. while passion is reserved for virtuous/innocuous activities, like, reading, travelling, writing etc. Perhaps, the reverse is also possible? Maybe I just love to drink but am not addicted to it? Maybe I am addicted to blogging and not just passionate about it?
What separates addiction from passion? If the test is the willingness to give something up forever, I would fail the test with respect to reading, blogging, travelling and writing, amongst others. If the test is withdrawal symptoms, I would again fail the test since I tend to get testy if I don’t read/ blog for a day or two. If the test is prioritisation, I would most likely fail. Given a choice, odds are that I will prioritise reading/blogging over any form of social/human interaction.
So, does that make me an addict or just extraordinarily passionate? I am starting to think that, at times, I may be jumping to conclusions too soon when I hear about other people’s passions/addictions. Perhaps, it is just a question of semantics.