I always hear the statistic that it takes six weeks to make or break a habit. That may be true in cases like turning off the porch light in the morning, but I haven’t had the same success in life when it came to overcoming various destructive habits of mine.
Often I gut it out through those six weeks only to either give up, or quit that habit but replace it with something just as bad. I likened the experience to a stress-ball. I squeeze it really hard in my hand, and it may even squeeze through my fingers. Did the material in the stress ball dissappear? Nope. What happens when I release theÂ ball? It all goes back right where it was before.
Compulsive and/or destructive habits seem to work in the same way. Why does it seem that every time we identify a bad behavior in our life and work to chop it down, that another takes it’s place almost immediately?
That is because we are attacking the evidence that there is a problem, not the problem itself. Identifying the root issue takes time, but it is well worth it. When I say “time”, I’m talking about anywhere from a year or more.
That’s correct – to truly break the root cause of your destructive habits or addictions will take at least one year. Don’t despair though, because that can and will be a very good thing.
When I went to my first Celebrate Recovery meeting, they said that the program involved 2 meetings a week for a year. I nearly ran out of the room! I was thinking it would be a 6-8 week class, and I’d be “healed”. I’m a pretty smart guy and a quick study – surely there would be some shortcut, right?
God had a different plan with no shortcuts, and I’m glad I stuck with it. I’ve finally understood the spiritual issues behind why I do what I do, and how to let God use and change me. I still struggle, but it’s way better than it used to be. Best of all, there is real hope that not just my life will be different, but that my current child and any future siblings’ lives will be different. The same sin issues passed from generation to generation will stop here. Of course sin will still rear it’s ugly head and they’ll have struggles, but they’ll be different ones.
So I wanted to be totally up-front before we start on this path to recovery – give it a year and you will see a dramatic difference. My 12-step group probably had 25 people participate, but we ended with 5 people.
The cool part about the web is that you may be starting this journey a year after I write this, but it won’t matter. However, don’t think you can read all my posts for a shortcut to freedom. It doesn’t work that way.
The best advice I could give would be to join a Biblically-based 12-step group and get plugged in. Also stop by this site to share your experiences as you work towards submitting your life to Christ; allowing him to break the bonds of whatever habit or addiction you are facing today.