“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep – And miles to go before I sleep.”
This quote from Robert Frost’s poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ reflects beautifully on how you must be feeling at this point of the book.
[See end of post for more about the book Take Control Now!]
The woods being lovely, dark, and deep reflects the safety and familiarity of your bad habit, but you know that you are on the road to developing healthy habits — after all, you have made your most excellent promise to yourself that you will. Although you are firmly committed, and have made a good start on developing healthy habits, it will take some time to do it, so you ‘have miles to go before you sleep’ and finally reach your desired goal.
Let’s return for a moment to the example of the speaker who used the tranquilizer Valium just before making a difficult speech. He also illustrates what I call “The Circle of Addiction.”
The Valium-taker, if he performs well, walks away with an outer sense of pride of accomplishment, control and the inner belief that the Valium pill will ensure his success the next time as well.
As you may remember from the example, it started with him being nervous about his speech.
Then he took a Valium pill and he performed well. So, the foundation of emotional self-control is built on having the drug.
His inner self- confidence, therefore, goes down because, he now believes that he cannot handle anxiety without chemical help from the pill.
The next time he walks onto stage, he will be even more nervous and non- confident, and therefore, he has a greater need for the quick fix of the pill. This man, in essence, was seduced into an adaptive cycle without realizing it. He is now more apt than ever to return to the addictive behavior.
I am convinced that within severely addicted individuals who practice unhealthy habits, there are hundreds of these circles taking place on many levels.
With an unhealthy habit circular addiction, you are giving yourself the illusion that you are controlling the problem, but it is a false control.
Each time you solve your problem with your unhealthy habit, you are fooling yourself with a short-term solution that can never, and will never, have any permanent effect at all. It is a quick and dirty fix leading you nowhere, just in a circle, like a dog chasing his tail. You have taught yourself to be helpless — and you have lost your natural coping skills.
Another example of biological circular unhealthy habits is the ‘hangover.’ Let’s say that you’re feeling hungover from drinking the night before. So, you have another drink to “get you going” the next morning. Starting early, you are likely to have a lot more drinks before the day is over.
As day follows night, when you wake up the next morning, you will have another hangover. Of course, the best way to recover is to repeat the process.
It is like a snake that bites it’s own tail, it forms a perfect circle.
This is a brief excerpt from the book Take Control Now!, by Dr. Marc Kern, founder of Habit Doc. It is important to him that you, the reader, realize that he has personal empathy for your life situation. He knows that simply by reading this, either you or someone you care about is experiencing deep personal difficulties at this time.
His book is a product of his extensive training and personal experiences as a practicing Clinical Psychologist. Now is the time to put your trust in someone who cares, someone who knows, and someone who has been there and back. Let his book and other training be the guidepost that leads you onto the pathway back to a satisfying and fulfilling life.
Do you want to take steps to stop the shame and embarrassment of being under the control of unhealthy habits? You can start by learning from material here on the Habit Doc site.
Get a Free download of Take Control Now! Chapter 1 Highlights.
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