Sometimes when we break a habit or addiction we find ourselves missing it like a dear friend
Over a year ago I took to loosing some weight and dropped forty five pounds. I am still holding to my new weight goals. Recently I took three months off from drinking any alcohol. I made it through a couple of months, but found myself back to it before the three months were up.
Whenever we make the effort to free ourselves of an addiction or a habit we no longer need or want we often find ourselves missing the old pattern as we would a familiar friend. This sounds counterintuitive, because we think we should instinctively gravitate toward that which is good for us. And yet, it makes a lot of sense when you consider that we are creatures of habit. This is why we gravitate to people and places–and patterns of behavior–that make us feel comfortable. Therefore, many of the habits we form are not conscious and are based instead on learned behavior from role models who were not always making the healthiest decisions.
Most addictions in my opinion begin as a way of avoiding feelings that are uncomfortable, so it makes sense that stopping the addiction means, for a time, a fair amount of discomfort. The same, of course, is true of habits that we have developed over time that we are ready to release. Just knowing that this is hard, and having compassion for ourselves as we work through this process, can help us to stay the course. It’s also helpful to remember that in time we can establish new, healthier patterns, and the yearning for the old ones will hopefully disappear. Ten years ago I gave up cigarettes and to this day do not have any urge to smoke. My eating habits are different today then in the past, but I’m finding comfort in the fact I’m eating better foods. Although I gave up drinking for a time, I realize I still miss the social and relaxation components of it today.
The only way to get to this new place is to endure a time of difficulty, which is a challenge we can confidently handle, if we remember that it will lead to the change we seek in our lives. Our bodies, hearts, and minds always need time to adjust to a new way of doing things, but they will adapt, and even become our allies, if we remain true to our vision of a new way. I think I’ll try with the alcohol again come January! Maybe even try exercising!!
“Blessings on your journey”