As we enter a 2018 New Year I wanted to really look at the vices that I have given up over the years because it was helpful to get back to a healthy place.
I made the decision three and half years ago on my birthday to give up cigarettes. It was the best thing for me because it gave me the opportunity to not have to rely on a vice for my anxiety, and I also meant less congestion in my chest. Before I quit I smoke and then feel super congested.
Given that cigarettes have gone up two or three dollars a pack since the last time I smoked (there was a new tax on cigarettes this year in California) I think the financial gain of not spending 7-8 dollars on a pack means that my decision was a good one.
It doesn’t mean on those days where anxiety has its hold on me that I don’t want to buy a pack.
For New Year’s Eve, I didn’t drink. I haven’t in about the last four New Years. I don’t have the best track record when it comes to drinking. Once I start I am incapable of stopping.
I have so many great Vegas stories where I overdrank. I am surprised I lived through them. I was never a social drinker, however. The worst parts of my drinking are those times when I would drink alone at night.
I would have a bottle of Jameson and I would take shot after shot so that I could feel numb. Alcohol became a negative influence in my life that only served to further my depression.
In life sometimes you have to give up the vices that are killing you. In both cases, I quit cold turkey and never looked back. For some that might not be easy. I know this, but if you can quit, do it as soon possible.
Things like alcohol and cigarettes can work against those with a mental illness, at least in my own experience.
I am not telling people to quit. It’s up to each and every one of us to recognize the vices that are counterproductive to our illness. It could be for you that cigarettes help you stay steady with your anxiety. I know for me it did.
The flip side of that is the health factor. It’s why I made the decision to quit smoking. It just made sense. I have enough help problems without having to deal with more issues.
Alcohol and most mental illness medications don’t mix. That is a fact. My point is that all of us have own vices in our lives, and sometimes these vices can work against us. The best thing I ever did was to quit drinking and smoking.
Always Keep Fighting.