Old habits die hard. Never been true.
It seems easy to an outsider to give advice on what to do with addiction to someone or things.
Truth is: if you are addicted, it’s usually hard to let go. Anyway, that’s if you admit it’s an addiction.
So, let’s take a step. How do you know you are addicted?
You never talk about it
It is fairly human to live in self-denial especially at the initial stages of an addiction. An addiction usually starts with an act and then you gradually get more comfortable with it until withdrawing from it then becomes an uphill battle. It is normal to seek to avoid discussing about the addiction partly because it might be embarrassing or you might feel you will break out of it yourself just that you are not ready yet. Interestingly, you are not likely to become ready enough because the moment you recognize you are addicted to something, if you do not take immediate steps to stop then you risk sinking deeper into it as the days go by. If you find yourself being secretive about something, that may be a clue to your addiction.
You know it’s bad but you can’t stop
Most persons struggling with an addiction know it's bad and unhealthy but the temporary pleasure or relief they feel from indulging that habit may seem too big a price to pay in obtaining their freedom. For example, even when the consequences of being on drugs stares at you in the face, you can’t seem to stop craving. You may even know others or read about others that such habit has adversely affected but yet you struggling to stop it. Addiction is in levels and the solution or treatment for each level may vary one from another. Sometimes, it is even possible to know exactly what to do to stop at that particular level or stage you are in but you continue to indulge in the habit such that you graduate into the next stage of that addiction and the solutions you knew has now become inadequate to curb the behavior.
You avoid activities that separate you from it
Another indication of addiction is when you feel threatened by activities that don’t entertain your old habit; it’s a sign that you are addicted. Now, even if the activity is important, you’d rather miss it. You have involuntarily built a fortress out of that habit and indulging in it brings so much relief to you. That addictive act gradually climbs to a vantage point in the order of preference in terms of your daily activities such that you could take off your sleeping hours just to indulge in it.
You lack control even when you want to stop
Addiction is all about control because what it does is that it breaks down your self-control so that it seems like you are helpless in controlling yourself and preventing yourself from engaging in it. Addiction tends to make you a slave to that habit. Control is the hallmark of adulthood. Babies engage in a lot of involuntary actions but as they mature, they gain control over their actions both bodily and otherwise. For instance, one way you can know you lack control is when you resolve to stop that behavior and within 24 hours or even a couple of minutes or hours later, you are back to that same habit. This is a sign that you have grown an addiction and this should serve as a notice for you to initiate steps to stop that habit before it takes over you completely.
Lack of sleep
Another indication of addiction is sleep disturbance. Addiction will very likely take a toll on your sleeping routine. The context of addictions varies but one factor that seems consistent with all of them is lack of sleep. You are awake most of the time, indulging your addiction. The more time you spend indulging in the habit it will take longer for you to sleep. Please note that insomnia is not automatically caused by an addiction as it could have other cause but most addicts tend to have difficulty with sleep. This may not show immediately but with time, it will come to tell on the individual
Fighting your addiction secretly is not the best answer.
The first step is to talk to someone such as your loved one or a therapist.