Like I have any experience, but here goes:
I hear that people are addicted to alcohol, heroin, the internet, gambling, sex...and yeah, giving up something your body/brain has grown to expect will be uncomfortable and difficult.
But there's one "addiction" that, to my mind, trumps all the others because there's no way to live without it. Not for more than a few months, anyway.
If you want to quit smoking
, you put down the cigarettes and don't buy, beg, borrow or steal another. And people will HELP you with this. The doctor is not going to tell you "Well, let's get to where you're only smoking five a day and that'll be OK."
If you want to give up alcohol, don't buy any more, stay out of the bars, go to a program, get medication, get therapy. Again, people will HELP you with this. If you want the heart-healthy benefits of red wine, guess what? You can have grape juice. The doctor is not likely to tell you "One can of beer a day isn't going to hurt you" if you've told her that you crave more and WILL drink it if it's there. She'll help you get it out of the house and out of your system enough that you can turn it down.
You won't die if you don't have sex
twice a day. Your nervous system won't misfire after two months of NOT pulling the lever on a jackpot
machine. There are still some jobs that do not demand computers (or at least internet access
) and there is still the USPS and Ma Bell and even *gasp* PERSONAL INTERACTION!!!! for communication and the library for honest-to-goodness research. And adult bookstores for porn.Food
? "Oh, just eat less." Eat the things you don't like! "Eat less and exercise." "Oh, look, the company provided a box of donuts for the meeting!" "Oh, just have ONE cookie, that won't hurt you." "What, you don't like my cooking?" "Come sit down and watch TV with me. Pass the popcorn?"
Yes, those fasts where you drank only water and took several supplements each day were a "thing" for awhile. Then problems started showing up, like arrhythmia.
Yes, there's the gastric bypass surgery -- which you can be too fat for, believe it or not, according to the guidelines of whichever doctor or hospital you're talking to, PLUS the nutritional deficiencies they still haven't QUITE figured out how to deal with. And the stomach stapling? Do you get your esophagus sewn shut so you can't drink whiskey? No? Well, why not?
Oh, you're going for a walk? Give me a minute to brush my hair/change clothes/find my tennis shoes/check my e-mail and I'll go with you! Oh look, it's time for As The Stomach Turns, maybe tomorrow. And don't you have an appointment? What do you MEAN you'd've had time for at least a mile if I hadn't DELAYED you for NOTHing?
And the no-fat diets? You NEED some small amount of fat to keep your nervous system (that thing that makes your heart beat) working properly and keep your skin and hair healthy.
The no-fat and low-fat food and treats in the nice pretty packages? Check the salt and sugar content. Seriously. And if it's that "left-handed" fat (or right-handed, I forget which) stock up on toilet paper and don't plan to leave the house for a day or two.
And the sugar-free? Check the fat content.
Air-popped popcorn DOES have some fat in it -- where do you think "corn oil" comes from? Microwave popcorn? Oh PLEASE!
Remember back in grade school science class when you learned that the enzymes in your spit changed sugar to starch and vice versa as you chewed? So why do you think now it makes that much difference which one you eat? They're both carbohydrates and both have the same number of calories per gram.
And even the "free foods" and "zero point" foods listed on certain websites have LIMITS on how much of it you're allowed to eat before it starts having points, so that's not all that free, now is it?
So yeah. Make food taste good, enjoy it, eat too much of it, get fat, and get told you have to continue to do what caused the problem -- just less of it. And when you're still hungry, cranky because of it, and someone offers you a cookie? They shouldn't be so shocked if you take the fingers WITH it.
And once you get off the cigarettes/alcohol/whatever, you're not going to have to face it 1-3x per day for the rest of your life.
Think about it.
Three times each day, take one drag on that cigarette and put it down. Don't even out it OUT, just put it down somewhere within sensory range. You can see the glowing tip, smell the aroma...and nope, your will is strong, you're not gonna touch it.
Three times each day, take ONE mouthful of beer. Swish it around, taste it fully...now spit it out in the sink. Leave the bottle open where you can see it while you do something else for about 20 minutes. But you're not going to drink it.
Right? Right? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Edited to add something my husband just pointed out: Every one of the "other addictive behaviors" the addict had to CHOOSE to BEGIN.