Every time I felt bored, depressed and sometimes happy, I rushed to stay in front of the TV set. Everyone at home noticed I never left the TV remote as I sat on the sofa, directly opposite the set. My siblings thought I followed numerous programs shown on different stations at the same time; little did they know, I was not watching the TV.
Children, teenagers and adults- in fact, everyone, got obsessed with their programs and I got obsessed with something else-The remote. My fingers could not but press a button as my gaze was on the screen. As everyone got addicted to operas and several TV programs, I got addicted to making cycles with the stations. There were times I made over six complete cycles, only to stop or get suspended by a shocking interruption of the power supply. Nobody wanted to watch the set with me, because even as I grew older, and some programs greatly caught my attention, I had to pause to watch them, somehow, my fingers pressed a button that changed the channel and everyone gave reactions that expressed how upset they were. I noticed sooner that my siblings and cousins began hiding the remote whether I sat with them or not, since they could no longer watch an interesting show without a sudden interruption from my obsessed right thumb.
When I could no longer hold the remote for long, or even at all, I left for somewhere else to search for an activity to change my current state. Then one day, I was likened to a Drug-addict. This was where the questions rushed in, or rather out of my mind. My thoughts got filled with them. ‘Could I possibly be acting like a drug-addict?’, ‘Why couldn’t I stay to watch the TV without holding on to its remote?’, ‘Does the brain of a drug-addict react the same way mine does to my kind of addiction?’ or, ‘Was I even addicted?’
Stories of addicts who lost their mental health to drugs like cocaine, heroin, marijuana and the likes, have been heard but I have not come across any about a TV addict- let alone a remote addict, losing their minds. A drug addict would definitely be treated differently from me. It is known that these guys lose control of themselves and get involved in damaging behaviours as they cannot resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause. Maybe at first, they took them because they wanted a new feeling and thought they could control how much and how often they took these drugs, but over time, their brains worked against them. These drugs have both short and long-term effects and that is just how these addicts are noticed sometimes. With one like heroin, nausea and severe itching may occur, and breathing is severely slowed which sometimes leads to coma and permanent brain damage. That is a whole lot already! With marijuana, the effects on the body differ, depending on methods of intake. Long-term effects of these drugs, especially the inhaled ones, include risks of lung infections, heart disease, stroke or mental health. They tend to worsen other health conditions too. With one known as methamphetamine, a long term effect is a severe dental problem. These drugs could damage the nerve cells, cause intoxication which hinders judgment, cause deaths, and, for the injection drug users, increase the risk of contracting infections as some share needles in a bid to get injected quickly. These are all dangerous effects.
Research studies have also shown negative effects of marijuana on drivers which have led to serious problems for others, including their loved ones. These addicts sometimes become unable to think by themselves. They find it difficult to make decisions even after the drugs wear out. What is more painful is when they become fully aware of the effects of these drugs, the danger and threats posed to themselves and others and are unable to stop. More so, the incessant use of certain drugs poses a threat to the finances of the users. How saddening it is that the depressed minds who go for these drugs to leave their terrible states, end up in worse depressed ones. Not only do they struggle with breaking free, they psychologically fight to belong to the good society, as they get stigmatized too. No good parent would want his ward hanging out with a drug addict. These guys go through a whole lot more than we know, especially when they want to let go and be free. A number of them want to be free
I do not support the abuse of drugs even to the point of addiction as we often see the negative effects of illegal drugs as punishments on the users and forget that we could be addicted to the legal ones too. Research has it that lots of legal drug users become abusers, and also, chronic use of some drugs can lead to paranoia, depression, anxiety, aggression and other problems. So even the legal drug addicts are not left out.
As a TV-remote addict, I was not into dangerous acts, but I realized that Addiction is when you cannot stop. I had to search for something to make and keep me happy and this time, it had to be one beneficial to others too.
Esther Oluwatuyi wrote in from firstname.lastname@example.org