Taming the dragon of addiction / by Tyson Pop

Quitting anything is hard. 

I notice this every Monday when I go without my morning coffee. This single act of abstaining from one coffee for one day out of my entire week has the capacity to throw me into a spiritual wilderness and force me to start questioning what life is all about. Every Monday until about lunch time my brain screams at me to feed it with a massive caffeine hit before he loses his shit. My mental coffee dragon gets all bitter and starts threatening me that he'll switch off and not let me do any work. He can be quite aggressive! But then, by about lunch time when he realises I'm not going to give into his (quite reasonable) threats he starts to settle down and look to options like tea and water to satisfy his desires. 

Now, despite the mental dragon I face on Monday each week, I understand that some of us have far stronger addictions on a more regular basis that they're trying to overcome. Things like food or smoking or drugs or alcohol or porn or social media or whatever else we turn to in those moments of fear or boredom that we all feel from time to time. If you are in the space of trying to overcome a habit or addiction, you'll know exactly what I mean when I talk about how aggressive the voice of the deprived mental dragon can get. 

It's that voice I want to speak about for a moment. 

You see, that dragon doesn't realise you have the capacity to live a better life without that thing he's been telling you that you need. But the thing is, this dragon has a terrible reputation when it comes to knowing what is best for your life. In his crazed attempt to get what he wants, he completely ignores what's best for you and how great life could be if you refuse to give in to his threats.

The other things he doesn't tell you, is that over time, if you acknowledge that you hear his voice, but ignore his terrible advice, he'll stop speaking so loudly. In fact, his voice will grow so weak out that he'll barely be a part of your life at all. 

“What happens when you don’t follow the compulsion? What is on the other side of my need to eat and purge? The only way to find out is to not do it, and that is a novel act of faith.”
— Russell Brand

So regardless of what dragon is in your life right now, please understand he can be overcome. You don't need to submit to his screams and go back to that crutch of habit in your life. 

If you let him yell for long enough, he'll tire himself out. 

Stop giving into his threats. 

He's bluffing.