Addiction: Inside The Addict’s Habits

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What? Addict’s habits? How does that work? An addiction is a habit; how do we get any more inside of that? There’s more than meets the eye here. And when I get halfway through with this, you the reader, will be able to fill me in on more habits of your addicted loved ones than I can inform you.

I once watched a hand of a man holding a cigarette. I was sitting in my car and all that was in my view was his hand holding a cigarette as he was waiting to cross the parking lot away from where I was. He flicked and flicked the thing the whole time, at a constant rate. His habit.

I knew of a father and husband who went (and still does) to the same bar every day after work. The bar has changed names and owners several times over the years, but yet he goes. His habit.

I knew very well of a couple who, during the work week, did the whole American family thing. Work, kids, school, homework, baseball, etc. Sun through Friday. But every Friday and Saturday night they would snort grams of coccaine and play cards. Their habit.

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Along with addiction comes the rituals and planning process. As agonizing as it was for me to hunt down the drugs I needed, it was also exhilarating at the same time. Kinda like going to thrift or antique stores looking for something in particular. That hope you have is a real desire. When you get what you were looking for, no replicas, it’s a great feeling.  It can become something you look forward to doing again just to repeat that conquering feeling.

Aside from the hunt, there’s the addict’s rituals. Examples: the favorite nostril to snort with, the favorite arm or leg for the needle, the favorite bar, or the favorite drink mixed only by so and so…the list goes on.

What I’m getting at here is when an addict comes to sobriety, those little quirks/rituals are taken away too. It can be hard for the sober addict’s mind to let go of those things. So instead of flicking the cigarette they may need to have a pencil in hand to twirl and flick. Or instead of that nightly drink, they may make themselves a soda and fruit juice drink to soothe that craving. We need to be compassionate and considerate when it comes time for our loved one to become sober. We need to give them grace and not look down our noses at some of the replacement techniques they may need to simply “get through.”

I’m curious of any other habits or quirks you’ve seen with yourself or loved ones. Also I’m curious about substitutions you may have used or seen being used. Leave in the comments section…

Here is a link to a post by JulieDibbles…How I Quit Drinking. She writes how she quit drinking-how God’s hand was the ultimate game changer, and how she overcame the rituals/habits she was accustomed to. I highly recommend you read it.

12 Replies to “Addiction: Inside The Addict’s Habits”

  1. It is logical that when a person removes something from their life, it will be replaced with something else. And yet most of us, whether the addict or not, don’t seem to recognize the connection and how necessary it is to be intentional in how we fill the new holes and create new positive habits and activities.

    My husband spent time after work with his porn addiction before I was home. Now he often cooks supper for us. However, he also spends more time watching TV which isn’t the healthiest choice, but still is better than engaging his addiction.

    I have discontinued watching TV at all and spend the time in my personal recovery reading, journaling, walking, and now blogging.

    Thanks for this simple, yet complex, message.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s like in Mt 12.43-45: Then he (the unclean spirit) saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
      If we don’t fill the voids with something intentional, they get filled in, and we end up worse off than before.
      But if we ask God to fill it, He does, with His Word and Spirit, and He shows us a better way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Kathy that is so true! And I have found that as God fills me with more of His Word and Spirit I hunger and thirst for even more. I have become very mindful of how I spend my time and energy as God unfolds my better way.

        Thank you for sharing that very relevant scripture from Matthew. I am currently leading my Life group through a study of Matthew and tonight we are on chapter 10. So in a couple of weeks this will all be refreshed in my mind in a relatable way!

        Liked by 2 people

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