How To Overcome An Addiction

cookieWhile I love sugar, if I eat it, I become desperately depressed. It puts me in a state of despair. I’ve been talking about baking cookies for my husband. Someone asked me how I was managing to make all these cookies but not eat them.

It was an excellent question because I love cookie dough, specifically. I had a quick answer that represents what I think is one of the smartest ideas I have ever had in my life.

When I was young I snorted cocaine and got immediately addicted of course. I had to get off the shit, just like I had to more recently get off the sugar. I came up with a mind trick to do it. If you are addict you may be able to do this yourself especially if you’ve got any exchange between Saturn and Neptune which can GROUND what is IMAGINARY.

Anyone who is addicted to anything leads themselves to the drug when they have the desire and then imagine that first whatever.

The taste of the first beer.
The first line you snort.
How good a bowl of ice cream tastes or whatever.
How you want to hear your ex-lovers voice…

But provided you have a negative reaction  after you use, you have the option to bring up the sensation of the crash afterward rather than the first rush.

In other words when I want to think about eating the cookie now, paying later, I choose to fast-forward to how I’ll feel an hour later when the crash comes.

I did the same thing with cocaine. I quit thinking about how the first line would be. I brought up the feelings and sensations I experienced post a binge and it worked brilliantly.

It was able to condense the whole cycle of coming up, then and going down to about sixty seconds. This allowed me to easily skip the acting out. I mean, why go get some cocaine when I already have the feelings of the end game?

I probably saved myself tens of thousands of dollars (in drugs I did not buy) doing this. This is what I call a good idea! So this weekend I did not think about the taste of a cookie.  I brought up the feelings of being so depressed I don’t even want to walk out the mailbox and get the mail and yeah. That does it.

I hope this makes sense. You don’t talk yourself out of doing the drug. You go ahead and do the drug in your imagination but you keep imagining until you get to the part where it sucks.

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How To Overcome An Addiction — 59 Comments

  1. Makes perfect sense to me. I gave up drugs about eight years ago and I did it by just closing a mental door. I told myself I would close that door forever because if I ever opened it again I wasn’t sure whether I could close it again. I think I was finally clear about the reality of the comedown – that it always came. Did the same with alcohol a few months ago. No therapy, no groups – just an awareness of what it does to me and it no longer appeals. I will be bearing this trick of yours in mind if I am ever tempted!

  2. Hi Elsa!

    That is excellent advise!

    I was just sitting here thinking about my own reaction to sugar when I thought I’d drop in to see what you were talking about here. Very trippy, but not really for me.

    Yesterday after eating some Altoids. I got caught in a cycle of thinking sad thoughts (those scenarios you can’t imagine happening, but sometimes imagine them anyway). I knew it was the sugar, and I had this very same reaction to the same tin of Altoids the last couple of times I had them. Bye bye Altoids!

    I can usually eat types of sweeteners that still have minerals in them like molasses, honey, even a little raw sugar. But the white stuff…that shit should be illegal!

    Here’s to good moods and sweet thoughts!

    Pisces

  3. Great advice, Elsa! I am very prone to addictions myself and I’ve managed to wean myself off a few types of food over the years using EXACTLY what you described! I have a Saturn squaring my Neptune and while it’s been a pain in the ass for me most of my life, I had NO IDEA that this was why I have not become addicted to many things!

    My current success was quitting caffeine: mainly coffee and diet coke. I’ve been 2 weeks clean (haha! I sound like an alcoholic!) and I have not had a craving yet – despite how tired and sleepy I can get throughout the day! The surprising thing is, my insomnia is close to gone! Insomnia has been a problem since I was 14!

    My strategy: think of how bloated I get when I drink a diet coke… Think of how badly I crash after 3 to 4 cups of coffee (yes, I drank that much)…

    Next thing to tackle: sugar… now THAT is difficult!

  4. awesome- I’m so glad to read this! It explains it so clearly. This is precisely why I could never get into cocaine- i had one bad crash and that was that…and now i’m doing it with caffeine. i have a long way to go before sugar, but your post makes it much clearer and more possible-but cookies—oh, cookies- how do i quit thee? 🙂

  5. LOL. nice.
    I’m still struggling, off and on, with nicotine, and I imagine that would be handy.
    I kicked soda all on my own at twelve, i guess i can do this, too…. 😉

  6. Timely topic. I quit smoking cold turkey one month ago and immediately became addicted to sugar instead. The past month has been horrible. Sugar highs and lows and crying jags for no reason and depression. I gained 10 pounds.

    I know I have to quit sugar and indeed most carbs as I am highly sensitive…One thing at a time I guess. I wish the demon sweeties weren’t lurking in every corner screaming my name though.

  7. I tried so many drugs when I was a teenager, and never got addicted to any of them. It was more like “I want to try this once” and that’s exactly what I did.
    Sugar on the other hand…..oh sweet sugar.
    I am usually a disciplined person, but I can’t control myself when it comes to that stuff. It’s the devil.
    I will try your method, but I imagine it would be a miracle if I could quit. But I’m giving it a shot (well, not right at this moment, I’m eating a Ferrero Rocher chocolate, lol)

  8. I stopped drinking about 6 or more years ago. I used to drink wine, and realized at times too much of it. My mother became an alcoholic in her later years, and addictions definitely run in my family. I never realized until I stopped how less bloated I looked, and how I was able to lose weight a (little) bit easier. I have never had a drink since – I think most people, when I tell them “I don’t drink”, assume I must have been an alcoholic, and went through AA. What I find still interesting that there are people who do not listen when I say I don’t drink, and just keep offering me drinks, which hell, if I was a recovering alcoholic, that would be a pretty fucked-up thing to do to someone! I have never done drugs (with exception of pot, I was a teen in the 70’s, went with the territory). I was terrified of drugs, I have always had a dreaded fear (and still do) of not being in control, which is another reason I never went to bars and got shitfaced drunk. No way – I have always needed to know what is going on, at all times. I had tons of friends who popped pills, acid, you name it – I never gave in, not even as a teen. I just refused – I really was too afraid of it.

  9. for the sugarholics- if it helps knowing this, about a week clean and you won’t crave it anymore as long as you don’t do the “just a little won’t hurt” bit.

  10. I imagine this would be a good approach for many addictions. I have known people that were alcoholics to such a degree that they became physically sick when they couldn’t get a drink. Drinking for the most part so the didn’t feel sick the buzz was secondary at that point.

  11. I quit smoking twice by getting my head in a space of knowing I was just done with it. Your method ramps it up a bit and is really helpful. Thanks Elsa!

  12. Fortunately for my sanity and my health (and doubly good because I was diagnosed with OCD!), I never developed a taste for drugs or booze. I don’t like them, made no bones about not liking them, and wouldn’t give in to peer pressure to do them to fit in.

    I’m just like Dorothy in that I don’t like feeling out of control of my mind. I have to have a clear head and my feet on the ground. I can’t go with where the drug “takes me”, like others can. I freak out until I feel normal again.

    Now, even though I don’t like this stuff, I’d get into moods and get blitzed every once in a while. I’d fly high and be loopy and giggly. But, but but but!!! When I crashed, I crashed hard. My head spun, I’d get vicious headaches, nasty nausea, and dry heaves. I’m pleased to say that I haven’t gone overboard in 10 years.

    There’s always a price to pay with that junk, and I’m glad I stayed away from it.

  13. I needed to hear that tonight! Also want to add a similar take on reprogramming thoughts to end an addiction. A national women’s magazine had a story about someone who went to a ‘chocolate addiction cessation’ weekly workshop. The method was that you could bring all the chocolate you wanted to eat and were sat in front of a large mirror. You could taste and chew the chocolate but you had to let it fall from your mouth onto a paper plate while you watched yourself. There were some holdouts, but eventually most people learned a new thought impulse, that eating chocolate was an intensely disgusting experience.

  14. There were some holdouts, but eventually most people learned a new thought impulse, that eating chocolate was an intensely disgusting experience.

    Blasphemy!

    I would be the only one in the history of the world failing that workshop. Ha Ha.

  15. Alright, it is morning and I’m going to try this. I’ve been giving in to coffee and I don’t want to. So, let’s see how this Pisces imagination does.

    Regarding the “chocolate cessation” when my hubby eats chocolate and there’s a little on his teeth I find it pretty funky looking. I think it turned me off from chocolate just a little–but not from my hubby, fortunately 😉

    Good luck to all today on overcoming vices!

    Cheers (with some herbal tea),
    Pisces

  16. I have Saturn conjunct Neptune in Cap.

    I don’t know if that grounds me, but I’ve done several drugs and while I enjoyed them ( especially cocaine ), I stopped right away.

    I’ve never been addicted to anything and the reason is behind your advice. I’ve always thought like that and while that may work for some people others are always ready to face the consequences of their actions.

  17. I have all kinds of squares w/ Saturn: Leo sun, Leo Mars, Leo Jupiter, and Leo Midheaven. Holy crap! No wonder! All the fun stuff has a strict disciplinarian standing over it and cracking a whip – would love some feedback on what all that Saturn/Leo stuff means in a chart.

    I set drink and drugs by the side of the road 30 years ago after imbibing intensely from age 16 to 22, when I got married. I didn’t want my kids to see me doing that. Never missed either one, except for really really stressful crises when I used to wish for the dreamworld I could enter with a fat juicy joint! Didn’t give in tho.

    Nowadays it’s food – feeding loneliness and social deprivation with food, and last weekend I finally got on a scale for the first time in over two years and whoa – the shock! The sorrow!

    So right now today it is “that’s-it-I’ve-HAD-it-time” – Elsa I’m going to use your powerful visualization along with getting some damn exercise for once in my life. I have gone up a whole dress size in clothes, nothing fits, I don’t like the way I feel (lethargic, breathless with the least exertion)and I remember how good I felt when I wasn’t packing around an extra 30 lbs.

    So for me the end result of the 60-second fast forward when I’m staring at the leftover spaghetti in the fridge will be what I see in the mirror every day. Gonna grab a glass of water instead and get back to my fighting weight.

    Thanks for this great post Elsa – you’re the best.

  18. I think this is good advice, but as someone who is prone to addictions I’m not sure it’d work for me because for the most part, I use msot of my addicitons as escapes and there are so many options I’m always able to find something that doesn’t cause me to crash too hard and with Neptune itneh 12th house I’m pretty good at deluding myself (in favour of escapism) about what’s going to happen.

    What I’ve found really helpful is harm reduction. Acknowledging I have a real hard time giving stuff up altogether, that I’m wrong about whatever relief I think its going to bring, and that I’m going to do it anyway for that initial moment of goodness and then taking small steps backwards each time I do it. Can I put it off ten minutes? Fifteen? Twenty? How can I distract myself from this drink/line/purchase/coffee

    I’ve never sucessfully quit anything in my life (Except that one job – Ha!) but I have moderated some stuff down to nil. Outgrown it the way you say in your other video (which takes longer and costs more and isn’t near as good as this method, but self discipline is not my strong suit.)

    Sagittarius Neptune in the 12th (So. Many. Different Escapes!)
    Square my moon, loosely cnj venus and probably my Asc

    and Mars Sq Pluto for a bit of self destruction impulse

    Uranus sextile Mars for a wide impulsive streak . . Nownownownownownowwwwwwww!

  19. I don’t have a Saturn Neptune exchange in my chart, even tho both are prominent. I have 5th house Aries Venus conjunct Saturn and squaring Cappy Moon, which makes me a giant prude in some respects, but also made me work at being a partier in my youth. So yeah, I did a lot of drugs, but never to the point of addiction. I’ve been curiously able to dabble in excess without having it take over my life, tho I have done some pretty stupid things at times… My Neptune opposes my Mars, which causes all sorts of headaches around motivation and focus, but not addictions of the usual variety — more like intrusive fantasies and distractions that derail my work ethic.

  20. I tried this last night when I wanted a late-night candy run. (Stopped the craving, of course.) Fast forward to tonight. It hasn’t come back yet.

    Hmm.

    Neptune in Capricorn.

  21. I have Neptune in Capricorn. I tend to get scared and keep addictions in check i.e. I usually drink only two drinks. The funny thing is the envisioning thing you describe, I foolishly do it when I imagine relationships on tv and in life, I imagine the stereotypical cycle of a relationship and say oh good, I’m single. I’m stopping doing that now.

  22. Neptune in Sag and yeah, I do excess sometimes. This is quite brilliant! It’s like using Neptune to beat Neptune! I’ve got no Saturn-Neptune exchange… must be why grounding is difficult for me.

  23. Does anyone have a recommendation for an optimal time to quit coffee?

    My addiction to coffee – recent, but detrimental – makes me so tired and edgy, it’s as if my nervous system is stripped of all buffers. I love the taste and culture of coffee, but have to cut it, and want my quitting to last.

    I was wondering if the upcoming full moon in Pisces could be an opportune moment? Isn’t it good to quit things at full moon? Or would it be better at the new moon in Virgo?

    I’m a Sun Sadge (20°), with Saturn in 18° Aqua squaring both my Neptune (16° Scorpio) and Moon (20° Scorpio).

    Thanks for any advice!

  24. Ananda I would think setting an intention is similar to quitting an addiction, you make a intention to stick with a decision…Full Moon is when fruition comes…hence I vote for New Moon in Virgo.

    Good luck! PS. Hot water with lemon and honey is also a delicious way to start the day.

  25. kashmiri, thank you for your comment! You made me realize/remember I should use both moons!

    I remembered another piece of advice I’ve read at astrologer Susan Miller’s website, regarding dieting: Quit certain foods at full moon; begin exercise program at new moon.
    I’ve decided to quit coffee on this week’s full moon – in Pisces, which seems somehow fitting – and then reinforce with a new intention at the new moon – in Virgo, which should be perfect.

    I’ve quit coffee a long time ago too. Argh, the headaches were a horror. I’ll try your hot water with lemon & honey tip, in addition to what helped me back then: Peppermint tea. More & more mint tea.

    Friendly greetings to you 🙂

  26. Sugar can disguise itself to be an angel but its such a devil. I also get the big serotonin kick from sugar which bring about manic depression and a feeling of floating disconnectedness. In the end anything can be an addiction…for the brain needs serotonin and dopamine and will do what ever it can to get it.

  27. Sugar has more or less the same effect on me. I feel terrible when I eat it, and once I get on a kick I can’t seem to stop. This is great advice, and something I try to practice in my own life (although it doesn’t always work!). In any case, I’ll keep this blog post of yours in mind the next time I fall off the sugar wagon…

  28. Excellent!!

    I’ve only been drunk-drunk 2x in my life. And whenever (if ever) we go out for a drink out here, I have no more than two glasses of wine or a single beer.

    Getting drunk-drunk is just no fun for me. I can’t go overboard on the drinking without thinking about my head over a toilet…

  29. wow, that’s quite a skill to have…the world would be a better place if we could manage it! i have moon conjunct neptune and i’m prone to flights of fancy where i lose track of what i’m actually doing. oh did i have six martinis? three pieces of cake? but it’s not all bad, sometimes it’s just what one needs! besides, i think a strong saturn and cap ascendant don’t let go of the reins for all that long.

  30. i just saw lana’s comment which attributes the opposite effect to moon-neptune. who knows? maybe it’s moon-neptune in SAG that makes me want more more more

  31. I have Saturn conjunct Neptune. I have always been an addict. As a kid it was food, as a teenager food and cigarettes. As a young adult cigarettes and pot, a little acid, maybe sex for a spell. I gave up smoking for many years, but fell into it again. Gradually fell into the alcohol trap, very closely related to the sugar trap.

    I always wanted an alternative reality. Still do. I figured out that all this oral imbibing was a way of swallowing pain. So I learned a method to deal with and release the underlying pain, and was freed of a lot of cravings. And I also figure that part of the path of the Mystic is dealing with and accepting reality exactly how it is dealt in an objective fashion as possible and learning how not to get caught up in the drama. Without mind obscuring influences. A tough road.

  32. Saturn sextile Neptune (includes my Moon). I smoked on & off for over 20 yrs but had no problem passing on drugs & alcohol despite having lots in the 12th house. Quit smoking cold turkey close to 10 yrs now.

    Had to stop eating chocolate this past year and it was exactly the mechanism Elsa described that keeps me from eating it again. Haven’t had more than a taste of any sweets in months. As a consequence, I’ve lost over 25 lbs. No more vices at all . . .

    Good one, Elsa!! 🙂

  33. I 100% agree with Foxxy – It sounds like a great idea, assuming you have the right aspects in your chart… I’m a Pis-Ari cusp (in the 12th house), rising aries, capricorn moon, and I also have my sun squaring Neptune, which basically means I’m an escapist. In those impulsive moments, my mind immediately says- ‘Take something. Drink something. Eat something.’
    I wish I could tell you that activities such as running, reading, listening to soothing music, etc. are things I would consider in those moments, but they aren’t. Always, it’s a substance, whether it be pills or alcohol… If those aren’t an option, it’s compulsive eating…
    I’m not saying “I’M NEVER GONNA BE ABLE TO CONTROL MYSELF BECAUSE OF MY NATAL CHART” – that would be taking zero accountability for my actions, which is absolutely not at all the case. All I’m saying is, someone like me, and other people who have aspects in their charts that make it a bit harder to have any bit of self-control in that moment – need to find another way of going about it. I certainly am waiting for the day I find that solution, but as for now- thinking about the negative consequences that I’ll have to deal with in the near future means absolutely nothing to me, no matter what the consequence.

  34. p.s. It blows my mind to think about, and read about, how sugar has such a strong effect on some people. Even as a child, and an adolescent, and a teenager – I never was greatly affected by sugar, or any sweets for that matter… I understand the whole ‘biological chemical reactions’ aspect of it – just, the idea of sugar being someone’s serious addiction, with actual side effects and withdrawals is insane to me… 😛

  35. Oh wow! This is an incredible post! I bought a scale yesturday 🙁 I thought I had gained 40lbs I was wrong its 50lbs. Tons of things have thrown off my metabolism including having 1/2 my thyroid removed in feb. I have saturn conj ASC opposite moon and Neptune. Saturn in Scorpio is transiting my 6th house. Calling me to fix this crap or pay for it. I’m going to try what you wrote above with sugar, or a second piece of pizza or ice cream. All make me feel horrible.

  36. I have a Semi-Sextile between Saturn and Neptune……not sure that helps much?

    I for the most part have not eaten regular” sugar for years. For a long time I used Stevia to sweeten, if I had to use a sweetener. It did make me want more and more of whatever I sweetened! Early this year, I stopped using that, supposedly it is in the “ragweed” family, I am very allergic to ragweed.

    I tried all kinds of honey, a sweetener made out of apples. Every sweetener I used just made me want more of whatever I sweetened.
    So now, and sometimes I do not feel good about this…….I do buy Honey Mamas chocolate bars at the Coop. They are sweetened with coconut and some honey.
    The price is not reasonable, but sometimes I get them on sale.
    I can go overboard on these too, but for now I let myself have this treat
    and do ok with it.

  37. I´m 42, and i had overcome marijuana, alcohol, nicotine, gaming, and gambling.

    I have 12th Leo saturn trine 4th IC Sag Neptune. Addiction, fanatism, is a huge, common, issue inside my family. Scapism is in my soul. Jupiter is in my 10th MC, opposing my nep, and making a setile with my Sat.

  38. It might not work for everyone, but I don’t give up what I love, I just find a really good substitute. My husband and I gave up sugar a couple of years ago. But we’ve just polished off some lovely muffins made with oatmeal and stoneground wholemeal flour, sweetened with grated orange rind, cinnamon, blueberries, diced apple and dates, with some lovely pecans for crunch. Cinnamon and diced dates would probably work very nicely for your cookies too!

  39. Genius! I just realized I have done this with many addictions I’ve had as well. I did it with alcohol. Also cociane when I was 18-19 years old. And a couple of years ago with cigarettes. I have always wondered why I can quit addictions so easily. I have Saturn sextile Neptune, natally.
    However..love addiction, thats another story. But it does make me feel better that at least my love addiction is grounded. See, I knew it, but everything I read about neptune tells me I am full of illusions….malarkey. 🙂

  40. This is a Brilliant IDEA!! With Saturn/Neptune opposing in Gemini & Sag, I really think will work flawlessly. Living responsibly in the moment (saturn in gemini) to ground higher ideals & see the longterm/big picture results (neptune in sag) what a great balancing act. Thanks, Elsa!

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