Overcoming Addictions

Lessons I learned from Hootie about Breaking Bad Habits!

Overcoming AddictionsMy daughter Traci had been trying unsuccessfully for months to break my granddaughter, Jadyn, of her addiction to a pacifier. Traci used the pacifier to help Jadyn sleep. Without it there was no sleep for Jadyn or anyone within hearing range of her screams. Within seconds of getting the pacifier she was sound asleep.

This pacifier was the “Ambien” of toddler world.

One day I received a picture from Traci with the caption, “Now we have two addicts.” Our family dog, “Hootie” had acquired the pacifier habit. The whole affair turned out to be a miracle in disguise. Once “Hootie” got his lips on the thing, Jadyn decided to “pass” on the pacifier. The whole affair with Hootie made me think about a lot of adults, one I see in the mirror occasionally, who still hang on to pacifiers of their own.

Here are some lessons we can learn from Hootie.

  • There are good habits and bad habits. Know the difference and choose your habits wisely.
  • It takes much longer to break a habit then to make a habit. As Barney Fife used to say, “Nip it in the bud!”
  • Kicking a bad habit is far less then painful than enduring the affects it can have on your life. Never give up the fight.
  • Never use a pacifier after a dog has used it.

Every choice has consequences. Make good ones today and live to the fullest.

[reminder]How have you dealt with habits in the past?[/reminder]


  1. I wish I could remember all the bad habits I’ve had throughout my life. the only bad habit I can remember breaking was smoking a pipe. The first time I quit was when we moved to Colorado and my first wife Cheryl gave me the choice of quitting or smoking with my head stuck up the chimney of the fire place. I took up the habit again after her funeral. the second time I quit was right after my wife Cindy saw me falling asleep while walking up the steps with a lit pipe in my mouth. I quit cold turkey both times the last time was right after I retired coincidentally I started smoking when I started working for an insurance company and quit smoking when I quit working for the insurance industry. to this day I get the craving to light up every year after the first frost until after deer season is over. This year is especially tough because my vanilla Pepsi has been tasting like pipe tobacco, I can’t quite figure out if it’s Borkum Riff or Black cherry.

  2. I gave them to God and he hid them someplace that I can’t find. If I really wanted them back (which I don’t) I could use my bag search skills to find them.

  3. I have often read that if you do something for 21 days in a row it will become a habit that is hard to break, I don’t know, a bad habit can be formed in about 3 days, it seems and I can break a good habit on Day 22.

  4. One way to break a bad habit is to consider the choice and determine which consequence you prefer. Years ago, in high school , I started smoking cigarettes. My boyfriend found out and said he would not date me if I continued! I wanted my date to the prom more than a full ashtray! Quitting was a snap!

  5. I, too, have a pacifier story. My niece, at 3, was still using her pacifier. My dad used to tell her that she’d better not do it too much longer since they eventually grow roots and then you can’t get them out of your mouth.

    One Sunday we were having lunch at my sister’s house. As we picked salad fodder from her garden I remarked that radish roots would fit perfectly in those little holes on the pacifier. Yes, we did. Since we went out that evening and left the kids with a babysitter we had to wait to hear about it: At bedtime Shannon went looking for her pacifier. When she picked it up, she stood staring at it and then declared in astonishment, “It gwew woots!”

    She never used it again. She told the story multiple times to different people. Naturally we told her how lucky she was that it wasn’t in her mouth when the roots grew, or she’d have never gotten it out!

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