Those two words have been used almost interchangeably for a good long time and by very learned people as well as those who aren’t so learned. I personally believe there is no difference between the two, but I’ve heard true addicts insist that a compulsion isn’t as severe as addiction - as in “I’m not addicted to alcohol, I’m a compulsive drinker - there’s a difference!” I don’t agree…
A compulsion is defined by Answers.com as:
‘An irresistible impulse to act, regardless of the rationality of the motivation.
An act or acts performed in response to such an impulse.’
An Addiction is defined as (same source):
‘The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or (sic)involved in something. ‘
Since there truly doesn’t seem to be a difference, I’ll tell you where I’m heading with this: I am an addict. A fiber addict. I am completely irrational when it comes to such things. I adore fabric, I adore yarn. I would play with them all day if I could. I have an irrational need to be surrounded by color in the form of fabric (beautifully saturated cottons, especially) and yarns. I suspect that it would be enormously difficult for me to turn down a truly wondrous yarn, even if there were no food in my house (oh, well, maybe it’s not quite that bad - yet, anyway!).
I now have the yarn and patterns for 4 lace shawls purchased and waiting for me. Along with patterns for at least 6 more lace shawls that I’d love to make and wear. I’ve only managed to make 2 lace shawls since May. Add to that, I made my first shawl, a prayer shawl, in January/February: it’s not lace, but I love wrapping myself in it.
I can’t imagine that I can produce more than 4 in a year, along with the sewing for Nana Sadie Rose, and my other miscellaneous knitting projects, my job, my family, and a little something called sleep.
But I’m surely going to try to make all four every year…I guess that means I’m addicted to shawls, too?
I have high hopes for something to happen this winter: my office closes whenever the weather is bad enough that the local community college closes. I am dreaming of a very white winter…lots of closings, so I can play with my yarn, knitting shawls, listening to Mozart, and drinking Earl Grey tea, while my Siamese sits next to me just watching and waiting for me to miss her little paw sneaking out to catch the yarn.
Oh I have got it bad…