Moby on Drugs, Booze, Insomnia and Happiness

By Kirwan Gray 05/27/11

“Is it quick, desperate, obsessive grabbing happiness? Or is it patient, long-term sustainable happiness?”

The Mobe in a pensive moment.
Photo via torrentfreak

Music site Spinner ran a revealing interview with Moby recently, in which the nerdy musical iconoclast candidly discussed his long-time addiction to drugs and drink. The singer's latest release, Destroyed, is even based on an addiction-related theme. He composed it during late night bouts of insomnia in hotel rooms around the world. “I'm very much clean and sober now,” he told Spinner, “but I've spent most of my adult life not being that. What fascinates me about addiction and obsessive behavior is that people would choose an altered state of consciousness that's toxic and ostensibly destroys most aspects of your normal life, because for a brief moment you feel okay.” Like most addicts, he is sensitive to the social stigma the disorder can still provoke: “I find it really odd when people ostracize addicts, and say, ‘That dirty alcoholic,’ or ‘That dirty drug addict.’ All they're trying to do is get through the next 48 hours and not feel terrible.”

Moby also speaks of “repurposing insomnia,” a sleep disorder from which he has long suffered. He says that the lessons he has learned in battling insomnia could apply equally well to sobriety: “I have this ability to take adversity and make it worse. Insomnia sucks. But to lie in bed and be anxious and depressed and upset that I can't sleep is to take something that sucks and make it worse. So that's why I'd rather just try to get up and work and not stare at the ceiling.”

Ultimately, says the singer, it all comes down to how you define the idea of happiness in your life: “Junk food is very seductive, but I know if I eat a lot of junk food—even if it makes me happy in the short-term—it won't make me happy in the long-term. Whereas, healthy food might not be as seductive, but I actually enjoy eating it and it creates a state that can be sustained and I can experience happiness for a while. And I feel like almost everything in my life can be looked at that way. Is it quick, desperate, obsessive grabbing happiness? Or is it patient, long-term sustainable happiness?”

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