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Bad Habits

Bad habits die hard, they say. ‘They’ also say it takes a thousand times to make a habit and a million to break it (or something like that).

Maybe that explains why when my sock and underwear drawer changed, I always had to stop myself, turn, and put the socks in the other drawer. Why don’t I just switch drawers? It’s a matter of pride, believe it or not.

But this writing blog isn’t going to be filled with underwear and socks. Rather, the concept of a bad habit and breaking one has always interested me. We’ll use my father as my first example. My father is a smoker. He’s said he’ll quit this bad habit for the past ten years, and constantly mumbles: “Damn, next year, next year I’ll be done with this disgusting bad habit.” But has he quit smoking? No. And he probably never will. Yet somehow he kicked his drinking habit, and he did that right quick. Then again, when you’re faced with the abrupt, dire consequences of one bad habit, it tends to shock you out of it, rather than taking a million or so times.

So my father quit drinking because bad shit went down, yet he smokes because, hey, it’s not killing me now.

Get the picture I’m painting here?

Let’s use another example:

Woman (fiction character actually, read her from a book) takes drugs to dull her pain. Not emotional. In the book she got shot and beat up so often I wondered how she still had all her fingers and toes. But she took the drug because it made her stronger and better able to protect the ones she loved.

But drugs exact their price, and like my father, she was fine now, and, consciously taking this addictive substance, she dealt with the now really well. But when it came high time to pony up to the drug’s nasty effects, well… she had a choice. Protect the ones you love with drug-induced strength, or lose them forever because that drug makes you a mean son of a wench?

Deep shit, I know. Perfect story material. You’re welcome.

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1 Comment

  1. Well done, Quirky! Nice parallel. The most interesting characters will always be the ones with the biggest flaws to overcome.

    Reply

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