June 13, 2010

Random thoughts: Overcoming addictions

When we're addicted to something, our addiction can use up (or waste, if you like that word better) a big chunk of our time and money.  On the other hand, addictions are the ones that let us stay sane.  Many people would go crazy if they weren't allowed to do what they were addicted to.

Getting rid of addictions is not easy.  In fact, it can be one of the hardest things one would accomplish in life.  Let's say I'm trying to overcome my addiction for smoking.  Not smoking is not really the hard part.  Handling the vacuum that results from the 'non-smoking' is relatively very hard.  Addicts have designed their every day around their addiction.  They unconsciously or consciously allocate a portion of their days for their addiction.  When they quit, they have quite a bit of free time with nothing to do.  It's extremely easy to embrace their addiction back to fill that void.

Many people say that you should say positive things and think positive things, and that being positive is good in general.  If I extend that to handling addictions, I can think of an approach.  Rather than saying "I don't want to do that," try saying "I want to do this".  Rather than spending your energy on "I don't want to smoke," focus on something like "I want to paint".  Now you are setting yourself up in a new environment where you have lesser time to smoke.  You're focusing on spending your time creatively.  That should be a lot easier than simply wanting to throw something away without any clue about what would you'd replace it with.

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