100 Days of Writing – Day Sixty-Five

My simplistic take on addictive behaviors…

There are those times in my life when addictions of one sort or another have found their way into my life. Upon examining my behaviors in hindsight, I can see where many of those habits came from. I think we all want ways to feel better,,, to cope with what life has sent our way…and when we find something that offers some relief, we become fixated on whatever that might be.

For myself, there have been two destructive substances in my past that I turned to for the illusion of relief from life’s problems and stresses. It was at age 43, twenty short years ago, that I came to the conclusion I am an alcoholic. When life had become difficult, which seemed to be most of the time, I thought I found some relief in drinking. And when a bit of alcohol made me feel “better,” I reason more of it would make me feel even better than that. That seemed to be the case, if only for a short while. Then the addiction to alcohol took hold and destruction ensued. It took outpatient rehab and work in recovery groups that continue to this very day, to battle that addiction.

Another addiction I have fought is smoking cigarettes. While I didn’t start until age 35, it too became a way for me to deal with the stressors and anxiety in life. And while it too seemed to offer temporary relief, that never seemed to last too long and I’d have to go back to seeking relief that seemingly only could be found by lighting up yet another. It wasn’t until this past summer when a good friend informed me she had been diagnosed with lung cancer, that I decided I needed a definitive lifestyle change. And so for the past four months, I haven’t found it necessary to smoke a cigarette. It’s been a daily battle, but I’m pleased with my progress.

Life still has many ups and downs. Just because we cease to participate in addictive behaviors does that mean we’re given a free ride. Instead, we need to find tools that we can use to face life on life’s terms. For myself, the twelve steps of recovery have been invaluable. I’ve also done a ton of reading that has given me insights on how the human mind works and how best to deal with the ups and downs in life. I guess you can say I’ve become addicted to reading,,,,and I consider that to be a good thing.

So for today, I’ll practice accepting life on life’s terms and be willing not to try to use anything that is destructive to me and my health. And above all else, pray to God for guidance, wisdom, and strength to face whatever difficult parts of life lay ahead of me.

David Lee

Published by David Lee Moser

I am a sixty-three year old semi-retired elementary science teacher.

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