i work with a guy that just quit smoking cigarettes after 30+ years of smoking a pack a day (I actually challenged him to quit and I said I would give up coffee, I lasted a day…Hey, coffee is the LEAST of my worries). A pack a day! Now I’m no mathematician but that comes out to 219,000 cigarettes. Today I stopped at the gas station for a gatorade, the yellow one, but not those new weird flavors, anyone have the cucumber gatorade yet? Don’t try it, so gross!!!, and some candy too (I have been having INTENSE sugar cravings since I don’t drink two bottles of wine a night), as I was standing in line to pay for my gatorade a man in front of me asked for a pack of cigarettes.
Its a funny thing that I looked up and thought, huh, I never realized that cigarettes are behind the counter and that there are so many choices and that they are accompanied by Large Blaring Death Warnings. Why have I never noticed them, well simply put, because I don’t smoke them and never will. Sure, I partook in smoking an entire pack (and drank a pint of strawberry kiwi mad dog 20/20) in one sitting in high school and hurled my brains out for the rest of the evening. Good times. YUCK. All that coupled with my “addictive personality” and “addictive brain” how does one addictive substance take hold over another? How does one horrible experience that I can still taste completely turn me off from a very addictive substance but the alcohol addiction took hold?
This got me thinking about alcoholism and addiction as diseases. Cigarettes contain highly addictive substances and so does sugar and sex and meth so if I am suffering from the disease of addiction and have an addictive personality, shouldn’t I be addicted to all addictive substances, shouldn’t I be drooling over cigarettes, stuffing my face with donuts, having sex with strangers and shooting up with meth (or smoking it, i don’t know)? Is there a threshold for addiction like had I only had wine nine times I would have been okay but that tenth time really sealed the nail in my “alcoholic for life” coffin?
I guess I just have an issue with the mentality that there is ALWAYS and FOREVER going to be this nagging need to drink because, welp, I’m just an addict with a fucked up brain. I for some reason think addiction goes way deeper than that and that any person that is exposed to an addictive substance that is created purposefully to be addictive has the ability to become addicted to the substance if exposed to it on a constant basis and that ANY person that removes that addictive stimuli will be able to return to their previous self once they have a significant time without said addictive substance.
Now I’m sure convenience stores are major triggers for my coworker, I’m sure when he walks into a gas station he has to fight every cell in his body to not ask the cashier for a pack and one day I pray to every entity out there that I will walk into a restaurant and suddenly look up at the bar and say huh, I haven’t realized in a long time that restaurants have alcohol and that there are so many choices and that they should be accompanied by Large Blaring Death Warnings!
P.S. So can Alcohol!