Author Topic: Addiction  (Read 257 times)

Offline Wildview

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Addiction
« on: June 02, 2017, 02:46:03 pm »
I am battling with addiction to nicotine. I have tried to meditate on it and it turns into some kind of turmoil as I cannot seem to get a handle on what I must do. I know I need to stop, these things are controlling me and ruining my health and recently I found out my 14 year old is copying my habit and I am indirectly harming her with my addiction even though I always kept it away from her. I need help with self control. Has anyone been through this? What helped you?

Offline pureleaf

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 05:38:35 pm »
A recent insight, is that you do it because you want to…

Of course not wanting to is what Buddhism is about.


Offline Pixie

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2017, 01:09:01 am »
I am battling with addiction to nicotine. I have tried to meditate on it and it turns into some kind of turmoil as I cannot seem to get a handle on what I must do. I know I need to stop, these things are controlling me and ruining my health and recently I found out my 14 year old is copying my habit and I am indirectly harming her with my addiction even though I always kept it away from her. I need help with self control. Has anyone been through this? What helped you?


Hi Victoria,

When I gave up smoking,  first of all I cut down to 3 a day (one in the morning, one around lunchtime, and one in the evening). I also chewed mint flavoured gum if I felt I wanted to smoke.

Eventually I said to myself  after a few weeks,"You can do this now." and stopped completely. I haven't wanted to smoke at all for several years since then. I also got my sense of smell back and then I noticed how much smokers smell of stale tobacco and smoke on their breaths and clothing!

I'm sure you can do it too,  just believe that you're strong and you will be!

With best wishes,

Pixie
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 01:46:01 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2017, 02:25:57 am »
There are lots of indications that mindfulness therapy can be helpful in quitting smoking. Try googling 'mindfulness therapy for smoking' and see what you think.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Solodris

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 07:34:31 am »
You throw away your cigarettes and you do the Sramana walk. You go outside and you start walking, until you find someone smoking, and then you ask "Excuse me, can I have a cigarette please?", if they reply "This is my last one.", you say "Keep it." and keep walking, and they will be grateful. When you find someone that give's you a cigarette, you teach them the Sramana walk. This is why you never share someone's last cigarette, because who knows, they might be doing the Sramana too.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 10:39:02 am by Solodris »

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2017, 07:47:15 am »
Hi Wildview,

I just recently finished writing a piece on changing habits here -- http://www.frogzen.com/uncategorized/self-discipline/

It's based on my own experience and some research. Maybe it will help you see that it's possible to change a habit with some steady intention and effort.
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline loopix

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2017, 08:09:11 am »
with all due respect, nicotine addiction is not a habit, it is, an addiction. read the book i linked to, and you'll almost guaranteed to be smoke-free! :)

Offline Wildview

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2017, 01:04:43 pm »
Thank you all for your advice, it is well received. I do think that it is both a habit and an addiction, but I believe that habits are easier to deal with than addictions. Loopix, I have read Allen Carr's book, it helped me to quit many years ago but is not proving too helpful now. It may be time to revisit the things I learned in it though. Zafrogzen, I will read yours and hope it is helpful in changing the habits surrounding my vices. Thank you for the link.

I was talking to a friend last night about how I had quit before for four years and that none of the things that helped me before were working now. Even though I know my actions are my choice and it is myself allowing this substance control over me. He said that maybe it's because my body knows now what suffering it will go through and so it is battling me as well (stress hormones and such). I think I would do well to focus more on that as well, acknowledging that stopping will cause suffering but will at least be on the way away from the cause of it instead of hiding within the cause. I apologise if that did not make sense.

Offline Wildview

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2017, 01:07:03 pm »
Also I will Google mindfulness therapy for smoking, I would have never thought of that.

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2017, 03:15:38 pm »
Although nicotine is extremely addictive and can hook someone almost immediately, the mild withdrawal is gone within a few weeks after quitting -- but the "habit" with all of its connections remains in the brain, which is why so many people quit and then go back to it later, even though they've gotten over the nicotine addiction.

Mindfulness is essential to noticing the habitual responses to triggers and cues and becoming aware of the urge to have a cigarette again and the rationalizations which can come up. The habit pattern in the brain never goes away completely, but is eventually overpowered by the habit of not smoking and the desire to never again smoke. That can take some time.

Replacing the habit with another similar habit can help. My son smoked lowgrade ragweed marijuana instead, but then he had to get over that habit too.

Here's a quote from my piece on self-discipine --
Quote
If one does succumb to the temptation to indulge in whatever habit one is trying to resist, it’s important not to give up completely or beat up on oneself over it. The more one fights a bad habit the less satisfying it will be when it is indulged in, which will weaken its hold. Eventually, the repetitive attempts to alter the habit will accumulate and overpower the habitual pattern.
So don't give up! Willpower is like a muscle that gets stronger the more it's exercised.

BTW loopix, I quite smoking many decades ago. What I wrote is about habits in general and willpower, which can come in handy if someone has trouble getting to the meditation cushion.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 03:24:27 pm by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Pixie

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2017, 09:59:07 pm »

Replacing the habit with another similar habit can help.

Yes, this is why I mentioned the chewing gum in my previous post.

My aunt also died of smoking related lung cancer which was another reason I stopped, - that and seeing disease ridden lungs in glass containers in a medical school.

Something as simple as placing one's awareness with the breath and gently breathing in...breathing out...breathing in...and ...out.. without the inhalation of smoke, can be very relaxing, especially if done outside in the open air or with a window open.

(In general, I prefer to meditate outside, rather than indoors.)

Wishing you every success with your efforts, Wildview.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 01:47:54 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Solodris

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2017, 02:12:42 am »
You throw away your cigarettes and you do the Sramana walk. You go outside and you start walking, until you find someone smoking, and then you ask "Excuse me, can I have a cigarette please?", if they reply "This is my last one.", you say "Keep it." and keep walking, and they will be grateful. When you find someone that give's you a cigarette, you teach them the Sramana walk. This is why you never share someone's last cigarette, because who knows, they might be doing the Sramana too.

Be sure to take some bread with you since it seems the birds are doing the Sramana as well.

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2017, 10:06:33 am »
Pixie wrote --
Quote
I'm sure you can do it too,  just believe that you're strong and you will be!

Yes, that kind of "faith," which is vital, is one thing I failed to include in my piece on self-discipline and habits. Keeping that positive view is essential. I try to laugh out loud whenever I get too negative, even if I don't feel like it. Surprising how well that works. I heard of someone who suffered from depression and had to have a surgery on their mouth that left them with a perpetual foolish grin. Their depression lifted and never returned!
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Solodris

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Re: Addiction
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2017, 02:32:58 pm »
If you could make a depressed man laugh himself to death, does that mean you have cured depression? Since if every depressed person laughed themselves to death, who would be depressed about it?

 


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