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Bad Habits ~ Don't Let Them Take Control

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

The truth is you, don't break a bad habit; you replace it with a good one.

— Denis Waitley

What Is a Habit?

This article is a response to Brenda Arledge's article: "Word Prompts Help Creativity ~ Week 34 (Habits). Thank you Brenda for inspiring your fellow writers once again with another great one-word prompt. These poems are my interpretation.

We all have habits in one form or other, good or bad, maybe even subconsciously that we don't realise. Sometimes these habits can become extreme and turn into addictions, and when that happens they can sometimes ruin lives. This can happen with things like gambling, drinking, drugs etc.

Addiction can be avoided if we practice these things responsibly and in moderation, but that is often easier said than done. If you find your habit is out of control there is a helpline in your country for your particular problem. Don't be afraid to call them.

What is a Habit?

Habit ~ noun ~ (definition): a settled or regular tendency or practise, especially one that is hard to give up.


Addiction ~ noun ~ the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.

— Oxford Dictionary

Controlling That Gambling Habit

I’ve got a gambling habit,

To kick it I have tried.

I’ve used up all my savings,

To that end, I’ve even lied.

It used to be just horses,

I’d win some now and then.

But when you win it sucks you in,

Now I lose more than I win.

I’d gamble what I could afford

But that was not enough.

There’s a winner in the 7th race

And its odds are really rough.

I’d search the house for some small change

And even my wife’s purse.

The more I bet the more I lost,

It just got worse and worse.

And now there's online gambling,

Casinos, betting sites.

I can lose my money faster,

Just staying home at night.

I’d justify my habit

Saying, “I don’t smoke or drink.

We all need some fun in our lives.

I can have one vice I think.”

But now my wife has left me,

My addiction I admit.

I’ve lost the house, I’ve lost the car,

My life has turned to shit.

So, control your gambling habit,

Take advice from one who knows.

What starts as just a buck each way

Just grows, and grows, and grows.

Marijuana/drugs: Image by Chickenonline from Pixabay

Marijuana/drugs: Image by Chickenonline from Pixabay

My Life Is One Big Habit

My life is one big habit,

Temptation everywhere I look.

I could have chosen abstinence,

But that’s not the road I took.

There’s alcohol, gambling, and drugs,

Sex and smoking too.

This worldly life offers so much -

What don’t I want to do?

I want to sample everything,

An urge I can’t control.

For once I start I just can’t stop,

Then I’m on a downhill roll.

They start off just as habits,

But addiction takes the lead.

Then I stooped to a life of crime,

I, in hindsight, should have seen.

I’ve heard it said, “Life’s to be lived.

Don’t waste a single day.”

So, I’m just following advice.

Each hour I spend at play.

I have bad habits, I admit

So judge me if you must.

I have no one to answer to,

For I’d only break their trust.

Smoking habit: Image by Aamir Mohd Khan from Pixabay

Smoking habit: Image by Aamir Mohd Khan from Pixabay

HABITS ~ an Acrostic Poem

Help me break these habits

Addiction's close behind

Betting, smoking, drinking, drugs

I am losing my sanity

Tomorrow I will break the chains

So, please help set me free

Alcohol addiction: Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Alcohol addiction: Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

We may idealize freedom, but when it comes to our habits, we are completely enslaved.

— Sogyal Rinpoche

We All Have Habits

We all have habits, good and bad

Of which we aren’t aware.

Some people sit and scratch their crotch,

While others twist their hair.

Some may eat with their fingers

Instead of knife and fork,

While others wave their hands around

Every time they try to talk.

“When you wash the dishes

Clean the scum around the sink.

It’s lucky that we live alone,

What would other people think?”

Some people tap their fingers

On the table when they’re bored,

While nervous Nellies bite their nails.

Bad habits that’s for sure.

Some have eating habits,

A need for comfort food.

Others habitually cuss and swear

Even though it’s very rude.

Some guys don’t drop the toilet seat

And that makes women seethe.

But it’s a habit that is hard to break

So, I’ll just sit down to pee.

Now many are addicted

To their iPads and smartphones.

Most communication

Takes place when we're alone.

Whatever habits you may have,

Rest assured it could be worse.

Like trying to stuff all you own

In a tiny leather purse.

Or chain-smoking cigarettes,

In one long constant drag,

Or complaining for the sake of it-

A habitual nag.

Smartphone addiction: Image by Jorge Barahona from Pixabay

Smartphone addiction: Image by Jorge Barahona from Pixabay

Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.

— Sean Covey

© 2021 John Hansen

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