This Article is About
habit
coffee shop
indecision
different times
retrospect
necessities
half an hour
groceries
little time
bare essentials
wallet
amount of time
Curing My Addiction And Keeping The Habit
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Curing My Addiction And Keeping The Habit

They say that people who have addictions live in denial. Consciously they don’t even know, or admit, that they have one.

I made light of mine. It wasn’t illegal, or immoral, and even my friends laughed along with me as I made such expansive fun about my ‘habit’. They bought into my addiction and provided me with encouragement to continue the habit.

I thought I could quit at any time. In fact in the past, at different times, I had. In the past I had also proved that I didn’t want to go without it for any amount of time.

I just felt better when I succumbed to my addiction and I wasn’t hurting anyone. Not even myself: or so I believed.

I was a responsible partaker for the most part. I only drank 4 mugs a day.

Would you take it more seriously if I drank 10 a day or told you that my addiction was more illicit than the coffee I needed?

When is a habit an addiction?

Having only one car in our household, and three children under five at the time, I used to race out in the evenings for the groceries. Often it was a hurried trip with little time to spare and little money to spend.

Only in retrospect do I remember the moment of indecision. I arrive at the busy mall. I have half an hour to buy nappies, formula and other necessities. I jog across the parking lot and into the bright lights of the mall.

I hesitate. On my left is the supermarket. Where I must go. On the right and just down the hall a way… a coffee shop. I didn’t have time for both. Did I?

Indecision. I want the coffee. It’s calling me. I figure if I hurry I can buy one and still make the supermarket if only for the bare essentials.

This is no habit. I’m an addict.

As the years progressed I honed my need to a fine art. I knew I had to keep a minimum amount of cash stashed in my wallet as some shops had a minimum they would charge cards.

I had to have the biggest coffee available and, if I was home, I even needed the mug to be a certain shape (giving it the illusion of largeness).

My kids knew to leave me in peace when I had my coffee in hand.

I cultivated the image of a coffee connoisseur. Perhaps I had become one too. I definitely knew a good hit.

Fast forward to the now.

A couple of weeks ago I went to see my kinesiologist. I was just looking to work on a few physical niggles and keep myself well centered with current changes happening in my families life. I wanted to be grounded myself so that I could support the kids if they needed to lean on me more than usual.

If you’ve read my other articles on the unconscious mind than you may understand the concept of the Unconscious mind saying, “Listen to me”. Well in my case my unconscious mind was rubbing it’s proverbial hands with glee and enthusing “She’s been listening to me!!”

The goal for that session (chosen by my body) was "My life is flowing with joy and harmony". The emotion that arose was "heart felt distress" and my kineseologist (using a finger mode for those who understand these things) told me it was related to an addiction to a food substance…

Can you imagine me grinning at this stage? This is just plain funny and the therapist immediately noted my amusement and commented that I obviously knew what my body was telling us about.

I’m struggling now to explain this in a logical way. Suffice to say, maybe, that the issues that the body raised were that the coffee was providing me with contentment and escapism. I certainly had to agree there. It struck a deep cord in me.

We used the intention “I no longer crave coffee to feel contentment”. The kineseologist did amazing things and balanced my body in ways I can’t explain.

I went home feeling great and with a very weird feeling in my chest. Well it was the feeling that wasn’t there that was most noticeable. I was too full of lunch to want a coffee right then. At afternoon teatime I was too busy.

For the next three days I wandered around bemused. Should I have a coffee now because the time says I should? Do I want a coffee? Why do I feel so different inside?? The trigger to have that next coffee hit just wasn’t firing!

Recently I have read some great articles on addiction. One observation I have made is that people don't seem to have made the connection with emotional need and addiction.

The general belief is that addiction is something that is 'for life' and 'out of their control'. An alcoholic client of mine once told me that her desire to drink was gone. We had done lots of emotional releasing and reframing of thought patterns.

She told me that she had been to a BBQ and had a glass of wine and it had no effect on her. At the time I was very excited for her and it flew in the face of everything I’d been taught about alcoholism.

I wondered if she’d lied to me. Now I’m not so quick to doubt.

I was an addict. And now I’m not.

I’m not a recovering addict, a closet addict or a reformed addict.

I am no longer an addict. I’m still partaking of coffee every day and love it. The ‘feeling’ of need, want, ‘must have’ is gone.

It’s now strangely (to me) my decision.

We need to shake up the whole common beliefs of what defines an addict, what it means to be an addict and what it means to be ‘reformed’.

Once an addict: forever an addict? Well I’m going to stir a controversial pot and say, “No, I disagree”.


Street Talk

Great awarenesses, Heather. I have experienced the release of addictions and I have also experienced the reconnecting with the addiction. Yes, I know it is emotion based and have not dealt with it recently. Will do some work with it now that you have created a focus in me. "Love It's" ice cream, a local shop that makes their own. At one time I was driving 25 miles round trip, every day, to get my fix... no matter what! Sounds silly, funny but it wasn't. I would be late to appointments.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yes, Sherry! That's what I'm talking about. I don't think people give it any credit because it's 'just' coffee or 'just' ice-cream but it can be every bit as debilitating in it's own way. It's a great relief to have the choice rather than the must have drive for the food.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

This is great Heather! We all have addictions and you know they can be a simple as coffee. It really doesn't matter. It's that habit, the processof having a glass of wine in the evening to socialize, the habit of putting coffee in your body the first thing in the morning. Honestly though I am very glad that you still have a cup every once in a while.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Queenie. Honestly I just really like a good coffee. It's hard to explain to people the difference between me drinking it then and drinking it now. It's all in the internal 'feeling'. I didn't even know it was there but after the treatment I felt like a hole was in my chest. Interesting the emotion had been heart felt distress. The language of the body... another article another time!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Joan S  

That was so interesting Heather. I agree with you completely. I used to be addicted to sugar, particularly sugar in the form of ice cream. I became ill, and one of the first things I needed to eliminate was sugar, second, dairy. Everyone said, oh Joan won't give up sweets. They were wrong. I stopped cold, and have no problem with it. I was emotionally dependent on sugar. Now, I could have a bite of cake or a spoon of ice cream, and be satisfied...or no cake, no ice cream at all.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Exactly the same for me Joan and I also quit for health reasons. I didn't feel addicted to sugar however my 'come down' off sugar was a lot rougher. I barely had the energy to pick my kids up from school. I just felt like sitting down on the pavement. I was in the middle of catering a short film though and pushed through and then the energy hit! A sugar addiction for energy is such an irony!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
C4rmen  

thats an awesome story, i am in the process of eliminating things from my diet too and feel great about it

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Certainly feels good to make positive changes C4men. Good on you! My problem is when I don't have a driving motivation (like my health issue - I was hoping to avoid surgery) I fall into my old habits! Still, as Joan pointed out, it does change how I think about things.... one bite of something is often enough to remind me I really don't want that anymore. Better than eating a man sized piece and feeling sick about it! Maybe this is the gift of eliminating certain things. We start to notice how our body responds to certain foods. I'm sure people must feel horrid all the time and not even realise it's not normal.

  
  about 9 years ago
C4rmen  

Good article. I use to have coffee most mornings and while I didnt think I was an addict I always use to make the same trip to the cafe just before work LOL. I went on a simple (if there are any) detox 4 years ago and havent touched it since. Love the smell but dont drink the stuff.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yes, many non coffee drinkers love the smell. It's an interesting thing really...

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Haha Rob. Yes, I wish I understood more of what I wrote too. I can't decide if we agree, disagree or agree to disagree. I am seriously going to have a coffee... double shot, right now!!! ;-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Ai Hoon  

I think being an addict doesn't mean you will stay an addict. In many things, it's a choice we make. I used to like drinking a lot and smoking too but along the way, I figured that I couldn't stay that way as I have a family and I wanted friends respect me. I wanted to stay healthy to grow old with my husband and also didn't want others to see me in a bad light. I didn't quit cold shoulder though. I reduced the intake gradually and got myself 'addicted' to other things that were healthier. Eventually, I didn't feel the need anymore to buy cigarettes or drinks. It simply left my body. There are certainly worse things than coffee and I enjoy a cup a day as a reward! Thank you for the article Heather. As always, that's good insight!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for reading Ai Hoon and well done to you. It's not an easy thing.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Ai Hoon  

Thanks :)

  
  about 9 years ago

Heather, for once I disagree with you, on one small thing, once an Alcoholic always an Alcoholic, you have never recovered from it just like cancer, in remission. Very few A's have returned to drinking and been able to control it, in fact none I know. What I do know some that have gone back we've buried. Cigarette smoking a habit not an addiction, can be given up, but not enjoyed in moderation. Once you give up, you stop, one a day, sorry your still smoking. In the same light surely if drinking coffee is an addiction to you (and I know it can be with a friend who drinks close to 15 cups a day) giving up is beating the addiction, taking in moderation? Still an addiction. Total control to me has not been achieved. You know I love your articles and I am merely voicing my opinion, so don't see this as our first argument, convince me your right. Remember I get the last say!!!!!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I think we're complex beings. I liken us to an onion. Many layers. During my training I often used coffee drinking for the sake of the exercises.... choose a 'problem' and run the change exercise. I paused my coffee drinking and began again. It proved to me (if nothing else) we have choice and options. It perhaps peeled a layer or three off my 'onion'. Somehow it's easy to think 'coffee' is not as great an addiction (and truthfully it's not). I don't think I was addicted to coffee... I was addicted to feeling contentment! Coffee was my vehicle. This is what I call the 'root cause' of a problem. Most 'treatments' for addiction never touch the root cause. It's the centre of the onion. This is why most people fail and fail again. The body doesn't have an uncontrollable 'need' for alcohol in my books. An uncontrollable need for comfort, self forgiveness, contentment, happiness, love, acceptance or something else most likely? I'll buy any of them. They're the true addictions. Hope someone is out there researching this more. I will stand by my point of view... after all I know the feeling inside me has changed. It's very tangible... but I sure don't have all the answers!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Hearther Dear, I see coffee as a need not an addiction, it satisfies the want, the addiction may be to the caffeine or other chemicals in it. Smoking is a habit the addiction is to the chemicals it contains. Alcohol is a product to which I cannot place a need only an addiction, there is no need to drink it, we do to be sociable, the addiction is to the feeling it gives like other drugs that I have never partaken of. Alcohol deadens the mind and is used as a self hypnosis, the more you drink the more you forget, that is an addiction. Another addiction is wanting to read others articles to comment and reply, it gives a high of enjoyment without any harmful effects (unless you upset someone) I understand where you are coming from, but is coffee an addiction difficult to give up? If it is change your brand I would say, there might be something else in your mix. Your self analysis of a need for comfort, contentment, happiness, love etc I agree with and when you get it is it not an addiction. I am addicted to love etc and I am responsible to myself to obtain them, what I give so shall I receive. I love your articles and your comments, and I like to stir it up every now and then. So Heather I hope I have put a smile on your face, like the one in your profile picture. Enjoy the day, I just wish I understood more of what you expound, and could write such deep thought provoking articles like you.

  
  about 9 years ago

Nice job.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Shawn.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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