Help with addictions

There is never a quick fix for us to stop something we’ve done for years. Most things seem to be habit forming, in some cases become addictions. It’s never easy trying to break a habit.

Sleep is the tool that helps us control what we do in our daily routines. When we’ve had a good night’s sleep, we can handle most things. Affirmations are often used to retrain the subconscious and for us to break the habit.

My suggestions below should help:

  • If it’s caffeine you have a problem with, switch to alternative brands to break your addiction and say no to other products that contain caffeine, such as carbonated drinks and cola;
  • If you find it difficult to switch to another brand, try cutting down the amount of caffeine you drink, four cups are reduced to three, then two etc. until you’ve kicked the habit;
  • Another good example would be to look at triggers or markers that are connected to those habits. Write notes on what makes you trigger your bad habits;
  • Try and find replacements for your triggers or markers. For example, if you go out with friends who smoke, ask them not to smoke, or stay in with a friend who doesn’t and find something else to do;
  • If it’s alcohol you’re struggling with, don’t bring alcohol into the house, but if alcohol is already in the house, drink orange juice instead.

It’s important we look at the underlying problem, as to why we’ve become reliant. It could be stress at work, something from the past that has brought us to this place. Stress in a relationship, anything that leaves us feeling needy. It’s only in these times when we reach for things to make us feel better that we become reliant.

But as habits are picked up, they can also be broken. We’re reliant, because we’re struggling somewhere else. Deal with the something else and become less reliant.

Dealing with our struggles and making better lifestyle choices, should help us find alternatives that work that can be sustained.

10 Nov, 2010

12 thoughts on “Help with addictions

  1. These are great suggestions and I have used a lot of them, but I have found that for more serious addictions, talking with others that have had them and will talk me through the urges, helps tremendously. The 12 step programs can be applied to any addiction and the success rate is very good. Just apply the twelve steps:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
    7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    1. Brian I understand where you’re coming from, given what you have dealt with in your past, particularly with having Bipolar and the problems you face there. I think a lot of what you have written makes complete sense and is right, but where you refer to a high power and God I’m not sure I completely agree with you.

      When we face adversity in our lives, we tend to look to others including God to somehow help us overcome our addictions, but what we fail to see is that ‘it is us who can do that, no-one else.’

      The responsibility and buck lies with us. We can believe that God will help give us the strength to deal with what we have to, to overcome our addictions, but it is us who has to work it through.

      Of course meditation helps us channel our thoughts and focus and is a good way for us to help ourselves. I think if this works for you, then it’s great. Thanks for posting your thoughts. Lots of food for thought here.

  2. Trying to cut back on addictive things is hard. All I can do is pray that God will help me with my addiction to cigarettes and over-eating. When stressed, I seem to smoke more and that isn’t good for me.

    1. I totally understand you Maria. When we’re stressed we turn to our addictions even more! Hope you find a way through. I am here for you.

  3. I was born with a fairly mild case of CP, which involves primarily my gait (waist), and both legs with my weakest being my right leg. I’ve used crutches since I was 3. Progressed to a manual wheelchair at 30 and then figured I’d appreciate the luxuries of one of those electric chairs from “The Scooter Store.” I suppose that after living past 45, I decided to leave vanity behind, and start enjoying the event at hand instead of being so exhausted that I was beyond enjoying anything at all.

    Between birth and this day, life dealt me a hand that includes, but not limited to, a major depressive disorder, along with an addiction to alcohol and other substances. I have to say that recovery and acceptance concerning all of these conditions has been quite a challenge.

    Over the years, I’ve sabotaged my recovery in a number of self-inflicted ways, but also over the years, I think that overall, doing what wiser folks than me have presrcibed, actually works. One of the biggest things that I’ve come to realize is that none of these conditions can be treated as a single entity; it just can’t be done with any measure of long-term success.

    Trust me; I’ve tried long and hard to do it “my way.” Each of these conditions, or others that I may or may not have to deal with, has to be dealt with in a holistic manner; in other words, their must be an “integrated” approach to recovery that addresses each or any condition that one might have to deal with.

    I know some of this dribble may seem obvious, but trust me; after 46 years of struggling and finally seeing the light, I’m beginning to actually live and enjoy my life without feeling like I’m “struggling” with it all the time. No, the problems or conditions may never go away; they rarely do. But learning to be grateful for what I have rather than what I don’t have; or what I can do rather than what I can’t do makes life a great deal more livable. I hope this helps.

    1. Thomas I am sure this will help.

      Learning to see that an overall change in lifestyle can help us deal with more than one issue and have good or better results from it, will allow us to live our life and make better choices, so that we may turn our backs on things like addiction. One normally turns to addictions, to either fill a void or a need that we are perhaps lacking somewhere else.

      I also think and as you correctly say, looking at the things you can do and not always looking at what you can’t because of what you deal with, helps because it allows us to stay focused and positive, so that we can move on with our lives. Glad you have, truly an inspiration.

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