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How-To overcome an addiction?

 article about How-To overcome an addiction?

This article belongs to Addictions theme.


No. No. And no! I'm not a psychologist, I don't know anything about researches on this topic, I know nothing about the following theory working in practice, and most certainly know I nothing about your specific problem. But I do know that except for never getting addicted in the first place, the easiest way to overcome an addiction is to follow the logical steps.

Seldom does it matter how you started participating in an activity that later on turned to an addiction. It really does not matter. An addiction is a self-inflicted obsession and obsessions take time to develop.

Does it matter that you started smoking alone on a trip? Does it matter others started smoking in social environment? It matters only in terms of how you explain others why you can't quit. But it still doesn't matter. No. What does matter is why you have been doing this particular activity for the past year (for example)? What is the reason? What motivates you? Where you usually do it? At what time? Are you alone or together with someone? What's your bank balance like usually? How's your girlfriend doing? Or do you have a girlfriend at all? No? You're doomed. Okay, let's go on.

See this theoretical example about a person with two main addictions -

  • He started smoking when he was travelling the world alone.
  • He continued smoking for the next three weeks because everyone else did and nobody spoke his language anyway, smoking in awkward situations was easy.
  • He was introduced to gambling and mainly poker by a friend of his.
  • He continued playing poker in hopes to become a better player by learning and practising.
  • He usually smokes the most when being alone " working or doing anything else.
  • He usually plays poker the most when he has had enough of work or to take a moment for himself.
  • He doesn't have any motivation to quit smoking...neither does he have any motivation to smoke, except for the fact that after years of smoking, it's easier to continue than to quit.
  • He does have motivation to quit gambling and playing poker, yet life often brings him back to the situation where he really wants to do it.
  • He doesn't like to exercise much, and the more he smokes, the less he wants to eat
  • While playing poker, it's common he doesn't eat for hours, just smokes every once in a while.

    We could add that this person also watches a lot of tv, usually alone. And we could add that this is one lousy description of any one person. But bare with me.
    Thousands of books have been published to help you overcome your specific addictions, psychiatrists are hired to help you, rehab centres have been created to help you and fill their wallet at the same time. In other words, if you want help, you can find as much paying help as you can afford.

    But the truth is, all you really need is to look into yourself and discover what has caused you to have an addiction anyway. And go on from there, by yourself, or with a help of Julian Taber's book Addictions Anonymous.

    Let's come back to the sample person with two addictions. As a first thing you should notice is that there usually is no such thing as one addiction. And the main thing you should have noticed while reading about the person's smoking and gambling (and tv) is that they are all caused by the same thing and at some point all of your addictions start to power each other. Like in this case - watching tv doesn't give you any exercise, lack of exercise and no interest in gaining weight gives way to smoking. Being alone, sitting in a room with your PC, playing poker and smoking at the same time, then watching some tv and smoking again. It's all related.

    The real cause of any addiction - LIFE. Thus the easiest way to help yourself to recover from any addiction is to change your life. Stop watching so much TV (did you know that a recent research showed the link between watching a lot of TV and depression?), go out more, do things, do more things, socialize, travel, don't give yourself too much free time (it's not useful anyhow, unless you REALLY need to take a rest), change the way you think.

    I know changing your life - it's a lot easier said than done. But if you have addictions, this all by itself should show that addictions are just bare symptoms. The main problem is your life that needs fixing. And you should start with that. Call me stupid, call me ignorant, say I'm simplifying things - I definitely am (simplifying things). But aren't the simple things easier to fix than simple things turned into names that scare even your dumb-as-hell dog Jerry?

    When you start to talk about your addiction as a "devastating illness", "compulsive gambling" where you are unable to "to resist the impulse to gamble" (that's what was said about gambling addiction on recoveryconnection.org) then you really can't do anything by yourself and you need to start looking for help elsewhere. Just because you start thinking you actually have an illness and your healthcare plan should cover the cost of your treatment. That's when things start to go to hell. Keep it simple, Stupid.


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