The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Somehow, the post I did on "Addictions" vanished. Here it is again:
Q: How can the "Diamond Hour" help me with addictive patterns?
A: One thing most anti-drug or addiction patterns miss is that addictions are pleasureable. Lost in all the PC psychobabble about peer pressure is the fact that caffeine wakes you up, nicotine has a great buzz, alcohol creates a warm friendly cocoon, and pot...well, pot is just great stuff. And all of them can interfere with your ability to grow and change and face our lives with courage. During your Diamond Hour, you can clarify the costs of using the substance (what are the pains associated with it? What will happen if you don't stop?) and all the pleasure you will bring into the world and yoru own life if you make the positive change. Pain and pleasure. Increase the vividness with which you feel pleasure in connection with your positive future. Then...list a dozen different ways you can feel good in healthy ways. Instead of smoking, take a brisk walk. Instead of overeating, get a hug. Instead of drinking, pray. Instead of smoking a joint, play a video game. Instead of playing video games all day, write a poem or story. FIND THINGS YOU LOVE TO DO THAT ARE HEALTHY, and provide a jolt of "pleasure" that will create less long-term problem. Whenever I see smokers, druggies, alcoholics, obese people, or others with addictive behaviors who try to change without replacing the joy they felt (or at least the dimunition of pain) from the behavior, I know they are guaranteeing failure.


Anonymous said...

Dear Steve,
Please forgive (or delete) this as off-topic if necessary, but since Dar Kush has been talking about focus and exercise, I would like to venture to ask whether the Five Mintute Miracle Forum is still active? (I have been waiting for administrative approval for weeks now.)
Thank you for what you do and share.

Lorenzo said...

Excellent point. But there is the burden of addictions being "wrong pleasure" and hangovers of pleasure being inherently morally dubious.

Steven Barnes said...

I'm so sorry about the forum, but it seems to be wonky--won't let me on as administrator! I have another active forum, for the "101" program. You can sign up at It is quite active, and you'd be welcome.


Pagan Topologist said...

Steve, are you still unable to login to 5MM? I and someone else have put test posts there recently.