Gimme a Break!

(This blog part of and in response to, Linda G. Hill’s “Give Me A Break!”, SoCS writing prompt/post:

I was a smoker – I quit, started, re-quit, started again, stopped again – I am at a point in life where I am perfectly okay dealing with my nicotine addiction, dialing it down enough to let lunches in summer of eggplant and tomatoes feed my inherited addiction – instead of reaching for one of horrible, awful, nasty, only-people-who-might-as-well-be-a-smoking-pedophile, might do to feed their nicotine addiction…

Yes, to me, it is that bad…   And it is surprising to folks who know me that I could describe my ‘addictive weakness’ this harshly, for they know, I would never wreak terror on a child with intent –

BUT…. This is what it feels like, as I’ve lived through a society that says,

“Let’s All Smoke!”

To

“We can Smoke when we are Drinking, but probably not good to do all the time…”

To

“OMG!  This stuff is bad for you!!  What were you THINKING!  Stop!  NOW!

To

“I don’t know why this is a big thing – I smoked for awhile, gave it up and I’m fine – you just lack Self-Discipline…”

To

“Look, Mommy!  That woman is smoking… (in clearly designated smoker’s area so I don’t destroy everyone else….)   “She’s a bad person, right, Mommy?”   (Mommy, after quick dirty look indicating how I’m one step from becoming (insert your favorite villain from history or movies, replies…), “Yes, Honey, She is a Bad Person!   Don’t ever be around people like her!  They will Kill You with their …(didn’t here the rest, because she was all but pulling the small child’s arm socket out of the shoulder joint in hurry-scurry to get away from bad influences…but I suspect, you must not come into contact with me, because I used to smoke, and could revert at anytime, therefore, I am pure Evil….)

**************

Like all things, that touch a chord in me, and I feel the need to respond to, in order to address the complaints from one side, with the needs of another, and try to find the happy medium for healthy living, compassion and fellowship, I list out the following bullet points – both on past and latest research, AND what you can do to find that common middle ground/compromise with someone you love to be around BUT you just cannot find the Great Divide Mid-Point on the Smoking Issue – :)”

**************

Factoids (listed in oldest, to newest information, received by this grey matter….)

  • My Grandfather was a Kentuckey, and later, Southern Ohio Tobacco Farmer, He Smoked
  • My Dad was warned to not start, because hard to stop, by HIS dad, but did, none the less…
  • Ceremonial use of wild plants from the family of plants with Latin name ‘nicotania’ somewhere in them, didn’t seem to be a big problem, any more than chewing on cocoa leaves to handle high elevations, energize and stave off hunger were for native peoples – UNTIL!  Modern Chemistry said, “OK….we got the Active Ingredient!!! WE KNOW!   It’s Nicotine (cigarettes) and (hmmm… since I’m not a cocaine addict…not sure what to tell ya….) BUT!  Congratulations to US!   We can know manufacture in the lab or isolate the “Good Stuff” that makes people feel better and treats a myriad of health problems, just by extracting/purifying/isolating the Active Ingredient…!)  (My experiential research tells me to say… “Um…NO….Not Really….Try Again…..”
  • MY Tobacco Growing for Cash Crop Grandfather told me in my youth (before I ever smoked…) “Don’t Smoke, BUT, that’s useless – didn’t work with your Dad, so IF YOU do! Grow your own, cure it the way I told you, purchase a quality made pipe and smoke it that way – company processed tobacco, pre-rolled cigarettes, the papers they use, the s**t they put in the ‘filters” – THAT will kill ya sooner than the tobacco will…(he was in his 70s and retired and quit smoking because he didn’t grow his own anymore – not sure how many years he fought the Grumpy Demon – but, he could turn off his hearing aide and pretend he didn’t hear irritating folks – that does help, ALOT! Just Saying….)
  • As a child, I had Asthma – I hated riding home in winter time, when dad kept the windows up to keep the ‘children warm’ but had to smoke, all the same – When I became a parent, I don’t care how cold everyone got (I bundled ’em up) If a day planned where vehicle smoking was a likelihood, the windows were down – even in blizzards/white-outs – just saying….)
  • The first time I smoked, I felt a small feeling of elation and well being (nope, I didn’t get sick…)
  • Over the next 6 months, I went from 3-4 on the weekends – to one a day, after work – to one in the morning when I had only 4 hours worth of sleep between end-of-shift and start of class – and…welllll.. yeah, it morphed on, from there…
  • When I started working, there was a designated break area for smokers – and you could spend your law-mandated time in that area 3 times a day – AND if your work was done, your sidework caught up, and area in good order, you could take a quick ‘smoke-break’ there on your way back from a bathroom break without getting into trouble – – seriously – until I worked a sit-down/desk job, I had never smoked an entire cigarette at one sitting in my life – I lit, inhaled 2-3 puffs, carefully stubbed out and laid in MY labeled ashtray to re-light later –
  • I worked from 13 years of age, on, in arenas with women who started smoking because smokers were the only ones who got breaks during a 9 – 16 hour shift (OMG! – They HAD to all be seriously dehydrated, too!  Just Saying….Have you SEEN the side effects of Dehydration?   Coupled with Sleep Deprivation, Serial Killer in the Making…Just Saying….)

So, now that I’ve shared some prior hurts/experiences/etc. over being a smoker in a society that morphed from “Everyone Smokes, why aren’t you?” to “OMG!  YOU EVIL!  Get Away!” perceptions – when I’m technically a Nicotine Afficiando (Addict) – I’m not even going to post the Factoids on Research – Lord Knows, I have quite a few times before AND I’ve Blogged about my various journeys in quitting cold-turkey, quitting via help of FDA approved, Dr., prescribed pharmaceuticals (Heck!  I had quit for nearly 4 years, and a mis-diagnosis of Depression, with 3 days worth of prescribed medicine sent me right back to the pacifier of cigarettes/nicotine and a further black mark, in my mind, over Big Pharma – 🙂

So I won’t bore you, further – search any keywords re: nicotine, e-cigs, nicotine, etc., with the addition of ‘ballybin.wordpress.com” and you’ll have reading material –

BUT, I must share the irony:

  • YES!  I’m a Nicotine Addict – in our society = THAT’s OK!  As long as I ain’t polluting their air with tobacco – and not encouraging their 9 year old to pick up a hookah or e-cig….
  • YES! I never weaned myself down to 0 nicotine in my own made e-cig juice – I got down to mixing 6 mg equivalent into a bottle of e-juice that filled my e-cig for 3 months or more – no matter how many eggplants I planted/harvested/fixed to new recipes – no matter how much I incorporated raw tomatoes into my diet, I still got antsy –
  • After a Decade of trying to quit, being quit or re-quitting, I’d like to say, I think I know more about my physiological addiction, need for a calm mind than you do – and, quite frankly, I am fairly confident I feed my addiction in the best way I know how without making my children starve or freeze, due to no food in the house, or the gas/electric turned off for failure to pay, due to: new car payments, gambling, extracurricular activities, more new clothes than I could wear out in a lifetime, shopping for s**t I don’t need and buying s**t I won’t use in this lifetime, dining out at food service that makes me ill, because ‘that’s where everyone will be, you have to come!”, etc., etc., etc.,

Nope, I still get torqued off over this Smoking Debate – If every smoker (legal if you’re of age, to buy/pay taxes on) quits tomorrow – the s**t you are addicted to, to ease your soul and keep you sane may just be taxed heavily in order to make up for the lost revenue – –

Here’s My List of Things to Tax, in Lieu of Tobacco Products:

Chocolate (whaddya I care?  I crave chocolate about once a decade and I’ll pay the damn tax…  Granted, those of you who love dark, bitter, no sugar, cream or anything else added dark chocolate lovers, should get a free pass – because, in small amounts, it is good for you – Everyone else?  You are increasing our National HealthCare, Even Losers Can’t Die from Poor Life Choices, System – Say goodbye to your store bought, American made Chocolate bars –

Twinkies – I LOVE TWINKIES!  I’ll Pay $2 in taxes per box!  Seriously!   I only indulge once in a blue moon – whadda I care if you eat a box a day?

Alcohol – Ramp that crap up (granted, we imbibers are already carrying a big share of the deficit, BUT – shouldn’t that just encourage us all to grow the goods in our urban backyard and make our own healthy brews/tonics/fermented beverages?  Seriously?  Love the Microbrewery rennaissaince going on – but then, that’s just me…  One of my son’s friends is taking agricultural classes and a brewmaster class next year – busy sourcing plants to have a variety of ingredients for him to choose from next winter/spring for his final – – LOL

All Cosmetics/Fashionable Clothes – Doesn’t have to be a big tax – for health sake/cultural uses, you really ought to replace purchased cosmetics every 2 weeks to 1 year time frame, and completely refresh your wardrobe every season – small percentage should make up the deficit if you just tax the hell out of pharmaceutical grade nicotine OR make it legal to Grow/Cure your own for home use AND/OR make purchase of pre-rolled cigarettes or papers high taxed –

(…Cuz ya know… that chemical/nasty smell that really has gotten to you these past few years?  Well, yes, that’s the fire-retardent papers that are federally mandated – seems to many smokers were burning themselves because they fell asleep – so we must keep the smokers safe while making the rest of you non-smokers nauseated from the smell and toxic from the chemicals – HEY!  I didn’t come up with this plan!   Don’t Blame Me….)

🙂

P.S. Forgive the typos, harshness, tangents – I just participated in a topic posted for SoCS by Linda G Hill, and been bloggy pals with her, long enough, I figure, she’ll see my good points, forgive my failings and say, “Oh?  Are you actually writing again?” and we’ll all have a good laugh – – 🙂

Linda – my house is a purified and essential oiled and being modified to get rid of 9 months of smoking back indoors (during a fail) – You ever find yourself nearby, If I fall off the wagon, I will go outdoors in my own home, to ease your comfort – I would never, ever, expect to smoke in your smoke free car, home, work place – – LOL – I have found ways to wash/neutralize the smell off me if I dare to smoke 150 yards away in the designated smoker’s area with a high wind blowing the stink off me –

BUT! If ever I fall of the wagon, will you kindly ask, “I’m really allergic to smoke, what needs to happen in order for me to enjoy an evening at your place, chatting, breaking bread and having fun?” instead of, “Well!  You should just quit smoking and if you do that, then I don’t care what else you do for me, or how hard you try – it’s never good enough – until I KNOW You have QUIT forever and never go back, fall off the wagon, etc….”

Think there needs to be a club, for the Nic Addicts, right?

I’m thinking ASS is a good one – “Association of Slipped Smoker’s” – – It will double in meaning for all the Holier than Though Quitters who want to judge those quitters/sliders coming up behind them – – LOL

Thanks for the thought/prompt/blog post, Linda G!  Ya Know I enjoy your take on the world – and left this as is, without asking permission to fix/re-write to be kinder – I hope you understand that I trust you to take the ‘tongue in cheek, mixed in with old hurts/anger’ stuff that came out while I did SoCS – cuz seriously?  Your cyber relationship, chat-time, etc., more important to me as a connection than talking about my addictions and raising awareness….LOL 🙂

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28 thoughts on “Gimme a Break!”

    1. I’m there, again…though still grab my mint seeped vegetable glycerin juice when I’m under stress and want to pretend I can have a cig and ‘let ‘er go’ – LOL – Funny – everyone seems so harsh about the e-cigs, but after years of trying – that was how I weaned myself off – went back briefly after some prescription med that seriously, made me think about rifles/towers – LOL (I took the hit for innocent humanity and just went back to smoking until it all got figured out – ) BUT I’m SO HAPPY! First go=round of quitting with e-cigs, it took me nearly a year to get down to no nicotine – This time? at 5 months, I do believe (got check my blog, cuz, I knew I could do it this time – 🙂

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    1. Read your post and Congrats! I quit in 2009 (after smoking for about 20 years, but the first few, in jobs where I couldn’t sit and smoke a whole cig at one time, like I started to once I worked from home in front of computer monitor – 🙂 Seriously – I tried EVERYTHING from age 19 to 41 – the e-cig and stepping down the nicotine levels was the only thing that worked for me! But to each his own – 🙂 I dove for the cigs again in spring of 2013 – My story is, “Durn new Dr., thought I needed anti-depressants! Man, did they mess up my body/brain chemistry!” – I do not know, still/yet, if I’m trying to duck responsibility or if there is something to it – but I hadn’t even thought about having a cig, for a long time – I still had my e-cig, but I had transitioned into making my own blend of vegetable glycerine and herbs, and so often, forgot to even charge the batteries – 🙂 LOL – BUT I remember the day – pure, unadulterated angst and rage encompassed me – I was trying to work through it – then, an innocent fellow human being cut into my lane and I slammed on the brakes to keep from killing them, (their small car, my big truck type scenario) and seriously, I listened to my mind chatter that was saying, “Chase them down, make them pay for not paying attention…” etc., and all kinds of not nice things – – – I’m not sure what got to me first – the fear that I would hurt someone OR the fear that I could think that way – but I whipped into the parking lot of a convenience store – and sat there – and the longer I sat – the worse it got – 🙂 So, I marched in, bought a pack of smokes, walked outside, inhaled long/deep (funny how nearly 3 years of quitting smoking makes it more pleasant for you to engage in unhealthy behaviors, more easily…. 🙂 ) And, calmed down, and rather convinced I wouldn’t actually go postal and kill someone, I traveled home, called the Dr and said, “No! This is not working! I’m not depressed, but the medicine is going to kill me!” – turned out to be deficient thyroid, and I’ll never, ever, take any medicine to make me ‘not depressed/feel goody, ever again – don’t care who says what (I LOVE your way of indicating ‘This is me/my story, (not medical advice/fact/science// BTW! 🙂 but, until further evidence comes out to prove me wrong, I won’t take feel-goody pills – cuz, for me, OMG! The nightmare of that whole 3 days – LOL! but yes, I quit again this last winter – I can’t tell you what day, exactly, because this time, I didn’t keep track – the first day was awful – even though I use the e-cig to wean down the nicotine addiction – 0 support this time, because, if you quit once and go back, no one believes you – I really do admire you for quitting cold turkey – I could relate to everything you said – I have done end-of-life care for those who either smoked or were exposed to contaminants not conducive for lung health off and on since I was 16 (most, family members…) and still, not able to quit cold turkey without fearing the consequences of me being the Me that manifested…. 🙂 “Grumpy and out of sorts” would have been welcome… 🙂

      It is a road – and I DO agree with you, though we quit in different ways, there is that time when you say to yourself, “Enough! No More!!” 🙂 When I first started smoking, cigs were .68 cents a pack USD – 🙂 Compared to the $7.13/pack for organically grown, no additives (other than federally mandated fire-retardent paper – LOL) I can’t believe I lasted as long as I did – LOL

      For, if nothing else, I’d rather spend those $ on gardening projects than $ going up in smoke – 😀 But, I do get in an angsty spot now and again – it’s NOT that I judge folks who are badly affected by smoke/etc., it’s just that, I see so many other behaviors around me that have a really negative effect on others, (much like smoking does for non-smokers…) and YET! It Is NOT Culturally or Societally acceptable to say, “HEY! Could you quit wasting water irrigating your non-edible front lawn at noon on a hot summer’s day? You know, we all depend on fresh water resources to live ….” 🙂 Socially acceptable for me to be a bad person for smoking – Folks who waste water aren’t – – LOL – – It’s the Unfairness over it all, and how we all, (at least here, in US) judge/decide ‘what’s ok, what’s not…” I think a lot more people need water than crave nicotine, but then, what do I know? 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting so I could read your post – I greatly enjoyed and Yes, we do have quite a bit in common – and I hope, (cuz I have the story that if I wade in and speak my mind, anywhere but here, I’m just one of those ‘bully Americans who think they get to say how it is…” LOL) I didn’t offend you – for it was wonderful to read your post/experience! 🙂

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      1. No worries, and I agree that it’s unjust how smokers are treated compared to practically all the rest who do ugly, unspeakable things to environment, other people, animals etc. etc. And yet, it’s not a competition who will be more ghastly towards oneself or others. I took care of myself because I didn’t wish to be a slave any longer. We all do what we can, or better, wish. Thank you for coming to read and responding! (I’ve just started a new blog, as you can see. This article is from my first blog.)

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        1. LOL! I just sent a reply re: the changed home page (thought you were doing some upgrading theme/housekeeping stuff! LOL – I STILL haven’t updated my theme – and really need to – I don’t even live in the mountains anymore! LOL But, figure my small community here understands I am always more focused on the conversation and them than how things ‘look’ – – LOL 🙂 So wonderful to connect with a fellow ex smoker who doesn’t judge those of us who took a rockier road to quitting – but seriously, I had no idea zuchinni was in the nicontania plant family!! Which is funny, cuz here, one or two zuchinni plants will take care of you and all your neighbors for the coming year – – hmm… back to the garden plans – – Maybe I need to eat even more zuchinni than I already do – – LOL – (chaeper than the e-cig step down plan, and with the money saved, I could get this and that done….LOL – but I hit the blowout/stock up sale, just right – so, I have a back-up till next fall if the zuchinni plan doesn’t pan out… LOL Me Nic or Sleep or Water deprived is just ugly – no matter how hard I strive for self control – Yes, I get really snarky – 😀

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  1. Coincidentally, I was finishing the book last night – Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. There’s a chapter where he talked about ‘Suicide, Smoking , And The Unsticky Cigarette’, where the company Glaxo Welcome had tested the drug marketed under the name of Zyban – in heavily addicted smokers (> 15 cigarettes a day) and found remarkable effects. And that, the serotonin drugs, Zololf and Prozac don’t seem to help smokers to quit. So, just wondering if you’ve tried Zyban. If not, it may help you ‘ban’ it forever…..LOL Take care, my friend! ( ᐛ )و

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    1. Ahh…New Bloggy Cat! How happy I am you have read that book!! I have spent 2 months immersing myself in Malcom’s works! So glad to know who I can ‘wink/wink” to when referencing his phrases/ideas, who will know what thereof I reference! 😀 – As for the Zyban – I walked away from FDA sanctioned, prescription based “quit smoking’ solutions, years ago – – My dad chose to quit after he was given Welbutrin for ‘depression’ years and years ago – and he chose to quit, after a time – for him, he said, later, “I knew I needed to – I hadn’t felt good for a long time – I waited to late” – Funny, but I was prescribed (supposedly) same formula for ‘depression’ nearly 2 years later, (no energy, didn’t care if things got accomplished or not – turns out, I was still deeply anemic/malnutritioned from lack of appetite and blood loss from serious surgery shortly after giving birth to my last child… 😀 – I took the Welbutrin – smoked like a chimney – no diff – but couldn’t even STAND to be around alcohol/beer breath, etc., for nearly 2 years after I quit taking – AND! I can GO without giving into having alchohol, BUT, never did help with the nic fits! 🙂 Everyone has their pacifier – My pacifiers of choice may/may not make sense to others and, there are many pacifiers that cause harm/hurt to those in my family, but, in the end, really do not harm other’s other than their perception of harm (seriously, my smoking organically grown tobacco, in sustainable pipe, in my rural area puts less pollution in the ‘air’ for neighbors than the same neighbors who drive into the local metropolis and breath in the fumes from cars around them during rush hour – IF they commute every day – well – no one has made an easily accessible, pubished paper, but until they do, figure, I still have a point… LOL I quit smoking, weaning myself down of nicotine levels, in the winter of 2009-2010 – ran back to buying/smoking a cig in spring of 2013 when new doctor prescribed “anti-depressant’ meds – which, made me motivated enough to kill myself, at least – – LOL – No sleep – mad as hell for no reason, etc. I DO NOT trust western diagnoses nor do I trust the scripts written for them (polio/MMR/small pox vaccinations, yep – OK – Anything that tries to fix my brain chemistry when there exist no tests regularly given in western medical offices to determine if chemistry is ‘off’ and if so, ‘what’ chemicals ARE off? NO THANK YOU! Those things make life a living hell – 🙂 But thanks for the suggestion – and… what did you think of Tipping Point? Yes? No? Enquiring minds would love to hear! 🙂 shoot me an email – think I’m waiting on one from you, but I did clean up archives last fall, and it may actually be my turn to write! 😀

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        1. I do so miss going to my DOM for acupuncture, cupping and supplement support. Hoping once the man child settled into school and work study, I will be able to set aside funds to start going again! 🙂

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  2. I’ve always wondered if cigarettes were just the tobacco without all of the chemicals and additives the tobacco companies add in, whether they would be as “dangerous” or “unhealthy” as they are. Seems to me, what little I’ve read on the subject points to it being the chemicals and the additives.

    That said, I’ve never smoked and never wanted to. There’s a part of me that says that if people want to smoke, so be it. But I can’t stand the smell. When I first met my wife, she would go out with her sister every now and then. Her sister was and is a smoker. As soon as my future wife would open our front door, I could smell it. She didn’t even have to walk into the house. From the sofa, 20-30 feet away from the door, I could smell the infernal stuff coming off of her in waves.

    And now, we here in California are going to be voting on legalizing marijuana, which is a whole other smell I can’t stand. It’s already pretty much everywhere, but once it’s legal, it’ll get even worse.

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    1. LOL! On Multiple Fronts, King Midget! I don’t like the smell of marijuanna – I’m not even sure if Patchouli or Sandalwood or what ‘natural essential oil’ used for base of perfumes in the 80’s made me want to vomit, BUT I get it! LOL – As far as legalizing marijuana – because you are an observant, thinking person, I will ask you be aware, if the voters for California legalize Marijuana – well, I am of two minds – FIRST – Sorry! (according to popular opinion…) You are now right behind Colorado for being the Devil and Bad, and everything Evil and everyone will be so ashamed of you and you’ll have a slew of low-life, drug users that are just filtering into your state, with no no job, no prospect of work, who moved there, just cuz they wanted marijuana – – If you garden, you friend neighbors will tell you plant marijuana for a cash crop (right – it’s legal now – no money in that, anymore….) and those who are pissed because you, through changing standards, cannot legally purchase independent HSA or Health Insurance in your state, if you tell the truth about what you make each year, YET, don’t suffer from a single problem being a marijuana grower would solve (maybe I have problems, but FDA says none of them would be solved if I can smoke marijuana and not throw up or become a giggle-box for the next 3 days – sorry to marijuana users – seriously, I’m a nic addict and tried your fix twice in my youth and DO Not understand why illegal or why so important for it to be legal – did nothing for me – good or ill – 🙂 Other than giggles – which, at the time, I could laugh all on my own, thank you very much – and seriously, with the low-nutritive value of junk food, WHY would I need impetus to eat such things? LOL

      ON THE OTHER HAND – My son attending college in-state (Colorado) – and after a roundhouse of 2 days for parents, students, college, orientation, it is sad – I heard parents from out of state yell out their words to reply to the question, “How do you feel about your kids going to college?” with “THANK GOD they are Out of the House!” and “Good Riddance” – AND, mind you, same parents, expressed concern, asked questions about, “What is there to do in Colorado other than get high/party?” After 2 hours of various talks that showcased the landscape, outdoor activities, etc., and 5 sophomore – senior UCCS students who said, “I’m a foodie, I love the international cuisine, mom-n-pop restaurants here…” “We did planned and did our first ice cap hike this past year…”….”I love to bowling, you wouldn’t believe how many bowling alleys there are in this town” – – sigh – – if California passes – get ready for folks to not see you, hear you for anything other than, “OH! You’re one of those low-life druggies that is a drain on society, right?” and have your neighbors say, “I’m so embarassed I live here….I need to move….” 🙂 Hogwash! For me/you, at least – For I know your journey along and conservation of the river is what’s really important – Marijuana growing naturally/conservation wise? No problem! River banks, nearby fields destroyed and ecosystem gone to make way for $$ saving marijuana growing operations?

      Call me – I will drive my inefficient 1998 Ford out to join you on the protest ralley/parade – – 🙂

      AND, I will stand up to a bar fight for anyone who goes against you/yours – But, you’ll have to come up with the bail money or legal arguments to get us out – we each have our gifts, and seriously, I spent my $$ on driving out to protest by your side… LOL
      (editing my comment – have seriously overdone and typos/words not coming appearing on final publication the way I intended – limiting anything other than “That’s it…hit the like button…move on….don’t accidentally defriend/unfollow them” activities – BUT, ya know, My Mind and Soul still here! Hate to think of a cyber friend thinking they stand alone in face of the unthinkable – 🙂 Ya should know me, by now… 🙂

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      1. A couple of comments … I read a couple of right-wing blogs and occasionally comment on them. The responses I get are always amazing in the stereotypes people project onto me because I’m a liberal and not a koolaid drinker of the conservative type. A few days ago, a commenter told me I should go fill my bong. I had to point out that not only have I never smoked pot, I also have never been present when somebody has smoked pot or used a bong.

        The other thing … kind of like the comments you hear from parents about Colorado … my younger son goes to Chico State, a college that was identified as the #1 party school by Playboy back in the 1980s. And it was most definitely a party school back then. And probably still is. So whenever we tell people that he goes to Chico, we get the look and the comment, “Oooh, Chico.” To which I always say … every college these days is a party school. If the kids want to party they’ll find it no matter what college they go to. And then I want to slap them for being so stupid.

        As for marijuana … all of your warnings are reality. This is one of those things that people will vote for because they want something but they simply won’t recognize the consequences are of having that thing.

        I’ve been ambivalent the last couple of years whether I cared enough about legalization of marijuana. But the closer we get to the election in November where California will decide the issue, the more and more opposed I get.

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        1. You must vote as your spirit/soul dictates – however, might I say, I didn’t list my observations as as warnings, rather, as the ‘so-called proofs’ given (whether real or not) people give to argue against – I still hear people use the argument of ‘gateway drug’ and how crime increaseses – funny – I hung out with those from my generation and those older (Flower Power Generation) who chose to have a joint instead of Tequila shots to unwind – as a bartender/observer – I’d rather deal with recreational pot smokers any day of the week than recreational tequila drinkers! LOL 🙂 BUT…that is my experience, and (legal disclaimer included * My experience with/opinions of drinkers, smokers, etc., do not reflect reality for many who have experiences that different from me – 🙂

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        2. I know … I hear all of the arguments that pot has a different influence on people than alcohol. While that may be true … well, I try really hard to take the view that this is one of those “if people want to do it, let them do it.” Who does it hurt after all? Well, I know a number of people whose marriages/long-term relationships have ended because their partner became a chronic pot smoker. While the potential harms and risks of pot may not be as great as with alcohol, they are still there. I’m just not sure legalizing it is the right thing to do.

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        3. PS – My Liberal friends think I’m Independent – My Democrat friends think I’m either a Republican or Liberal (depending upon conversation topic) – Republicans think I’m an atheist, Liberal, tree-hugging nut – Women think I’m non-liberated/lesbian – Men think I’m a Women’s Lib/lesbian – Nuns think I’m funny, but worry about my soul, etc., etc., etc…. At the end of the day, I think about the day, my actions, how I spent another day on earth, and say to the Universe – “Well…this is how I spent today – if I’m totally destroying the Universe, well, You can let me die in my sleep and save everyone from me” – whether I’m allowed to continue living as a blessing or punishment, I don’t know, for sure, yet, but getting my slowly stepped down dose of nicotine sure makes it easier to handle and more pleasant for those who surround me – AND, I figure, your daily beer might serve the same purpose – who cares what the label is, by others, who are, after all, labeled by you and me, too – – 🙂 Seriously, people get such a funny look on their face and/or tone to their voice when you ask in person or on the phone, “So…if you had to apply a label to yourself, how would you label yourself?” 🙂 I pick, “Smoking, drinking, cursing personage” – simply because, anything else I do is only seen as a step up from there – – LOL

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        4. Political labels are becoming more and more meaningless these days. I’ve always considered myself to be a liberal, but the reality is that I’m not so liberal on some things. Particularly these days when I see what some of the liberal politicians are putting forward. Free everything!!!! Just drives me crazy. The way I see it I’m very liberal on social issues, but I’m more middle of the road on fiscal issues. Which I think describes the vast majority of Americans.

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        5. I agree. If only we could put all the canidates into a jar, mix them together and sift out the extreme positions, we would probably get a mix of ideas most folks could see as a starting point towards solutions. 🙂

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    2. PS, My evil grandpa and dad both said that modern day cigarettes and what they started smoking were way different – AND – latest MJ (medical journal) studies say, if you have low tolerance for nicotine, you’ll never be a smoker, no matter how hard you try – you’ll poison yourself before you become a smoker – It was a relief to me to read that – because, heridity, physiologically wise, I am prone to inherit a high tolerance for nicotine consumption – and not quitting at the drop of the hat, with no ill effects, wasn’t a fluke/lack of discipline – Do I think I can steel/improve my will to be better, even without nicotine? Yes – – Do I believe I’m a lazy, ill-begotten loser for craving nicotine and getting grumpy/going postal after 3 days cold-turkey? Not anymore – and so, learning more about Buddhism, because, at least there, I’m just ignorant, not evil – – LOL Big Self Work going on here! 🙂 I’ll let you know how it all turns out – – LOL

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      1. I think your issues with nicotine are equivalent to my issues with beer. On April 15, I had my last beer. My initial objective was to make it 30 days with no beer and no soda. I made it to 27 days and then decided I just couldn’t continue. I needed the beer. So, I’m back to my daily beer habit. I’ve been better about the soda — down to about one a week. But that beer. Damn. I just need it and there are moments and days and weeks when I just don’t feel like depriving myself of it. So, yeah, I’m a “lazy, ill-begotten loser” too! 🙂

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        1. Weelll, IF you really think your beer drinking is a problem, well, then, try, try again! I just have a hard time understanding, as I’m sure non-nic-addicts have a hard time understanding my post – 🙂 – Fermented beverages were such a part of our evolution as a species, and, there is a school of thought that says, the nutrition packed, fizzy, taste associated with soda/beer/etc., is our bodies way of craving what we needed to survive the lean times (just like most of us are obese now that sugar/fat is widely available, today, when we spent tens-of-thousands of years learning to stock up to survive lean times (like, winter, every year….LOL) No easy answers, but, for me, it always comes down to, “Do I really want to stop? If Not, why not? If So, what extra support pillars do I need to put in place to ensure success – I’m perfectly okay being a nic-addict – given time to wean myself to lower levels, I can do – BUT – I have to be ready – I have to pick the time when I’m not under the gun (preferably) AND, I Have to want to do it, myself – It’s amazing, this last time I quit smoking, my son and one social media pals were the only support I got – 3 months later (whenever I posted about quitting, late February? Early March? not sure..didn’t count this time, cuz I knew I had done before and I could do again….) That was the last one – AND recently, close to me persons that wanted me to quit the most, who rode my arse the hardest on why can’t you quit? refrain, who just made ‘funny’ comments when I announced, “I quit today, so if I am not daily in touch, just keeping my distance till the nic-snarkiness dies away, recently said, “I’m Sure appreciate that you’ve quit smoking – it’s so enjoyable for me, now…” – And, even though The initial withdrawals are gone, I found myself uttering a snarky reply, “Thank You! Because, you know, I quit just so your life could be perfectly the way you want it…” 🙂

          If you want to quit the beer – seriously – for you – then do so – wean yourself off – go back to brewing your own (you can adjust sugar/honey and therefore, alcohol content that way…) or step yourself down – – – If you ain’t ready – as long as you aren’t beating up folks or starving those who depend upon you, while you have your beer, well, you might as well get it out of your system and go until you are ready to be done – – but, I’m a nic-addict – I haven’t had a beer since around Christmas? No, I had one in February… I think….LOL – Still doing my 1.8 quarts water mixed with .2 quarts Merlot wind (had to switch, again, red wines just keep getting sweeter and sweeter, eh? LOL….)

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        2. Beer is my nicotine. It’s as simple as that. As you said in your comment, you try to reduce your nicotine preferably not when you’re under the gun. And that’s the issue right there for me — far too much continued stress and drama in too many spheres for me. It’s why I couldn’t get past day 27. I just decided in my stressful existence, I needed it and wanted it. So…

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        3. 🙂 I love the phrase from the documentary on Ben Franklin… the biographer says, “He (Ben) never says, ‘lay off the sauce’ or ‘none’.. rather, he advises, ‘less’.. Ben figures it doesnt hurt to take a run at temperance or chastity.. all things in moderation.” 🙂

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