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What even is addiction?

I can pinpoint things that I think that I am addicted to; and the exact same activity can be an addiction or not an addiction depending on the context. Yet I can't define it...

 

I have seen addiction grouped into psychological and physical.

 

Substances like weed can make a user physiologically addicted, but if they smoke every day for decades and quit completely cold turkey, apart from the psychological distress they will be physically fine.

 

Nicotine can be physically and psychologically addictive, but I question the use of the word "physical addiction", because a chronic nicotine user will not die from 100% cessation. They will experience discomfort, diet changes, sleep changes, etc., but so would the weed user. If there is someone more educated on the biology of this maybe they can explain.

 

Benzodiazepines can be physically addictive in the sense that an addict can literally die if they completely stop cold turkey... to me, this seems like a step up for addiction. Quitting won't cause extreme discomfort,  it will cause death

 

Some things that I think are addictive:

 

Drugs

Technology

Sex

Thinking

Porn

...

 

I think anything can be an addiction. One way I have read to gauge an addiction is stop the behavior completely for 2 weeks. If you can't, you are addicted. With exceptions for sleeping, eating, other bodily functions.

 

I am trying to quit smoking. I have read Allen Carr's book several times but have not quit.

 

What keeps me coming back to addictive behavior is mainly the belief that the behavior is doing something for me, but there are other beliefs attached to it.

 

In a moment after hard work, I may think "I deserve a _____  to relax". I've noticed how this creates discomfort, I shift away from feeling good now and focus on some future where I will receive my gratification. When I receive it, I feel no better. Sometimes even worse.

 

This is understood logically, so I question why I continue with addictive behavior?

 

Other beliefs are:

 

"It doesn't make a difference to me, I will receive the same out of life whether or not I continue"

"I won't get what I want anyways, so I might as well continue"

"_______ does it and they seem to be living an awesome life, so why would I stop?"

"I need to figure something out, do something, etc., before I quit"

 

 

Some of these are addressed in Allen Carr's books. Nonetheless, for some reason I can't seem to shake my smoking addiction.

 

I'm hoping some people can share about their experiences overcoming addiction, and provide some advice for just any type of addiction in general, not just smoking. What are some good methods to overcome addictions without just using willpower? How does enlightenment relate to addiction? What does one "gain" when they stop an addiction (I notice myself upset if I stop an addiction and don't "get anything" like good feelings out of it)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi,

 

Here's a thread about quitting smoking- 

I no longer smoke or drink alcohol. Quitting cold turkey works well for me (but not easy), but I had to want to quit and be free of the substance more then wanting to use and getting the comfort from it. That was the "key" plain and simple. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, I dealt with the physical discomfort and psychological pain and as time ticked on it got easier and easier. 

 

I did not find either time of me quitting (nicotine or alcohol) that I needed to replace the addiction with something else, as some ppl say. That didn't apply to me, except the first week of quitting smoking I ate snacks/candy to get the oral fixation.

 

The feel good feeling is just that I'm no longer at a health risk from my addictions and I'm not at the mercy of a substance. I no longer have to experience hangovers or my skin crawling because I didn't get my hit of nicotine. 

 

You do not need to be enlightened to stop using a substance/quit an addiction.

 

Good luck

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Faith said:

Hi,

 

Here's a thread about quitting smoking- 

I no longer smoke or drink alcohol. Quitting cold turkey works well for me (but not easy), but I had to want to quit and be free of the substance more then wanting to use and getting the comfort from it. That was the "key" plain and simple. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, I dealt with the physical discomfort and psychological pain and as time ticked on it got easier and easier. 

 

I did not find either time of me quitting (nicotine or alcohol) that I needed to replace the addiction with something else, as some ppl say. That didn't apply to me, except the first week of quitting smoking I ate snacks/candy to get the oral fixation.

 

The feel good feeling is just that I'm no longer at a health risk from my addictions and I'm not at the mercy of a substance. I no longer have to experience hangovers or my skin crawling because I didn't get my hit of nicotine. 

 

You do not need to be enlightened to stop using a substance/quit an addiction.

 

Good luck

 

 

 

 

 

Was there any method or actions taken that helped you get to that point, where you are able to just take the leap and stop completely?

 

I logically know smoking is literally adding no value, and in fact I don't even enjoy the sensations that much. I carry on in life fine, even better, without it. I think I partially engage in addictions as a form of "punishment", like I'm not getting what I like from life so who cares if I poison this body. In moments of clarity this feels so sad, and I feel so sorry for mistreating my body.

 

I am trying to consciously engage in the behavior to become aware of lack of enjoyment, to hopefully stop. This has worked for only some addictions for me, but so far not smoking. If I stop for several hours and get an urge I may think "Well, this urge means I'm still using the Willpower Method, I will inevitably go back to smoking since I don't truly want to stop" (In reference to Allen Carr's book, I'm not sure if you read it).

 

On enlightenment, I was wondering, can someone who is enlightened be addicted to something? I recall a story about some spiritual guru who smokes cigarettes, but I don't know if it was some sort of koan? or a real life story.

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When we chronically avert from feeling https://www.actualityofbeing.com/blog we seek alternate ways to feel better and begin to rely on external forces to bring us back to feeling, or take our mind off discordant thoughts. We disbelieve that we can do it ourselves, without effort. 

 

At first letting go of an effort can seem to be an effort in itself. If your hand is chronically clenched and tensed relaxing it can seem to be an effort, even though it is not. Smoking is an effort. 

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8 hours ago, Omelette said:

Was there any method or actions taken that helped you get to that point, where you are able to just take the leap and stop completely?

 

We program ourself to think that smoking is an inseparable part of our life. So, now to be a non-smoker you need to unlearn that program. Think how the addiction has you stuck. You're tied to that addiction and a slave to it (make sure you have cigarettes, lighters, have breaks to smoke, where will you smoke, on and on, not to mention your health). You need to want to quit more then you want to use, for whatever your reasons are. So, I'm saying to prepare the mind to quit. 

 

When I quit cold turkey I did have to learn to control the urges. The urges don't magically disappear, because I decide to quit. I read Allen carr 2x's before quitting, but I don't remember the specifics of the book now, since that was about 5 yrs ago.

8 hours ago, Omelette said:

I recall a story about some spiritual guru who smokes cigarettes, but I don't know if it was some sort of koan? or a real life story

 

It's true. His name is Nisargadatta maharaj, the author of  the famous "I am that" book. He lived in India and smoked like crazy, but was a great guru.

 

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On 8/21/2022 at 9:08 AM, Mandy said:

When we chronically avert from feeling https://www.actualityofbeing.com/blog we seek alternate ways to feel better and begin to rely on external forces to bring us back to feeling, or take our mind off discordant thoughts. We disbelieve that we can do it ourselves, without effort. 

 

At first letting go of an effort can seem to be an effort in itself. If your hand is chronically clenched and tensed relaxing it can seem to be an effort, even though it is not. Smoking is an effort. 

 

I see how I don't even want to smoke, when I am doing stuff I don't even think of it.

 

I agree with the effort part, after these times I sometimes don't even want it but I just reach for them habitually, then the cycle starts. Diving into these urges and consciously inhaling this poison has started to make me develop a distaste; I hope this will come to a point where I simply don't enjoy it at all, but that is just me trying to avoid facing the urges.

 

On 8/21/2022 at 9:10 AM, Faith said:

 

We program ourself to think that smoking is an inseparable part of our life. So, now to be a non-smoker you need to unlearn that program. Think how the addiction has you stuck. You're tied to that addiction and a slave to it (make sure you have cigarettes, lighters, have breaks to smoke, where will you smoke, on and on, not to mention your health). You need to want to quit more then you want to use, for whatever your reasons are. So, I'm saying to prepare the mind to quit. 

 

When I quit cold turkey I did have to learn to control the urges. The urges don't magically disappear, because I decide to quit. I read Allen carr 2x's before quitting, but I don't remember the specifics of the book now, since that was about 5 yrs ago.

 

It's true. His name is Nisargadatta maharaj, the author of  the famous "I am that" book. He lived in India and smoked like crazy, but was a great guru.

 

 

It's so strange, I have 10000 logical reasons  to quit and literally 0 to continue, I am doubting that I am even getting pleasure. As Allen Carr described, the so called "special cigarettes" like first in the morning, after a meal, etc., literally feel the same, sometimes even worse.

 

Do you still ever feel urges, like if you see someone else light up, or you have a bad day?

 

I can sometimes just stop the entire day, but at night time I experience heavy negative thoughts many times, like the thoughts of not caring about punishing my body , as if it was some form of rebellion against the universe. I haven't had these types of depressive thoughts in a while and they only seem to come after quitting.

 

I think I'm just going to have to take the plunge and accept I will feel these heavy urges for a few days/weeks... it's less like a want to smoke and more like a fear of change and lack of belief that I think makes me want to smoke.

 

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8 minutes ago, Omelette said:

Do you still ever feel urges, like if you see someone else light up, or you have a bad day?

 

It's been about 5 years now and I literally "never" think of smoking, but it I smell it or see it, which rarely ever happens I may reminisce how I once loved it. 😂 

 

12 minutes ago, Omelette said:

but at night time I experience heavy negative thoughts many times, like the thoughts of not caring about punishing my body

Same happens with eating junk food. I think the mind is tired. Really you should just try going to bed.

 

14 minutes ago, Omelette said:

think I'm just going to have to take the plunge and accept I will feel these heavy urges for a few days/weeks... it's less like a want to smoke and more like a fear of change and lack of belief that I think makes me want to smoke.

 

I had urges hard core for 7-10 days, then mild-moderate for the rest of the month, then occasional for another 3 months at various intensities, then it died down a lot.

 

I smoked for a longgg time and was unsuccessful many times I tried to quit, so no one, myself included, thought I could quit and yes, change is hard, but not impossible. 

 

 

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