Q: What Do Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, Jesse James and John Edwards have in common?
A: They discover too late that the thrill of an adrenaline rush is exceeded by the listless, dreariness of an adrenaline crash... a crash they will do anything to avoid.
An adrenaline rush makes you feel powerful, bulletproof and invincible. Power, fame, money and capturing sexy women all supply it. But as those acquisitions become more common place, it takes more to generate that rush. And then like its unnatural cousin, cocaine, the crash off it is so awful that you will do anything to avoid it. Few things help to avoid or at least stall that crash more than danger.
When you do find those activities you can become compulsive about them because what causes you to repeat compulsive behavior is that each time you engage in it, it causes a very brief adrenaline rush which is followed by relief and usually shame and a pledge to not engage in it again (think about the compulsive and tormented cocaine user, shopper or pornography addict who swears after each time he masturbates to it that he will delete all the files on his computer). But then the crash sets in and the hunger for another rush sets off another round of your compulsive and addictive behavior.
The B movie "Crank" is all about adrenaline rushes, crashes and compulsive behavior to keep the rush going.
What we see in the marriages of Woods, Sheen, James and Edwards is that early on they each intensely pursued the object(s) of their affection. But when they captured their prize and the chase stopped, when their partners "grew up" especially when children were added to the mix and finally when their partners had the gall to call these men on their childishness and even to say, "No" to them, their adrenaline highs all came crashing to the ground. It didn't help that all of these men have big egos and more than a streak of narcissism to make everything worse.
Part of the appeal of such men to the often unsuspecting women (who nevertheless should know better) they chase and marry is the thrill of being an object of intense adoration by a powerful man who could have anyone, but chooses you.
Have you ever tasted the thrill of an adrenaline rush? If so, what was it like when you came off it?