Getting Un-hooked

It doesn’t take long to get hooked on something that is inherently addictive. For example, yesterday I began a single game of solitaire on the computer and now I can’t get unhooked. In the past several years I have logged over one hundred days playing double deck solitaire. Those are days I will never get back to do something useful. My win rate is locked at 16%. It may never get any better, but I keep on trying, and wasting incredible amounts of time frittering away flipping cards from stack to stack when I could be writing blog posts about my boring life. I have to get unhooked. The problem is how does that happen? Perhaps if I blew up the computer, or smashed the screen?

No doubt even if I kick the habit, another vice will sneak into my repertoire of time wasting addictions, like napping, or reading, or just watching clouds pass over. There are so many ways to break habits but so little motivation to do so. Just try quitting to smoke.

Before long, if one practices an addiction like breathing it becomes a normal function of life. Addictions are contagious and will spread to your family and friends. Drinking alcoholic beverages is another addiction that is very hard to break. Drinking in excess becomes as hard as breathing to give up, and affects many other body functions well. There are harmless addictions like playing solitaire and those that are harmful like smoking and drinking. Does that mean we should not attempt to break those that are harmless? I think not. Getting away from the unharmful ones will give a person more time for productive things like day dreaming or washing windows.

The most harmful addiction I had to give up was smoking a pipe. It took three tries before I became successful, and I admit my health has been better for it, mental and physical. The final trick that tipped me over the top to success was when I came home from work one day to learn that my seven year old daughter buried my pipes in the garden. Her teacher taught all about the evils of smoking at school, and she came home to fix her daddy. So I kicked a twenty year smoking habit cold turkey and have not looked back. Now for the solitaire. I have already stopped playing several times and once went so far as to trash the program from my lap top. One day, I got an urge to play and reloaded the game. So much for kicking bad habits.

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