Good evening. Just put a face mask on and remembered that I haven’t done my live yet today, so… See me in all my glory before I get in the bath.
Tonight I wanted to talk about addiction. Ah, scary! I have an addictive personality and I will confess to that. I come from a family background of alcoholics and alcohol related issues. There’s also food related shit, stuff, I should say. I don’t think we’ve had any gambling, not that I know of. Codependency stuff… I think they all kind of go hand in hand.
Why do we get addicted to things? Well, there’s a great, just a fantastic Ted Talk that I encourage you to watch about one of the reasons for addiction, one of the triggers for addiction being lack of connection, which I wholeheartedly believe. I think there’s a genetic predisposition, definitely for some people, and I think sometimes plain old simple peer pressure can start us on a road to an addiction, which is a terrible thing. So say “no” to your friends.
So glad I never took up smoking, because I don’t think I could’ve given it up. Got to give up chocolate.
What triggered me to talk about this today? Well, one of the things I’ve actually been addicted to, and I will confess, I did a little Instagram story on it today, is a game on my iPad called Cookie Jam. I’m just getting my iPad out so I can show you. So this game, this little game here… Oh look it’s asking me to rate it. I never rated it. Is that me as a bad person? This game… Oh look it’s giving me a free hour! Shivers! See it’s giving me a free hour!
Oh, rotate your phone. So what happens when you get a free hour on something? Oh my god, you’re going to click it and you’re going to get a little endorphin rush and you’re going to feel great and then you’re going to want to play the game more. So then you click it and you go, “Oh my gosh, I’ll just keep playing. Oh, look, there’s another special.”
And so the addition begins. You start this little game, you get the little rush because you did something well. Then you’re like “Oh, I’ve got to get to the next one.” So a habit loop forms. And to me the habit formed with the game came from boredom, came from stress, came from when I went to bed and didn’t feel like reading a book. I’d pick up the game. And the reward was that I got to another level or I got a little prize or something like that. So it’s trigger… That loop begins. So in all habits good and bad but… I think it actually became an addiction for me.
So over the course of about a year, I got to level 1974. So, 1-9-7-4. And today I went “You know what? That’s the year I was born, that’s a good a time as any to stop this addiction. Stop this habit.”
So what I’m going to do now… You can all… How am I going to do this? I don’t know. Oh, look. Oh my gosh, see what I can do. So what I’m going to do now… I’m not coordinated enough to do this. I’m going to do this, and I’m going to swipe up, and then I’m going to find the game somewhere on my iPad. Elody’s got stuff in here too. And I’m going to do this, the click and hold, and then I’m going to delete this game. Never to be played again because it was going me no good. I’m better off, even if I am tired and I go to bed and I don’t feel like reading, I’m still better off reading or I’m better off grabbing a meditation and doing it. Or I’m better off just absolutely doing nothing. Playing a mind-numbing game is not doing me any favors and it’s made me more aware today going “Okay, what other addictive behaviors do I need to look at?”
For example, one of my greatest fears in life is becoming an alcoholic. I had partner that was an alcoholic, I had a father that was an alcoholic… There’s a whole lot of familial stuff… Triggers for me with alcohol. So every so often, I give up just to prove I’m not alcoholic I guess. Last year I didn’t drink for three months, for years I probably only had one or two drinks a week.
These days though… My issue is that if I find I say the words “I need a drink,” that’s it. Or I come home and I drink alone, booze has to go. Because to me alcohol is a social thing. It should be something you enjoy with friends and conversation. If I’m having alcohol alone, or I think I need it, I think that’s a really bad sign so I pull the plug. And I’m able to do that, pull that plug on that habit, even though it’s a bad one, because I’m good…
I think Gretchen Rubin says there’s 21 habit… 21 ways… Forgive me for not getting it right, tools for habit formation. And one of them is total abstinence. And some people can, if they abstain from something, they form a really good habit of not having it. For me if I say “no booze,” it’s no booze. I’m not deterred. I won’t go “Oh, I’ll just have a little sip.” For me, if I say, “Oh, I’ll only drink on Wednesdays.” Well, Friday might come and someone will go “Oh, do you feel like a drink?” and I’ll go, “Oh, it’s only a little slip up. It’s only one drink it’s okay…” And I’ll do it. But if I’m saying “no” I’m saying no.
What’s interesting for me with addiction is… I’m a nail bitter as well so I get my nails done. That’s a complete addiction for me. And if I break even a fake nail, or a shellac, or SNS, I start nibbling. I’m like… On the fake nail because that’s an addiction to me.
I would like to do more research I think on why I haven’t formed any addictions, because I clearly have an addictive personality, that are good for me. Like going to the gym. No. Only joking because no addiction is good for you. There’s no such thing. So when people do say, “I’ve only got good addictions like green smoothies, or the gym, or working 15 hours a day and surviving on four hours of sleep…” None of those addictions are good because they’re still formed by a habits loop.
The mechanics behind why you’re doing it and what is making you then chemically as well as mentally, so physically as well as mentally addicted to something is not good for you. Regardless of whether it’s a healthy endeavor, a narcotics problem, a sex addiction, social media addiction… Of which I have to cut down my social media because I can feel myself falling into an “Uh, I’m doing that too much.” So I set myself strict time deadlines on that one.
So I’m aware of it. I’m aware of that habit loop and I do what I can to stop it becoming a problem.
So I encourage you today, tonight, tomorrow, whatever… I’m going to go take my mask off when it’s dry and hop in the bath. I encourage you to look at your life and see what you could possibly be addicted to. Is it sugar in your coffee? Is it a habit of having to do something in a particular order that’s verging on an OCD kind of thing? All of these addictions do form from that habit loop. So if you want more information on it, shoot me a message. Happy to chat to you about it. I can recommend books, podcasts, et cetera on how to get over it.
And wish me luck on not reinstalling the game or getting another one. Too funny. It’s the only game I’ve ever had on my iPad, but never again. Happy Saturday, guys!