Recently I read My Booky Wook by Russell Brand and I thought I would write a little blog about addiction as it is a subject I often think about; and also about other books I have found interesting or useful that relate to this topic in my own life. Firstly, what I liked the most about 'My Booky Wook' was Brand's honesty about his addictions and escapades. He goes into detail about a lot of different episodes of sex, drugs and narcissism whilst all the while being a fairly likeable character. I must have read it in about two days and have to admit I found it very enjoyable, perhaps because I felt he was a kindred spirit in the way his mind works, or perhaps partly because of the birds eye view it offers into a celebrity's life that most people can't but help find so fascinating.
You may or may not know that I am finishing a Psychology degree this academic year, and I think the study of human behaviour and how the mind works has a big influence on the songs I write, particularly the lyrics. I find that writing lyrics from different psychological viewpoints and extremes of emotion is really interesting, and writing and performing those songs really allows you to become that character for a short space of time.
One re-occurring theme in some of my first-person-viewpoint lyrics is addiction and compulsive behaviour, and this is why My Booky Wook was particularly interesting to me. I'm also now doing my final year research project on habits of risky behaviour. I have written 2 songs so far around the addiction theme and its associations: 'Kick Out Of You' and my new song 'What You Do To Me'. I think that although not everyone necessarily develops a dangerous addiction in their lifetime, there are unavoidable addictive tendencies in natural human behaviour that many of us have to deal with or fight.
A lot of people who know me would say I have an addictive personality, and that I am very 'all or nothing'. I usually do things with 100% intensity weather it's something not so great for you, like religiously drinking coffee (my current vice) or things that are good for you like giving up smoking (I used to smoke for a year but this book made me quit for good), to healthy eating (this book turned me into a health freak) and exercise (I did the whole P90X course and turned into a lean machine ;D even Bruno Mars mentions it in his song!).
However, I like to think that if you do have this addictive streak (for further reading on this you could start here) that you can turn it into a positive characteristic, that empowers you to succeed at things you are passionate about. You can become almost addicted to achieving a goal, or getting the most out of life. I've certainly found that when I'm totally driven and working hard at my music career, my other addictive tendencies are dramatically reduced, and I'm happy.