We replace things in our life often – we replace our favorite running shoes when they get worn out, we replace our car when it is too old to run anymore or we just simply want a new one, we replace our dishes when they break. All of this stuff is knowingly replaced; we make the decision to go to the store and get a new one because of some obvious reason – either it is worn out or broken or we just want a new one.
But, then there are also times when we replace something unknowingly, too. You might stop doing one thing and begin doing another as a replacement for your old habits but not even realize it. And, while of course, it is good that you ditched the other habit, the one you’ve replaced it with might become just as problematic.
This act of replacement is common with addicts and recovering addicts. For example, the drinker who decides to ditch all alcohol might become a compulsive shopper. Or, the smoker who ditches the nicotine might become an overeater. But, the issue with this is that they have just replaced their addiction with another addiction…
Rather than overcoming addiction altogether. And, furthermore, their new addiction could be just as damaging to them, maybe just in a different way.
So, they might not be an alcoholic anymore, but they might be up to their ears in debt because of their new shopping habits. Or, they might not be a chain smoker anymore but they might now be obese because of their poor eating habits.
And, just replacing one addiction with another is not healthy – it is not any different than just keeping your original addiction in the first place.
But, this does commonly happen with recovering addicts because they are looking for something to keep their mind off of what they are quitting.
This is why it is important to find healthy and productive things to do and to always be aware of when something has become too much. You are not doomed to a life of addiction, but it does take constant effort to avoid it.
Start by finding productive activities that you can participate in to help keep your mind busy. Then, it might help to make note of how often you are doing something. For example, if you fear that shopping might become an addiction, make a note of when you are going shopping and what for.
Keeping track of your actions is one of the best ways to avoid another addiction.