Don’t Stop–Quit

It’s one to thing to stop an excessive or addictive behavior; it’s another thing to quit.

People in denial about their excessive behavior tend to say, “Oh, I can quit any time.” What they mean is they can stop. Of course they can stop–for a day, a week or even a month. But then what?

To quit–as opposed to merely stopping–is to make a commitment.

This is why AA works for many people. It encourages a commitment to quitting rather than merely stopping. Yes, I personally disagree with much of the philosophy behind AA, such as “surrender to a Higher Power,” and I believe this is why it often doesn’t work. But they have the quitting part right.

Rehab encourages you to stop by making you stop–for 30 days, or whatever it is. But stopping is still not the same as quitting.

To stop means to temporarily alter one’s behavior. To quit is to make a psychological and even philosophical break with life as you know it. Behavioral change follows–and has a chance of lasting–only once you quit.