Help - need an addictive behaviour overhaul

My dad was an alcoholic. He always drank a lot, according to his brother, and thought it was normal. For instance, he loaned his car to that brother and the brother's wife for the weekend one time, and packed the trunk with things they would need, including bottles and bottles of alcohol. He was a full blown alcoholic from when I was a kid, and eventually died of pancreatic cancer when I was twenty, which, the doctors say, is often exacerbated by things like alcoholism. 

He was never violent, or anything, and for ages my mother hid it from us. When we get older, and after my dad died, she was worried that my brother would do the same things, and hated it if she'd heard he had a drink when he was in his teens (we were in the UK, so it was legal). He is actually very well adjusted. I, on the other hand, completely have my dad's tendencies. I'm lucky, because I've never been tempted to smoke, and didn't like the taste or feeling of alcohol until I was in my twenties. Other things, though, can be a real problem. Junk food, for instance - I'll go and buy a packet of chips, a packet of cookies, a multipack of chocolate, another couple of chocolate bars, a couple of bags of candy, at least, telling myself it was going to last the week, and then I'd go home and eat it all that day. Repeatedly. Or the internet. I'd end up staying at the office until very late, or, a fair few times, all night, just because I'd be watching youtube links. I started dating a guy and we've been serious for a year, but while that helped, it still didn't stop it completely. Just a couple of weeks ago I stayed at the office until public transport started at five thirty in the morning, and came home to find that, surprise surprise, my boyfriend wasn't impressed - I had to work hard to convince him I wasn't cheating or something. It's so stupid, because these things seem like they should be so manageable, and it's also hard to tell other people about it and get them to take you seriously, because lots of people feel like they eat too much junk food, or spend too much time on internet sites mindlessly. 

I'm making a real effort since that time at the office a couple of weeks ago to change my habits. I've completely tidied and cleaned my room (sounds basic, but it was a huge mess, and it's helped my mindset a lot). I'm being strict on myself with things like making my bed, keeping my room as tidy as it is now, trying to read instead of using my phone before I go to sleep. I'm using the fact that it's Lent to give up sugar, on the basis that it's easier to give up something if there's a structure imposed from somewhere else to lean on.  It's only been a few days, though, and, even if I manage to stop the internet and junk food, I'm still worried about my tendencies. I form habits with stuff like breathing in rhythm, sometimes. Or I used to practice typing on my knees when I was bored in assembly at school, and, all these years later, I still do it. Does anyone else find that they have general tendencies like these? Does anyone have any coping strategies, or is anyone else trying to change these things, too? I would love to hear from anyone who has any thoughts on it at all.
  • 7 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • @Aidene hello and welcome. glad you are here and glad you shared with us. i'm sorry to hear about your father's passing. 

    addiction can affect us in various ways. sometimes if we overcome one addiction, we can "transfer" the addiction to something else. some don't have this tendency and some do. it's good you recognize that you do, so you can take some actions against it....

    you're making some great steps toward recovery from addiction.  continue to do what you're doing...and if you find you cannot get a grip on it, maybe see a counselor....could be something underneath the surface that is the root and the root may be needing to be dealt with...

    i have to watch it as well. trying to be balanced in various too. it's a life-long thing for me anyway...i find reading books on addiction helps. and doing an inventory regularly. like being real and raw with myself...

    hope this helps!
  • @Aidene... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing so openly with us. 

    I agree with @dominica that counseling would be a good thing to try. If we get to the root causes of our addictions, it can make them easier to overcome.

    We are here to help and support you, my friend. Reach out anytime. 

  • @Aidene,
    I agree with the folks above, Counselling, therapy or seeing someone to talk to will help you.
    You're obcviously hurting in some way (even though you may have it pushed to the side most of the time)
    I went to hypnosis, and, although it's not like in the movies with the guy clicking his fingers and you change your mind about something, it can help to open your mind. I quickly remembered things from my childhood that I had completely forgotten. It was amazing and really helped me to heal.Sometimes we wouldn't go through hypnosis during a session, sometimes we'd just talk about what had come up for me since the last session and talk things to death, but it helped.

    The answers are within you... you just have to find the right media player, so to speak.
  • @dominica, @DeanD, @zozzie, thank you all so much for your posts.  It already feels like a real relief having reached out and found other people there.  I think it also makes it feel more real, in a way - a lot of the time I feel like if I tell myself I'm going to change something, I can just brush that thought under the carpet the next day if I'm the only person I'm 'talking' to about it.  Now, though, I feel like making it public, at least on this forum, is a step along the way to really having to face it.  So, I guess it's a little scary as well as being a relief.  

    @dominica, thank you for the welcome, and for your kind advice.  It certainly helped, and a lot.  I'm so glad to see what you said about 'transfer'ing addiction - it's an idea I've been concerned about, but never seen it put like that.  I feel like I've got more information now, that I can use in researching how to avoid just getting into a circle of moving from one thing to the next.  Seeing a counselor sounds like good advice.  
    Thank you for sharing that food is a life-long thing with you.  I found that really helpful.  It made me take a deep breath and rearrange my head a little - it'll be useful to think of any solution as a long-term necessity.  

    @zozzie, thank you for sharing your hypnosis experience.  I'd never thought about hypnosis, but your post really struck a chord.  Your observation about hurting did, too, though I confess it made me feel slightly uncomfortable and want to refute it.  That made me analyse it, and I reckon it just means you're right.   What you said about hypnosis sounds really interesting.  I'll definitely look into it.

    Thank you all so, so much, for your wisdom, and for your support.  I feel humbled, and very comforted by it.  I hope that I can be here for any of you if you need it, too.
  • @Aidene glad to hear you will seek some professional help!! :)
  • @Aidene
    Whether it's alcohol, gambling, chocolate (another of my vices), or our telephones, From the day we see the light, we are bound to uproot feelings we don't particurlarly want to have to face.... but facing them, and talking about them, making them normal and gicing them a name, it gioves us the ability to deal with them, put them in a box and close it, or use them as tools for our personal development, or however we manage to deal with them.
    Those feelings will rise up, but pushing them back down into the pits of your stomach is why you find yourself addicted in the first place. Gotta embrace the discomfort, I'm afraid. 
  • @Aidene... You are very welcome. We are here for you anytime. Always remember that. This is a wonderful, safe community, and we're glad you're a part of it. :) 

    Peace and hugs.
Sign In or Register to comment.