Help with addictions

I believe that I have an addiction, lets call it an addiction to needing to keep experiencing a certain kind of pleasure. I have decided that this addiction (No, it isn’t an addiction to stroking my monkey) is something I want to stop. The pleasure of the experience is tempered by other factors, not least of which are my health, my relationships, and my future mental well being.

Do you have any suggestions or experiences with/ for troublesome addictions that you can’t shake off your back?

[color=blue]Moderators note: We are going to discuss addictions/ habits but not mention any particular substances other than perhaps alcohol and nicotine. The idea is to assist expats who may want to control their behaviour and if we can assist and provide support that has to be a good thing.[/color]

There is a danger in calling a bad habit an addiction. It gives the person with the bad habit a kind of excuse to continue. Any bad habit can be kicked with the same kind of advice they give dieters, drug addicts, and drunks (cuz I can’t spell alcoholic right):
1 day at a time. You face every day and say ‘I will do this, won’t do this TODAY’ and it is much easier than facing the challenge of not doing it forever. You start with the goal of 10 days and then after the first ten you face one day at a time.
Know you will fail. We all fail once in a while. And as long as you know this makes you human, you can get right back on the wagon. But if you expect to be perfect then you will have a harder time letter minor setbacks be minor.
Know your limitations. When trying to beat an addiction you must try to keep your stress level low. Because stress will cause you to have much temptation.
Remember how hard it is to quit. The thing that keeps me from smoking sometimes is remembering what it was like trying to kick that nasty habit and the 30 lbs I put on doing so. When you first try to kick any habit it is awful. If you can remember how awful it was at first, when you get through the awful first few days (or even months) into the “not as bad” part, you can stay clean simply by not wanting to go through the awful detox again.

The following is based on life coaching courses I’ve participated in:

We are seekers of pleasure. Everything you do in life is pointed toward pleasure or feeling good. How else could it be. I ran a marathon in extreme pain, but it was a pleasurable experience overall that I would love to repeat.

The pleasure you feel from the addiction is currently being overwhelmed by bad feelings or psychological pain. So, you have to replace the problem with a new pleasurable experience or moderate the addiction so that the pleasure of it can be balanced with the pleasure of feeling in control of the addiction.

Giving up my addiction is never a problem for me - I’ve done it hundreds of times.

I once (about an hour ago) heard and old wise buddhist :grandpa: (my big brother) say that in order to properly beat an addiction you have to change your lifestyle. Eat better, exercise more, and exercise your mind more. He said that focusing on improving your physical and mental health gives you extra incentive to remain free of the addiction you are trying to beat.
And then he went on for about half an hour (thank god is was skype and free of charge) about how meditation is your best defense against mental unclarity and addictions at which point I zoned out having heard this lecture a billion times. :blah:
But yeah. Both parts are true. And while meditation might not be for everyone (although I really should start again) improving your lifestyle is.
And you might actually look into that meditation thingie. It helped me learn to control my temper.

Kicking any sort of addiction usually involves developing a more long term perspective and deciding to value serenity and happiness over short term pleasure. Like Ironman said too it doesn’t hurt a bit to find other, less destructive, sources of pleasure to tide you over. Keeping the lifestyle low stress and healthy doesn’t hurt either. You may also need to have a look at whatever pain is driving you to your compulsions and just suffer with that a bit. Neurotic suffering is always a substitute for the genuine article.

Aerobic activity like running, cycling or even swimming produces the same sort of mind set. Personally, I can see the benefit of meditation but can’t sit still long enough.

When exercising to a reasonable intensity you are so busy with the breathing and working large muscle groups that there is little space for day to day worries. Added benefit at the end is saying “I did that again today” and Im proud I achieved it and I won’t eat the crap or do the crap whatever it is.

Today only. Only deal with today.

Then do it again tomorrow. :sunglasses:

While I relate 100000% to this (hello, this is me: :banana: ) I think that might be part of the reason he wants me to learn to do it. I think he is probably right that every person needs to learn to focus and be still.

I used to meditate. But then I quit smoking. Haven’t been able to sit still ong enough since.

But yeah, TomHill, He is right about the running, cylcing, swimming, whatnot.

Replace the pleasure of indulgence with the pleasure of achievement.

In order for it to be a true addiction, I believe there needs to be some physiological effects, better known as ‘withdrawal symptoms’ upon cessation. Do you experience those when you don’t get/have it? If so, you’ll probably need to detox.

If not, than I’d say what you have is a preference. And we all have them. Some may call this semantics, but seriously…try calling it a ‘preference’ for the next few days and see how it feels - chances are you’ll relate to it differently; it may loosen some of the negative energy around it. Addiction is such a heavy word, loaded with ‘I-can’t-beat-this’ suggestions.

You CAN beat it. You just need to develop some unshakable beliefs in your ability to. How do you do that? Probably a lot of different ways, but here’s one that works for me:

  • sit quietly (best if you can get with nature) and ask youself, ‘What aspect of my life does my addiction allow me to avoid facing?’ Or, ‘What event/s caused me to stop loving myself?’ I may be wrong, but I think you’ll come to the same conclusion that most people come to … and that is you’re using the addiction as a way to escape/avoid a deeper pain. For some reason, you’re not loving yourself.
  • by sitting quietly (or by meditating) eventually you’ll rediscover your own magnificance…somebody worthy of love…your own love and that of others…and hopefully in those quiet moments you’ll find the peace of mind to say “Okay, I’ve abused myself long enough. The world needs me (yes, it does). And from this day forth, I will choose to love my body.”

Again, you’ll notice I use the term ‘sitting quietly’ as opposed to meditation. Sitting quietly is easy, anyone can do it, whereas meditation tends to scare people off. Or at the very least, gives them an excuse for not doing it. Myself included!

Anyway, good luck with it. Ah, what am I saying? You don’t need luck…you need love.


The best way to quit an addiction, drinking or smoking is to listen to your head when you see the butts or the booze in the store. If you say “No, I don’t drink/smoke today” and leave it at that, without the second guessing, you should be ok. You can’t buy the stuff at your own house. And most people won’t pick upa butt or beer can and get the leftovers.

Will power must be built up, and in some folks, created, and then strengthened. It doesn’t just appear because you need it.

Also, quit for yourself, not for others. :wink:



I’ve heard chewing (whether it be vitamin c or gum) can help fight back the pangs of addiction. i chewed gum to help me kick smoking and it worked petty well.

I think everthing from chewing gum to meditation will work…it all depends on how far down you’ve gone. If you are in a dark place you may need the help of a group. There is strength in numbers.


I’ve had my fair share of “troublesome addictions” and I’ve lost almost everything including my sanity cuz of it… I’ve done the insitute lockup deal, hospital stuff, counseling, etc… and although it does help, I’ve come to realize that it’s ultimately on yourself when it comes down to quitting. No one can quit for ya afterall – that’s pretty much the bottom line. It’s definitely a rough road and unfortunately there is no easy way around it.

If you are even questioning the thought of being addicted, chances are that you are. When you realize this and you’ve come to grips with it… AND made that final decision to quit – go and seek help. Otherwise you’d prolly be wasting your time and money. In otherwords, you’ve gotta WANT to quit and believe that you can do it, to make it all worthwhile… and as corny as this might sound but you’ve gotta also love yourself a bit too.

Believe in yourself… realize that you are probably not just quitting for your sake, but also for the people who are counting on you – the things that matter most in life. Use this as your motivation and constantly keep it fresh in mind. Don’t let yourself go “subconcious” [and back into that addict frame of mind]. You know your weakness, now dig deep and find your strengths and build on it. Do something new and meaningful in your life… perhaps a new purpose in life?

Whether you’ve been partying on your own or amongst others, you’ve gotta take yourself out of that equation – whatever it takes to get you out in the clear and thinking clear. Cancel all the excuses, make that decision to quit, and stick with it – no matter how difficult it gets or fearful you become, cuz the path of “troublesome addiction” only gets worse over time… 'specially with the hard stuff.

Don’t ever let your guard down even when you think your way past your problems too… It’s been almost a year of clean living for me now, after nearly a decade of abuse and believe me, there hasn’t been a day gone by that I havent thought about it. It’s a life long lesson… simply cuz you now know the “enjoyable” aspects of … now.

Quite honestly, I’ve enjoyed flying the friendly skies as a VIP frequent flyer heh (well, most of the time)… and I’m not one to regret [most] of the things I do in life, however I must say that I do regret this one cuz it simply was not worth what I sacrificed for it… There is [and will] definitely be a price to pay in the aftermath. I realize this more and more with time [as a former drugaholic]… Unfortunately though, you won’t know this price until you’re there – there is no crystal ball… and it’s sorta like bargaining your life with the devil himself. You’ve gotta ask yourself, is it [and could it possibly] all be worth it? Chances are – probably not.

Everyone’s different… it’s easier for some than others… I just hope your not like me and have to learn the hard way. Obviously, there are people who care for ya on this board… so don’t let us down hehe. If your in Taipei, I can refer you to my where I went for help out here… and no it aint for hookups either lol. If you need a source for help and/or find it hard to cope… shoot me an email: Sounds like you know whats right and wrong for yourself – and realize that it’s probably a time of change for you… making that decision to stay clean and seeking help is key to finding your peace – I hope you find it.