Why I Don't Smoke or Drink

 

I've always had this fear of not being in full control of my body & mind. Not being able to make conscious decisions for myself. It initially rooted from my faith. I can't quote it exactly, but I just remember as a kid learning that we shouldn't take things that alter our state of mind, which is why a lot believe alcohol, smoking, & drugs go against our faith. That, & the fact that they're detrimental to our bodies. That reasoning made sense to me growing up, so I stuck to it. Why would I wan't to take something that completely alters my state of mind? Where I might put myself in a situation where I do something I'll regret for the rest of my life? I wouldn't ever take the risk of ruining the amazing life that God has blessed me with.

The older I got, the more life began to bare down on me. School, figuring out my career, actually starting to work, taking care of my parents, etc. I slowly began to understand the stress of adulthood. I live in America where it's easy to get your hands on alcohol, cigarettes, weed—anything that a lot of people use to 'relieve stress'. There were points in my transition to adulthood, and actually even today, where the thought of taking something to just 'relax' myself pops into my head. I'll be having a really crappy week at work, overly stressed about all the projects I have going on—then get invited to a happy hour at a bar with my coworkers. It's so common in the working world for people that are having a crappy day, to just say "Dang, I need a drink." I had heard it so much, at some point, I began to consider it. The temptation was there. But not far after the thought came up, I'd remind myself why I don't drink. Why I don't smoke, or take anything to relieve my worries. Again, it goes against my faith & the idea that it alters my ability to make good decisions. But the more I thought through it after being in a situation where I actually considered it, I realized my deeper, subconscious concern with the matter, and that is the idea of control.

If I were to take a drink, or take a puff of a cigarette—that cigarette controls me. It owns me. Because being stressed is a state of weakness, you're vulnerable. You'll do anything to make the pain go away. But running to a cigarette or drink to solve your problems, is saying that you can't handle your problems on your own. Why open that door? Where, God forbid, I start running to the drink anytime I'm even slightly stressed? Yeah, it'll help me feel better for a few hours, but the triggers of my stress are still gonna be the there when it wears off. So why not solve the problem now, on my own & through prayers to God? Why not find a permanent solution, rather than a temporary one? To where when I solve the problem, I can say I was able to take control of MY situation, not have something or someone else handle it for me. We're all gonna run into a whole lot of problems in our, it's inevitable. But I made it certain to learn how to take control of these problems now so that when more come up (because more definitely will with marriage, kids, etc.), I know I'll be able to handle them on my own. Most importantly, I realized that these moments of weakness are tests from God. To solve my problem, am I gonna run to a drink, or run to Him? He's the one who placed that challenge in my life, & He's the only one that can help solve it. 

Image by Homestead Seattle