We use all kinds of ways to escape — all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain. – Pema Chodron

We all do things we know we shouldn’t do. We drink even though we know we’ll be hungover. We stay up late even though we know we’ll be tired. We date people we know are bad for us even though we know they’ll end up causing us more pain in the end.

We put ourselves in the same situations, again and again, never learning our lessons because of some sort of addiction we have to it — whether it’s an addiction to the pain or an addiction to the coping mechanism, we find ourselves in vicious cycles we can’t leave.

Don’t you hate yourself when you do something for a second or third time? When you lose another scarf at the bar even though last time you lost one you promised yourself you’d never lose another one again? The same goes for nasty habits and addictions. We tell ourselves we’re going to stop, but without realizing it we wake up and find ourselves committing the same mistake once more.

So how do we stop the circle? We throw ourselves into the center. We take an honest look at ourselves and our addictions, our coping mechanisms, our feelings. We need to realize why we have these addictions and where they’re coming from. This can take some work and definitely some time, but a good way to start is to realize the very basic root of where your first need for this addiction comes from.

This is not scientific and most definitely not fact or medically based. It’s just something to get your thoughts going — if it applies to you, great. If not, feel free to leave it here.

Aries: Recklessness; “why not?”

One of the most active zodiac signs, Aries love trying new things and are always up for anything. Their energetic and spontaneous personality is their most exciting quality and their downfall. Unafraid to take risks, they dive head first into any opportunity. Some of these opportunities, however, should be evaluated first.

With a hard time saying no, they find themselves in situations they haven’t always decided they want to be in. By going with the flow too often, they aren’t giving themselves time to think about what they really need — what’s really good for them.

This is why they find themselves in the same bad situation over and over again. They’re in the club even though they originally wanted a quiet night in. They’re spending money on dinner with friends even though they said they would save.

They have the inner strength, they just need to find the outward strength that comes with saying ‘no.’

Taurus: Gluttony; “what damage could just a little more do?”

If Aries doesn’t know when to say no, Taurus doesn’t know when to go home. The root of all of Taurus’ problems is the need for more…the reward. If Aries is all about love of the game, Taurus is all about the trophy at the end.

They revel in excess – whether it be material goods or physical pleasures, they can never seem to get enough. This can lead to spending sprees, sex with people they know are no good and relationships that aren’t healthy.

Many of Taurus’ addictions stem for their need of comfort. They want to be relaxed– at home, in social situations, etc. Because of this, they find themselves using coping mechanisms to “get comfortable.” It may be alcohol or shopping or binge watching TV. They also don’t know when to leave. Refusing to take yourself home when you need to is where a lot of the problems start.

Gemini: Boredom; “that is the only interesting thing I see”

Born under the sun sign, Gemini often have a feeling that their other half is missing, so they are forever seeking new friends, mentors, colleagues and people to talk to. Gemini’s changeable and open mind makes them fun to be around but internally, they are restless and always striving for more.

This constant need for stimulation is a source of many of their addictions. They are artists and they want to be inspired and intrigued and this constant seeking can lead to bad habits. Instead of trying to always find something else, they need to learn to find the interesting and fun qualities in the good things around them. Just because it’s not the most exciting and new thing in the world doesn’t mean it isn’t good.

Cancer: Compensation; “this is as close as I’ll get to what I need”

The downfall of Cancer lies in their compassion. Deeply intuitive and sentimental, Cancer can be one of the most challenging zodiac signs to really get to know. They are very emotional and sensitive, and care deeply about matters of the family and their home.Sympathetic and attached to people they keep close, they will kill themselves to keep the person next to them alive.

Because of this, they are constantly giving away their power and compensating for less. As they are quick to help others, they just as they are quick to avoid conflict, and rarely benefit from close combat of any kind. Because of this, they stay away from things that are right for them and usually go for things that are convenient or easy. Rather than asking for what they really want, they’ll settle for something less. This manifests itself in destructive behaviors later on as they are denying their needs and true feelings.

Leo: Self-indulgence; “I deserve this”

Leos are a force to be reckoned with. Strong willed, competitive and fiercely loyal, Leo’s are one of the few signs who are aware of their desires and personality. Unlike Cancers, they have no problem asking for everything they need, but could just as easily unconsciously neglect the needs of other people in their chase for personal gain or status.

As hard workers, their addictions stem from their “I deserve this” attitude. Even when it’s something they know isn’t good for them, they are able to rationalize a way around it. Like anything in life, they go after their vices as proudly and viciously as they go after their goals.

Virgo: Taking liberties; “I can be bad just this once”

Virgos have strength of character. They are methodical and organized, preferring conservative, well-organized things and a lot of practicality in their everyday life. These individuals have an organized life, and even when they let go to chaos, their goals and dreams still have strictly defined borders in their mind.

Their limitations around their life often lead to some blurred edges around their “hidden life”. Because they are so methodical and rule abiding in everyday life, they like to take liberties when it comes to the bad things. They believe a little destruction now and again can’t hurt, because, well, they have their life together.

Virgos also have a tendency to let the bitterness of life get them down. As good samaritans, they are easily wounded by the horrors they see. Once they fail to find goodness too many times, Virgos will pull away, get lost, turn to their vices and condemn the world for their problems.

Libra: Peer pressure; “here is an answer to the disparity”

Libras hate to be alone. A social sign, these individuals need constant mental stimuli, strong intellect and a keen mind. They will be inspired by good books, insurmountable discussions and people who have a lot to say.

There is a bit of a deep rooted insecurity in Libra which leads them to seek out so many relationships and partnerships. This need to be around people is what leads them to the peer pressure that ultimately creates their addictions.

Fine if they stayed on their own, Libras only tend to follow their vices when they’re following others. Their weakness is their need for company and their company isn’t always the best kind. Peer pressure is a huge problem for Libra and as soon as they can get used to being alone and even more used to saying no, they will constantly be fighting between what they know is right for them and what the group is doing.

Scorpio: Self-destruction; “I have to put an end to this”

The most passionate of the signs, scorpios are known for self-destruction. When they harness their emotions and energy for good, they can achieve great things. When they let their emotions get the best of them, however, it can lead to bad days.

Scorpios have a tendency to lead with their emotions and that can create for some unwanted situations. They are drawn to the dark sides of people and things and can become jealous, destructive and manic more easily than others. These qualities lead them to berate themselves and look for coping mechanisms as a way out of the mind and emotions they’re currently experiencing.

They are an all or nothing sign and when they decide to distract themselves with bad habits, they can definitely overdo it.

Sagittarius: Adventure; “I need to to experience this”

If you’re a Sagittarius, chances are you’re plagued with wanderlust. The biggest travelers of the zodiac, Sagittarius’ are constantly moving. Seekers of the world and answers to life’s questions lead for a very restless existence. Sagittarius are prone to feeling trapped or bored and because of this, they will seek out the next great experience no matter what the cost.

Unable to be content with where they are, their bad habits stem from their need to never be bored — always be moving or changing perspective. True adventurers, sagittarius doesn’t always take the time to evaluate their next decision, but rather, jumps right into it. Their need for freedom is actually what entraps them. Because of their inability to be content, they can seek the wrong things at the wrong times.

Capricorn: Despair; “the only way left for me to go is down”

Ruled by the driven and persistent Mountain Goat, Capricorn energy is willful and determined. When they’ve made their mind up about something there is no changing it. Their willful determination is what helps them achieve their highest ambitions but also keeps them locked in a perpetual state of “not good enough” if they don’t achieve it.

While they’re the rock for many, when it comes to themselves they can easily break down. They are overly critical and highly analytical of themselves and when things aren’t going right, they tend to wallow in their misery. This leads to latching on to things that will go down with them.

Aquarius: Experimentation; “I wonder what that’s like”

Quirky and energetic, Aquarians are always fun to be around. Their unique opinions are always entertaining and usually make for great innovators and leaders. They can also be impatient and temperamental when things aren’t going their way or if they disagree with you.

Because of their constant need for knowledge and new creative ideas they are attracted to anything rebellious or unknown. Their aversion to anything mainstream leads them to seek out the dangerous, the bad and the questionable. They sometimes do things just to get a reaction out of people.
Because of this, they will find themselves gravitating towards things just because of the nuance of them. They don’t care if it’s bad for them because what’s bad for them is good for the story.

Pisces: Escapism; “I need to forget”

One of the most emotional signs, Pisces are a friend to everyone else and their own worst enemies. Caring and compassionate to those around them, they are highly supportive and emotionally intelligent. On the flip side, they can easily transition to the role of martyr. Tending to feel sorry for themselves, they latch onto anything that takes away the emotional pain they’ve incurred.

Pisces do not know how to take the love they have for everyone else and give it to themselves. They have a tendency to wallow and relish in their own pain. When they are feeling wounded, they retreat and tend to reach out for those bad habits. They want an escape, something to make the sadness go away. They use their addictions to battle the overly emotional state they continually find themselves in.

Founder of Words of Women


    • Rhea

    • 4 years ago

    Love this. Thanks for the insight. Also – who is the artist of the prints? Thank you

      • Words of Women

      • 4 years ago

      watercolor on paper by Mark Adams.

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The Book of Moods
How I Turned My Worst Emotions Into My Best Life

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