If you’re wondering how to stop bad habits and addictions, I’m here to help.
When it comes to overcoming drug addiction, eating disorder, alcohol addiction, or any other addiction or bad habit, there are many things to consider.
What are habitual addictions?
We often don’t think about the way we do drugs—or any addiction—and how we create a ritual or routine to go along with our bad habits.
When we do the same things for a while, it becomes a habit. Your brain is almost auto-responding to your movements, and when that habit is disrupted, you sense something is off.
Quitting (or controlling with food) the actual addiction is not the only step. Our brains are not set up to sudden stop something we’ve become accustomed to.
How Bad Habits and Addictions Work
Let’s use the example of smoking. I know I often smoke after meals and while driving. Doing this often enough creates a habit.
You miss that physical cigarette in your hands. It’s not just the physical cigarette, but also the routine. You might light it a certain way, or when you drive you have to smoke.
After meals is usually a common one a lot of people struggle with. It’s almost like having another dessert. It ends your meal.
Now let’s replace cigarettes with the addiction you’re struggling with. Think about it—whether it’s drugs, alcohol, food, etc., there is a certain type of routine you do.
I struggled a lot with the physical feeling of snorting. Even after I was sober, I still felt I needed to snort something.
Then when I started to shoot up, it was the simple routine of loading the needle, and even the pain of the prick.
With my eating disorder, it was a different type of ritual—and harder to break.
Stopping a Bad Habit or Addiction Means Stopping the Ritual
In order to fully be on the road to recovery, I definitely had to address these rituals.
Please note this is my own opinion and what I did for myself.
What I first did was write down exactly how I did certain things and the feelings I got from them.
After writing it down, I read over them and reflected on exactly what I wrote. It helped me realize that the addiction was a lot bigger than just one thing.
I had to create a new positive habit and forget the bad habit.
Of course, it’s always easier said than done. I’m not a professional, but this is what helped me.
I recommend you definitely see a professional and ask their suggestions before doing anything.
But I’m here to provide my own experience since I know it’s not always easy to just go see someone.
How I Overcame My Habit of Snorting Drugs
To overcome my snorting habit, this is what I did.
There are saline nasal sprays and nasal rinses sold at any drug store or online. They are completely safe and, well, at this point my nose needed it too.
They help moisturize the inside due to allergies, air quality, dryness, etc.
After snorting drugs for years and years, it’s very hard to let go of that feeling of snorting. With the rinses and sprays, it provides almost the same type of feeling.
Follow the directions though since you don’t want to overdo it.
First, I used both the rinse and spray. I won’t do the entire rinse, but just a little, so I still had the familiar feeling.
From there I did less and less every day.
While you’re doing this, I also suggest writing about it and how you feel. This way, you can also see your progress from the first time. This habit (especially if you have horrible allergies or live in a dry area) is something you could keep doing in a healthy way.
How I Stopped Shooting Up Drugs
With my habit or ritual of preparing and shooting up drugs, breaking that bad habit was a bit more difficult.
Instead of shooting up, I would draw circles or try to do tricks with a pen. The whole point is to break out of that habit and create one that’s not harmful.
Even if the habit is weird or stupid.
For example, I started to twist my hair. Not the greatest, but it’s better than what I did before.
Again, write this all down as you’re doing it and note how you feel.
If you can’t reduce it, at least you’re learning new pen tricks or drawing—ha!
Alcoholics Anonymous Helped Me Stop My Addictions and Bad Habits
I recently started the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous with a sponsor and started going to different meetings (AA, CA, OA).
This has become another habit or distraction for me to add to the ones I used to break other habits.
In my experience, this is how to stop bad habits and addictions — replace them with good ones.