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Sometimes I get into an addictive rut, do something I know I'll regret later, and then regret it later. The solution: don't regret it, just be happy, and if you maintain that then you'll never fall back into the rut. Sure, sounds real simple. Just "be happy" and it will all be OK?
Well addiction is a cycle of masochism or denial, however you want to put it. You deny part of reality by going off on some tangent, which is harmful insofar as it distracts you from your way. But you must believe it's good to justify your doing it in the first place, to justify your denial in the first place. This creates more denial, of the fact that what you're doing is bad, not good.
But your subconscious has a secret plan in the works: if you keep doing these bad things under a positive pretext long enough, eventually the symptoms will become too much to bear and you'll be forced to take notice, to confront the issue. You secretly desire the breaking point through which Truth can rush, you secretly wish for self-destruction and death.
When it becomes too much to bear, you have a choice: accept what you've done and the consequences, or deny it with a still more intense means. Some choose denial and continue the cycle, only to keep breaking down until the lesson is learnt. Others choose to accept their denial as denial and face the real issues.
However, what you're denying in the first place is a ghost, something you blew out of proportion to slow things down, to venture off on a hedonistic tangent for a while. You're addicted to pain because pain slows down the flow and sustains your ego with the resistance. What resistance? The regret you feel over your self-destructive actions, your expression of the false importance you attach to the subject of your denial. You know it's false and you know its false nature is innately self-destructive, so you destroy yourself to get at the truth.
The lesson to be learnt: all this turmoil is founded on illusion, on a problem that only exists in your perception, for underneath the fallacy lies only Truth. After you do something you know you'll regret later, by being happy you stop regret and you stop the cycle. Just like that? Yes, it's really as simple as that! Ultimately the problem arises from your perspective, which is something under your total control, independent from external conditions. Choose to perceive the world from a positive perspective, choose to be happy, and it shall be so.
But if you fail to accept that the subject of your denial is a mere triviality, then either you're bound to repeat the cycle or it's a sign telling you it may actually have substance. Sometimes we must climb over real mountains, but mostly we just make mountains out of molehills.