Sunday 4 December 2016

Brendan O'Connor: We need a rule book on the kissy kissy

Mid-life crisis

Published 17/02/2014 | 02:30

BREAKING THE RULES: Patsy from ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ is an extreme example of someone who needs guiding in the right direction
BREAKING THE RULES: Patsy from ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ is an extreme example of someone who needs guiding in the right direction

You often hear people who were/are alcoholics or addicts of some kind complaining that they feel they were born without the rule book. This leaves them adrift in life, unsure of how to respond to the kind of normal stuff the rest of us take for granted. They feel that everyone else has been given this implicit rule book which allows us to glide easily through life, with an inbuilt rule for every situation.

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This leads me to believe that I am possibly an addict, or else that the rest of us are just faking it a bit better than the addicts. I actually think the former could be the issue. I think I could very easily have been an addict of some kind, and who knows, maybe I am or I could become one yet. I kind of think everyone is potentially an addict. It's just a question of what you get addicted to. We all need crutches and distractions and escapes, but I suppose the trick is to try and find crutches that aren't going to ruin your life, and to try and convince yourself that these crutches work for you.

I go through phases when I rely on extreme routine and constant work, for example. My addictions vary according to the seasons and the workload at any particular time and the age of the children. All around me, I see men in certain phases of life who have tailored addictions that do not destroy them. Some of them cycle up mountains every weekend or burn themselves out in spinning classes. Some of them watch sport all the time and would bet on two flies going up a wall but manage to keep it in check.

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