Hi fellow Steemians!, please take a moment to consider this post, whether it is something that reminds you of someone you can relate to in need of support whether it be your children, brother, sister, boyfriend etc., or something that helps you, this post is made with love, and with an intent to provide the best resources I have personally found in conquering an addiction or even breaking a bad habit. If by the end of this article anyone wants to personally email me about an issue you are having , i am more than happy to help and share, contact details at end of article.
Like many ways you learn to build a solid foundation, I’d like to try and re-engineer habits/addiction from the beginning.
Some people may say that the following “BOLD WORDS” below don’t have anything to do with one another.
“HABITS” – ways of acting, moving, being etc.… that has been engrained in you personally through your thoughts and imagination or via some other contact. Habits are not simply formed overnight. Good habits or bad habits both take time to develop.
Good Habit Example – If you purchase groceries , and cook at home regularly, some of your friends may say “ Wow, I just don’t know how you do it!? Preparing a meal for myself every day is just too much work.” Your perception of this situation is that you simply have purchased your food at a grocery most of your life and this habit is now second nature to you, almost involuntary, like breathing. Your friend’s perception of the situation is that there is no possible way they could ever conceive the imagination to understand this “task/chore” that they think you endure every day. Consider the amount of time it took to create this “Good Habit” in this example.
Bad Habit Example – If you’re a procrastinator, let’s say with reading, and your friend gives you a book that they are super excited to share with you, and let’s say after the first month you didn’t even get through the first chapter. From your friends perception they may say “ Oh my goodness , when I first got my hands on that book I read it over 3 times in a week, I love gaining more knowledge!.” From your perception you may feel like “ 3 times in a week?! That’s crazy, I could never sit still for that long reading a boring book.
Let’s consider the difference in values here. You may think it’s crazy simply because you don’t “Value” books. ( Maybe you haven’t had a valuable experience with a book yet ) or (maybe you find electronics and media to be more fulfilling and engaging. For instance children nowadays who learn to read and write via an electronic tablet are taking steps every day to create a “Habit” which takes time to form, but once formed, it may be very difficult to get these children later in life to be excited in the least bit about books.
Your habits include more than just repetitious actions forming from the mold you have shaped them in. Habits include your values and what you “think” or have made yourself “believe” is valuable to you (better or worse)
Example - If you hang out at your friend’s house your whole life whose family has amazing sports cars for you to drive around all the time, and you do it enough to get a sense of the fulfillment , you may not like it very much if you got a 98’ Chevelle for your first car from your parents. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are ungrateful or unappreciative, it is simply your character being tested while your “values” are still very much intact.
“ADDICTION” – The inability to consciously make a decision in a moment of trigger or impulse.
I don’t believe you can be addicted to something without generous repetition of a certain action. For every action there is a reaction, and repetition is the father of learning, thus the more you do/repeat something, the more your brain intuitively believes it should learn this. Whether you are addicted to working out or addicted to sex it takes you truly believing in the action to repeat it day in and day out for you to create the addiction.
Now to get a little more personal ,
I personally have an addiction that I am more than happy to share with the community for many reasons. It is nice to have support but the true reason is to hopefully shed some light for anyone who even remotely is struggling with an issue related to this article.
My addiction is video games. I have self-diagnosed this. You know it’s an addiction when you see other positive things in your life fading due to the time commitment of this habit. If you have ever heard the saying “too much of anything can be bad” this certainly rings true here.
I wanted to take a moment to elaborate on how and why this addiction has unfortunately become a reality for me. Remember, this didn’t happen overnight! So feel free to use my experiences as a guide and tailor them to your situations as seen fit.
The Beginning: When I was about 12 years old my oldest brother shared a computer game with me. The game was command & conquer for any gamers out there. :P This game was one of my first game experiences, even before that I was playing GoldenEye 007 (James Bond) on N64, along with a slew of other very famous games. It didn’t take very long for me to realize I was pretty exceptional at catching on to these games and was visibly better than many of my peers. I then moved into First Person Shooter games when I got a little older about 14, because I enjoyed the hand eye coordination that it required to actually be better than other players online. I got involved with a game called Halo 2, and very quickly began to receive invites to Gaming tournaments around the world. At the time I lived in Germany, and really wasn’t in a position to pack up and leave at 14 years old. I realized that I was really good at pretty much any game I picked up at this point (when you feel like you are good at something , and are appreciated for it, it’s hard not to like it.) So inevitably , I fell in love with video games and the tele. I began to play day in and day out. I would have friends coming to my house to ask if I could come outside and play only to be blinded by the sun when I opened the door, and turned their invite down… The beginning of this constant 12 hours a day obsession involving deeply immersed video game playing essentially created my new reality. I created it, nobody made me play.
Fast forward to my 20’s, as I moved out of my mother’s home and into my own apartment , the one thing that kept me comfortable was my PlayStation and it even acted almost as a security blanket to allow me to face these new challenges in my life with this “scapegoat” mentality that I would use on a daily basis to zone reality out and be in my own world through the video game. The problem with this is that I used the PlayStation to “keep me comfortable”- comfortability isn’t always the best thing, often times we take advantage of our comfortable situations in life and become stagnant. Also I wasn’t focusing on bettering my life very much or handling obstacles because I would essentially hide within the immersion of this game and tele. This hadn’t been very productive for me because I was basically admitting to myself that things were “good enough” and to not worry so much about these real life tasks. Where does the hole end?
I am now 25 years old. I have tried to quit playing in the recent previous months and have failed miserably. At first, I was thinking I could have some discipline and just simply not play it when I arrived home on a daily basis, and that I would dedicate more time to my real wishes, goals, and ambitions. This never worked. I needed to admit to myself right there and then that I truly didn’t have the discipline to handle this challenge, it’s not that I didn’t want to, I was just struggling very strongly with it almost like a chemical imbalance. Then I tried taking the system, unplugging it and moving it into another room and thoroughly packed it into a closet. To my surprise, I would come home and somehow disregard my true feelings to not want to play because my habit was simply stronger than my ambition to stop. I had “classic conditioned” myself to be mediatized [finding it hard to keep your attention span on something/someone if it doesn’t involve media or “Bright Lights.”]
Then I learned this ,
Every day you plant a seed in one of your gardens.
If you plant more sunflower seeds, you will have more sunflowers in time.
If you plant mold spores, you will have mold growth in time.
This is where we strip our habits and addiction of their “perceived power” and realize, we have a choice. You have a choice. It’s an illusion, your energy thinks you want this obtainable desire in front of you whether it be sex, drugs, alcohol, for me (video games) etc. This is where we must separate our true will and desire for our future AWAY from our instant gratification and impulse driven actions. “ You must sacrifice now for the future” and technically your future is now, because we are planting seeds everyday towards that garden.
Please stick with me here everyone, >>>
Basically, you must look for the cues/triggers that are starting the routine/habit that you are not happy with but cannot seem to stop. Then you determine what is the reward you are getting. Are you eating candy because of low blood sugar or because you eat with friends and need a chat, or because you are nervous and it calms you, etc.? Discovering the triggers and rewards can take a little bit of practice and introspection ---all left up to you. There is no motivational speech, or book that can help you here. But once you do, you change the routine/habit by force of will every time you encounter the cue/trigger, making sure that the reward is the same. The cue and reward must be the same. So, instead of eating candy, you just go chat with friends on purpose because that’s what you genuinely want deep down, not the candy. Or you eat a better form of food to satisfy low blood sugar, or whatever. When you feel like engaging in the “bad” habit, ask yourself what you get out of the habit beyond the superficial and obvious. Then replace that habit with a new one you desire to do that gives you the same type of reward/outcome/feeling. Do this over and over until it becomes . . . a habit. I know this may sound simple but don’t complicate it, it’s the answer.
Just Like a diet detox I am going to attempt to detox from careless media, and slowly but surely migrate myself from carelessly wasting and taking advantage of my free time, to working proficiently on things that truly bring me forward and maximizing my time on this earth.
I am getting rid of my PlayStation, storing it ironically back at my brother’s house. With help I will be stopping cold turkey today. I will be posting daily a short description on the way I feel, my emotions/struggles/breakthroughs. I want to share a venerable part of me that I didn’t think I had the courage to before. The goal is to hopefully encourage others to do the same and reach out in times of need. A vision through the process to give all of you better insight/perspective of someone’s actual mindset as they are intimately going through this regarding my addiction as I ween myself off with the support of our fellow Steemians.
The above info is only my personal research and opinion, it is not to say that I have mastered my addiction. It may not be easy but I know it’s what must happen for my future.
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Feel free chime in if you would like.
Thanks for reading! And again if anyone wants to personally email me about an issue you are having , i am more than happy to help and share. please check the contact info below!