If you truly want to measure the severity of an addiction, you don’t look at the amount and frequency of the abuse, but rather the way a person reacts when they are without it.
I have never liked Coffee and so I don’t drink it. To me it tastes like dirty socks and although I am constantly surrounded by a Dunkin Donuts or a Starbucks every other square block of my life, the craze never sucked me in. I have however, seen what it does to people when they don’t have it. A good friend of mine recently quit drinking coffee and described the withdrawal as such:
“On a mental level I felt at first extremely giddy, like I was high and then suddenly I crashed and my mind was a blender of thoughts swooshing around. All of my senses were heightened and I felt over-stimulated to the point of insanity. Then I crashed again and felt dull and dead inside.”- M. F.
This was after eight hours of no coffee. Eight hours.
I’m not immune to the caffeine bug however. I would drink one, sometimes two sodas in the morning to wake me up. Never more than two, never after 3pm. Knowing how bad soda is in general, I decided that I was going to stop drinking it. I knew that I would still need to replace the caffeine at least and since my love for coffee was non-existent, I opted for tea instead, Vanilla Chai to be exact.
Switching was easier than quitting, but I did start to notice by day three of being off of soda, that my body was beginning to exhibit signs of withdrawal. The most common symptoms were headaches, rapid heartbeat, irritability, and oddly enough, my eye started twitching. Now that could have been attributed to the fact that I spend hours in a day staring at a computer screen; but I’ve always done that so I’m going to keep the eye twitching in my list of symptoms.
We all know that addiction rears its ugly head through the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, drugs (both prescription and non-prescription), food, shopping, adrenaline and even people. These are just some of the most common themes but there are many more. There are even people addicted to things like hand-washing and cleaning which is often more associated with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) but still, it’s an addiction and when taken away, it exhibits the downright nastiest of side effects.
What is it about some people who have the strength to quit something cold turkey; walking away from a 10, 20 or even 50-year habit versus someone who tries and tries to quit but can’t seem to last more than a few days?
“You have to want to quit more than what you’re trying to quit. I walked away from chewing tobacco fifteen years ago, yet I’m around it everyday. I just remind myself that what I want and crave even more than tobacco is the strength to NOT want it. We can choose to be a slave to what we crave or we can choose to walk away. I believe that its 100% mind over matter.”- D.T.
So my fellow readers, what do you think? Do you think it’s all in your head? Do you think that anyone can quit a bad habit if they want too badly enough, or do you think it depends on the habit? Is quitting soda, coffee or nicotine easier than quitting heroine, cocaine or painkillers? Why or why not?
I don’t have the answer, but I do know that with all my physical symptoms from quitting soda, the thing that keeps me strong through the day is constantly reminding myself that I don’t want it. That what I want more than anything else in the world is for it not to have control over me. (And that I will most likely drop at least 20 lbs in time for my sister’s wedding)
“I just try to keep my mind busy by doing as many things as possible with my free time so I don’t have to think about it. That got me through the first year.”- M.L.
A good question to ponder is how do we protect our youth from forming bad habits and taking on addictions? In my personal opinion I think that an active child is a healthy child and not just in the physical sense. Keeping their minds active as well keeps them from wanting to stimulate or dull their senses in other ways. I’ve always thought that if you don’t find a hobby, sooner or later, you’ll find an addiction. After all, idle hands are the devils workshop.
What’s your poison?
An interview with actress, Ellie Cutright
“The Dust That Floats Behind The Sky” is an official selection for the Fifth Annual Charleston International Film Festival. This is your first experience acting on film and you are already hitting the circuit. That doesn’t happen to many people, how do you feel about that?
I am excited beyond belief; nervous, proud, anxious, and feeling accomplished!
Tell me about your role in the film, what did you like about it?
My character is Caroline, a teenage girl who starts out normal but then gets lost in the dark world of drugs that she can’t seem to escape from. The choices she makes lead her on a rollercoaster and it stops with a life-changing event. She is complex in that she is both strong and broken. This role was a bit more difficult than the roles I have played on stage, but that’s what made it so enticing. The thing I enjoyed most about playing Caroline was that she was the complete opposite of myself. Everything about what she was going through was completely foreign to me, so it required a lot of acting on my part as well as great direction from Charlotte Savage. It was quite a learning curve.
What was the most challenging part of learning how to act on film?
I think the most challenging part of learning how to act on film was getting used to the flexibility! I was used to doing live theater so if someone was to do something wrong or miss a line, you always had to be ready to jump in and save them; but with film I had to remind myself not to go off on some weird rambling because it was written a certain way and they had the option of starting over until it was the way they imagined!
How long have you been an actress and what drew you to do this kind of work? Did you go to school for it and if so, where?
I did my first play when I was six years old and I had always taken drama class at my high school; but I would say the time I started considering myself an actress was in 7th grade, three-and-a-half years ago! I was originally drawn to acting because I had fun doing it and it was my favorite class at school. I went to showbiz school at South of Broadway Theatre in North Charleston where I performed in several plays including, “Power Play” which received rave reviews because of its subject matter about High School bullying and violence. I realized then I enjoyed taking on roles that provoked a response.
What do you hope to achieve in your career as an actor?
I would just like to keep acting a part of my life as long as I can! I would love to become famous and make a career out of acting, but I really just want to make sure it stays something I love to do and not something I feel like I have to do.
Why is acting important to you?
Acting is important to me because it’s a way to just forget about the bad things going on around you; leave all that at the door and just be happy! There’s a freedom of expression that it comes with and it never grows old.
Tell me about the people you worked with on the set of the film. Who do you like working with and why?
I worked with so many talented people on set, Cierah Sargent is a phenomenal actress; Charlotte Savage is an incredibly inspiring Director and Writer; Owen Hamilton is dedicated and professional but also fun to work with. They are amazing at what they do and were really patient with me in teaching me how to work on camera and how to get comfortable with the subject matter. I feel so privileged to have gotten the chance to work with them. I never would have thought in a million years I would be part of this wonderful group of talent! I loved every minute of it. I felt lucky to be surrounded by people who were so professional. They really love what they do and are very dedicated to their work and that speaks volumes to me. It was the kind of experience where you can’t wait to wake up and go to work everyday because you know you will be surrounded by talent and greatness.
As an actor, do you have any advice you’d like to give to aspiring actors?
Advice I would give to aspiring actors is to never give up, if this is something you like to do then chase it, don’t bring yourself down by thinking your not good enough. But, at the same time don’t assume you are the best, there is always room to grow!
Click here to see the Trailer for The Dust That Floats Behind The Sky
THE DUST THAT FLOATS BEHIND THE SKY
Wednesday, April 11th Block 2 ~ 9:00pm
Drama (24 mins.)
SC, World Premiere Director/Writer: Charlotte Savage
Producers: Owen Hamilton, Charlotte Savage, and Marissa Power
Cast: Cierah Sargent, Ellie Cutright, Mya Long and Kennedy Coupe
Synopsis: Life-long friends, Caroline and Kylie, grow up from children playing to teenagers lost in a world of drugs. We see them experience the first thrill of rebellion, the pleasure of temptation, and destruction of their idealistic lives as Caroline is faced with a life-changing event.