Breaking bad habits is haaaaard work.... - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support

53,503 members54,047 posts

Breaking bad habits is haaaaard work. anyone else ?


I have had many bad habits and I’m breaking one after another. I feel like I can’t stop everything though. I quit drinking and it’s been almost 2 months now. I’m in the process of stopping buying things I tell myself I need but I know it’s too much. I’m also trying to spend less time on my phone. But I neeeed my movies! I am trying to not eat so I can loose weight, I’m just drinking healthy protein shakes and vegetable based drinks.

I’ve started reading and am part of a book club and I’ve added weights to my exercise routine. I’ve started painting and drawing after years of no art.

Anyone else quitting bad habits and replacing them with healthier activities? Maybe we can motivate each other.

58 Replies

The interesting thing about addiction is that we can become addicted habitually as well as chemically. It's why some people can quit drinking or using drugs which are chemically addicting and start getting better...but gambling, shopping, and sex addiction can be equally as addicting, and often we substitute one addiction for another. It's explained that the endorphin rush is the addiction in this case. So learning moderation and understanding that over eating, sex, exorcise, gambling, shopping all do the same placebo effect of 'feeding our feeling's as drugs and alcohol are also chemically addicting. When we have unresolved issues, live in denial, or are even just simply unaware of having ‘mental injury’, depression, anxiety…etc…it’s always the first step in recovery, is to realize we have a problem. Then we begin the journey of looking for answers and solutions.

Very interesting, Faux. Thanks! I think I have unresolved issues that I’m hopefully able to understand more about and do something about it if I need to. Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of us.

It is...I used to self medicate for years before I understood my CPTSD, which didn't even have a name yet...I did group therapy, art therapy, and one on one therapy. And I also did ACOA and AA, but the meeting varied a lot and some AA meetings were too preachy, I did eventually find a couple of regular meetings. I'm not a 'follow the crowd’ kind of person, so I had to really learn to just sit and listen. You take what you need and leave the rest. It takes a lot of courage and commitment, again...not something I had an abundance of...but I did it....and it saved my life. Drinking and drugs are a depressant...and if you have's an oxymoron to drink and drug.

Good for you, that’s so great that you were able to save yourself... I keep falling into trap after trap and digging myself out it’s exhausting

It is a merry-go-round ride for sure. But it's also only one day at a time...and no amount of shame, guilt tripping, or blame is needed, it’s not helpful. It is what it is, addiction and alcohol are monsters that are always lurking when we are predisposed...I couldn't have done it in the beginning though without support. They say it's when you hit rock bottom there's only one way to go....but I think it takes a lot of rock bottoms for some of us. And when we are 'Duel Diagnosed'...having both alcoholism and depression...we have a double whammy effect. We stay sober for a while, but the untreated depression and mental injury creep back in and we self sabotage again...I did, and many I know did and do. It's just how these diseases are. Many don't like the work disease, but I do...because it acts like one. You can treat the symptoms, but your never really cured. You can live with it and not let it define who you are, just accept it's part of who you are and can be managed. Some days are harder than others....that's just the up and down roller coaster of's cyclical, we ride it out.

What do you like? The work disease? Because it acts like one... sorry, didn’t understand that part...

anyway I am confidant I won’t go back to drinking because something huge changed in me I didn’t even hit a rock bottom and it’s like the cigarettes I left and the opioids I left, it’s just not a part of who I choose to be in life anymore. I pray my meds keep working.

Do you ever feel urges to go back to your vices?

It's good you had spaced out the dropping off of each thing...I did that too....and cigarettes was the hardest for me in my early twenties. Then in my late twenties I started in program. I went down the road of addiction too back in my early twenties, back then it was cocaine, Quaaludes, and cocktails

What I meant was that some people don't like the word 'disease' used when describing alcohol addiction, or mental health issues such as depression. For me, I don't's a disease to me with no negative connotation because it’s no different than if you have diabetes or heart disease, it’s just something that has to be treated, whether it’s natural management or with medication.

Oh yeah that makes sense. Yes it is what has to be treated. What’s quaaludes? Oh a sedative hypnotic (I just looked it up)

They were the first ‘hypno’ drug of choice back in the day....they made you feel dreamy and kind of spaced was fun in the clubs because your anxiety was zero and you just danced and partied. But that was the early to mid 70's era.

Interesting. When I was growing up in 80s and 90s LSD was big and weed. I was never into them. I was more into sports but I did experiment a tad. Alcohol was my main thing I’d use then I wondered why the hell people smoked and I was curious so I tried that. Nowadays it’s teas for me. Calming teas and caffine sometimes even just teas can really mess with your mood. Do you take or do anything nowadays to use to get you through?

Sounds like you are doing an amazing job xxx

Hiya Florida! Thanks!

Sounds like a great idea, Starrlight! First of all, I really want to commend you on your almost 2 months of sobriety!!!! The other things are awesome too!!!!Let's see... I have also been doing better on the shopping front. Buying something just means yet another thing to give away or get rid of when you're done with it, is how I'm looking at it now. My husband and I are making it a goal to eat healthier and, while we do have our setbacks, it is going very well overall. He makes this really easy and scrumptious recipe where he puts chicken breast and veggies in foil and cooks it. We each get a foil to add things too He adds pineapple chunks to mine and it is oh so good. It is quick too.

That's great news about the book club! Do you all meet on Zoom? What book are you reading?

That’s great that you two are eating healthy together. I think when we have company it motivates more than alone.

We are reading A New Earth by Eckhart tolls. It has to do with the ego and awakening to now and to your life’s purpose

Definitely!Your book sounds interesting! I'll have to look it up. Do you enjoy your group?

Well I quit smoking 11 years ago and I feel that if that’s the only good thing I’ve done for myself it’s enough. I still have alcohol issues though. So I know how it can control your life. Congratulations on your sobriety.

Starrlight in reply to Noquarter

Oh wow yeah good for you because that is a tough one! I quit smoking too in 2015 and it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I quit before that for my pregnancies which was kind of hard but the last time I quit for me. Great job Noquarter. Thanks, alcohol did control me. I rarely got drunk but I was not all there ya know?

Yeah quitting smoking was a really hard one but once I put my mind there it didn’t have a chance. Hahaha. So I know I can do whatever I want for myself but I guess it’s about giving up things that afford me happiness. Because there doesn’t seem to be an abundance of that.

Starrlight in reply to Noquarter

That makes sense yeah definitely. The habits made me happy yet guilty feeling. Now that I’m happier in myself and more peaceful I’m slowly letting go of or using in moderation some of the things which I used to make me happyish

Rewatds? Substitutes ?

Starrlight in reply to Brig57

Good ideas Brig! I think the results are rewards in themselves and substitutes yeah there should be substitutes, my substitutes maybe are hanging out with my family and dog more and exercising more

I can’t stop pulling my nose hairs out .🤷🏻‍♂️😄🙃

🙃, it’s called Trichotillomania

How are ya?

Oh wow didn’t know it was a Real thing ....makes me sneeze 🤧 clears my sinuses ....I’m ok thank you starr hope you are too well done on stopping drinking ,hope you keep going ...on a serious note I’m 9 years clean from opiate addiction and about 4 from smoking cigarettes ....just sit here pulling hairs out now 😊

That’s AWESOME haha well the nose hair pulling is obviously awesome... but yeah 9 years is really to be proud of ... did you find it harder to get off of opiates or to stop smoking?

Opiates and methadone was a long thing many fails along the way was my crutch though for years ....smoking was hard I didn’t have any choice I kept smoking them until I choked on them literally 😄

Wow well what do you think helped you to kick the opiates and methadone? You don’t have to tell me, I’m just curious.

Just had enough the penny dropped...made a complete lifestyle change and moved to the countryside away from any temptation.....I don’t miss it now ...don’t like being drowsy anymore

Proud of You :) xx

I’m proud of you too 😊x

Cool. I live the country vs. city but I live in a city right next to D.C., so very busy area. My meds make me drowsy but I’ll take them for now. Are you on any meds? You seem to be doing well.

No meds now as such...tried lots of anti depressants.. I’ve just accepted my situation and try to just appreciate the good days when they come along and write off the bad ones not dwell on them suppose...i was never a big drinker always made me throw up ... but it’s sociably accepted and you can buy it anywhere must be hard to avoid I imagine.

Nope for some reason I rarely even think of alcohol now. My husband who drinks like maybe once a year got some beers recently and they sit there in the fridge I have no interest in them, I hate alcohol for how it messed with me... and I don’t go out much so not much social pressure so far...

I’m really happy for you that you are in that place, as it sounds like a decent place to be in.

Thanks I’m at peace with my mind 🤪😄...I have given up the quest for the magic pill regarding anxiety / depression....only thing ever worked was benzos ,the doctors hardly prescribe them here nowadays except short courses of low dose .....well done for leaving the beers in the fridge.....nature is where it’s all at ....have you seen anymore fox cubs ?

Nature IS where it’s at! No fox cubs for a long time now but there’s been some type of large hawk visiting our backyard trees. I am in awe of it. What type of critters do you see in your area?

Not a lot really see buzzards close up they are awesome .....I’ve had a heron here the past few days trying to catch my fish’s getting really bold must be getting hungry as it’s gone really cold .....had a deer in the garden eating the grass when it was the first lockdown as there was no traffic about it wandered in that was good ....we don’t have the stuff you guys do over there ...cougars and bears would love that

Deer are so nice to have visit. I see some at a park nearby if it’s early enough. Yes buzzards are awesome. Big birds fascinate me; to see them glide across the sky... ive never seen a cougar but in Maine I used to live there are moose and black bears.

I have found codependents online of help - same strategy used by the quit drinking/drugging organizations...

Starrlight in reply to Wallowa

Niiiice Wallowa thanks for sharing that!

You sound like your doing pretty well! Could you share how you motivate yourself to exercise? I personally didnt have too much trouble improving my diet and I lost some weight as a result but I find it almost impossible to get my myself motivated to exercise.

P.S. A good healthy actvivity that I started doing and that pretty much anyone can can do these days is to study a language. With apps like Duolingo its pretty easy and costs virtually nothing. You'll also feel really good about yourself when you feel like your making progress towards something.

I’ve never been good at languages but you go for it!I wish I had more motivation for that! What language are you learning?

So to get exercise done I loved running so it helps if you choose carefully like choose something that you like alright don’t force yourself to do what you hate most...but since I’ve gained weight i feel like it’s too much to run it just sucks right now so I walk and what motivates me is doing it with someone like my kids and we will jump on the trampoline together... also I watch a movie or listen to music while I lift weights and do floor exercises.

I think what motivates me the most is I keep picturing what my body will feel like and look like when I’ve lost weight.

The only physical activity I really enjoy is outdoors type stuff like hiking or backpacking, things I just cant do casually. I do walk, I just dont do it enough. I do like your idea of tieing physical activity to something else that's entertaining. Maybe I can tell myself I can't watch movies (which I also love) unless I lift too. Thanks!

As for language I'm studying Japanese. It's a hard language to start but once you give up on being perfect and just go at at steady pace it becomes pretty relaxing.

Hiking is my fav too. Wow I admire that you are learning Japanese! Best to you!

Wow, way to go.

Starrlight in reply to Marysblue



Good job!! 😁

Starrlight in reply to Hidden


I agree with you I still need to learn to stop saying sorry too much

Starrlight in reply to Hb2003

Best to you

I stopped drinking three weeks ago. I have cut down my online spending too. I know those were empty activities to temporarily numb my depression. But I can’t break all the negative thoughts and bad feelings. I hope eventually stopping bad habits will make me feel good enough about myself to stop my negative inner voice.

Starrlight in reply to Matthew28

I could have written that. That’s exactly how I feel. We can give ourselves credit. We deserve it. I think those inner bad thoughts about ourselves developed when we were young and are engraved into us but I do believe we can retrain our brains. Best to us!

Matthew28 in reply to Starrlight

I hope so. If so, it takes a lot of work. But gotta start somewhere.

Starrlight in reply to Matthew28

True we can do it

You've already done something very difficult and you deserve to feel good about it. 👍

😊 thanks so much! How are you doing?

Thank you.

Hi Starr,

Bad habits are like a warm bed on a cold day: easy to get into and hard to get out of! But trying to reach all your goals at the same time is a sure way to reach none of them! There's a popular notion that it takes 21 days to cement a new habit. In reality, though, research shows that it can take some people less time—and others a lot more—to make significant changes.

We commend you for the progress you've made.

Praying about our bad habits also helps because GOD is an unlimited source of power we may lack.

As always, Agape :)

Thanks! I am reaching them all because I believe I can.

You may also like...