how to quit anything you are addicted to (porn, drugs, alcohol, etc.)

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Submitted by emerson on
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Some people like marijuana, but I fell in love with it.

I would wake up, have a toke. Or a bunch of tokes. And continue throughout the day until I was ready to sleep at night when I'd have some bong hits before bedtime.

Every spare $100 I earned (and I earned a very good income for someone my age) went to pot, so to speak.

I smoked more than anyone I know or knew.

I smoked every waking hour from the time I was maybe 16 or 17 to about 24.

I want you to know that although marijuana wasn't for me physically addicting, I was extremely addicted to it.

Tried to quit? A number of times. Never lasted more than maybe 5 days.

The brain always rationalizes addictions. It would say, "one toke isn't going to hurt." You know the drill. Always ready with rationalizations.

I finally totally and completely quit.

I was a successful person and I knew that I didn't need or want this and quitting was inevitable.

When I quit, I never once ever had a single hit of marijuana.

It was very tough. Several months of flatlining in every way. No spark to life. Except that I had met this new girl and my attentions were focused on her. The fact that I knew she wouldn't want a marijuana addict as a boyfriend was the final impetus to me stopping although I didn't tell her that or mention my marijuana addiction.

Pretty much the day I met her was the last time I smoked. Because of her, I was able to refocus my life and not spiral down, relapse, etc.

More recently I gave up alcohol. I felt an emptiness in my life for several months. But I never had another drink. I wasn't an addict the way I was with marijuana, but I felt it was impeding my life and I would never go a day without 3 drinks at night sometimes 4 or even 5. I didn't like that feeling of always wanting more.

I think that all addictions are the same in the way quitting leaves you empty, low dopamine, and there is no way but plowing through. I think sexual addictions are tougher because of how deeply our brain is wired, which I learned here from Gary and Marnia and on YBOP.

But the key to quitting is always this: replace the addiction behavior with something else. I had my new girlfriend to focus on and this made quitting marijuana easy.

The young guys here who don't have a girlfriend and are quitting PMO -- they have it tough because they have to find a new behavior to replace the vacuum that PMO filled.

I've heard it put like this. You have a garden and there is a big old weed and you dig it up. Now there is a big old hole in your flower bed and you need to put something there or else another weed will sprout up there.

That is the biggest key: replacing the behavior and what it helped you with, the addiction behavior, with something else.

What does your addiction behavior do for you? In my case, marijuana helped me prevent boredom that would have been short term un-fun but long term would have been painful enough for me to make good positive changes in my life a lot sooner (like meeting women.)

If you are going to quit PMO or weed or alcohol, you need to find out what hole that will leave in your life and you need to consciously fill it.

The guys who have recovered have found something new that replaces the PMO behaviors. Usually a relationship but I suppose not always. But something must replace it. If you are addicted to PMO, and you don't have a relationship, don't let that stop you from quitting. But your first order of business has to be to find something to replace the PMO time and whatever PMO was bringing you, or else relapse is almost inevitable.

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As things balance out with

As things balance out with your brain chemistry you feel less like you need another addiction to replace your old addiction(s). You are able to have a well rounded experience with life without the extremes of addictive behavior. Careful not to replace addictions with other addictions. exercise is good, people are good, work is good but all these things can become addictions.

great point fcjl8

I was fortunate to have a full enough life. I am spending far less time on the Internet now and that is opening up a space for new things that I'm excited about. I think this idea of positively doing something that takes the place of the old behavior is extremely key.

Hi Emerson,

I particularly relate to this sentence: "What does your addiction behavior do for you? In my case, marijuana helped me prevent boredom that would have been short term un-fun but long term would have been painful enough for me to make good positive changes in my life a lot sooner (like meeting women.)"

Indeed, that's the way to go. We gotta face our fears that led us to all bad behaviours in first place and react differently from now on, by replacing with something else right away. And take the boring times with some more...patience :).

This is excellent

"I've heard it put like this. You have a garden and there is a big old weed and you dig it up. Now there is a big old hole in your flower bed and you need to put something there or else another weed will sprout up there."

That's an excellent line.

Tell me about it, Emerson.

[quote]The young guys here who don't have a girlfriend and are quitting PMO -- they have it tough because they have to find a new behavior to replace the vacuum that PMO filled.[/quote]
I dislodged PMO from that vacuum, but it's still sucking in a bunch of other, lesser shit (most of that shit being off the Internet... and I do mean shit) that won't stick and block its airduct. I swear, it feels like I've had a continuous bout of depression for the past three weeks, and I keep questioning what it is that I'm even living for.

As far as girlfriends go, I keep wondering if I've made a mistake even considering online dating. Most, if not all, of the dating profiles that I've seen seem to display either boring or confrontational personalities (or both), and they all seem to say the same things (you know, "blah blah I'm family oriented blah blah", like there exists this self-admitted wicked witch of the 'net that would publicly write that she hates her family, enjoys dropping babies onto hard floors or whatever, that would be available for contrast to Miss Every-Profile... please ladies, Casey Anthony's not gonna steal your man away from you).