“Your lights are on, but you’re not home 
Your mind is not your own 
Your heart sweats, your body shakes 
Another kiss is what it takes 
You can’t sleep, you can’t eat 
There’s no doubt, you’re in deep 
Your throat is tight, you can’t breathe 
Another kiss is all you need.” 

I guess Robert Palmer said it best “Might as well face it you’re addicted to love.” And if you really listen to the lyrics of this 1985 classic it’s really about the crazy, surreal punch to the gut that only love can give.

It is estimated that 10-15% of the population have an addictive personality and although I don’t give much merit to these studies it does strike me as odd that the term “addictive personality” is usually linked to a set of negative behaviours that are socially unacceptable yet mainstream society issues a free pass to certain addictive personality traits or characteristics that serve it’s own need.

The best way for me to try and get my point across is to push the boundaries of your imagination and good taste…ready?…

Imagine inviting me over for late afternoon coffee and conversation. If during the course of our dialogue I revealed I was a recovering cocaine addict, upon first hearing my revelation you may feel a number of instinctive gut reactions? Sympathy, aggression, fear, empathy or perhaps an air of uncertainty?

Now imagine the same scenario but this time during our conversation I reveal I was a recovering sugar addict. I doubt it would impact you in the same way and even if it did you certainly wouldn’t feel the need to run and withdraw the sugar filled biscuits, cakes, scones or the spoon full of sugar offered to sweeten my coffee.

Sugar is something like Justin Bieber’s music in that there is nowhere you can turn where you aren’t exposed to it and if that wasn’t bad enough, sugar has over 50 different secret identities including names like; muscovado, dextrose, glucose, fructose, lactose and malt. Both refined white powder industries rake in billions per year so we all know neither product is going to disappear from our shelves or street corners any time soon.

Originally I wanted to piece together some horrifying statistics to show how sugar related deaths kill just as many people as cocaine related deaths, but I don’t want to give glory to one set of awful death related statistics over another.

Once upon a time I was 5 stone/31 kg/70 pounds heavier and there is no doubt that part of this was due to my unhealthy, obsessive love affair with the seductively sweet Häagen-Dazs strawberry cheesecake ice cream or my favourite late night Coco Pops cereal fix.

I don’t know if I am qualified enough to self diagnose and say I have an “addictive personality” but I was regularly consuming a product that had the potential to increase my chances of tooth decay, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and my waistline.

It is alleged that most people with addictive behaviours develop this condition because they are looking for something that is consistent and dependable; this could be in the arms of more socially acceptable addictions like work, shopping or exercise or the more taboo addictions such as alcohol, gambling or pornography.

It just seems unfair that I have a “government approved” legal addiction which means that mainstream society is totally okay with me consuming excess amounts of refined sugar in a coffee house but would attach a much heavier social stigma if I happened to frequent my local crack house. Clearly I am not using this post to promote the benefits of cocaine but I do think a more open and empathetic approach should be applied to all those who have a compulsive addiction no matter what it is.

Until next time.