On my honor, I will do my best...
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
On Sunday, I decided that I was going to ramp up my level of finally giving a crap about myself. It's sad that what prompted this decision was the fact that I was physically feeling the effects of my laziness. For the first time in my history with my vices, I could feel their effects immediately and directly. I finally came to the conclusion, that the addiction was not worth the damage being done.
It started with the scale creeping it's way back up and threatening the progress I have made over the last 8 months. The swelling in my legs was becoming more frequent and the numbness in my legs and toes was bordering on annoying. So, I decided to do something radical and see if my drinking and smoking were causing the issues.
For most people that would be a big huge duh! But when you are hooked on a certain feeling, the idea of not having the things that help create that feeling, terrifies you. Unfortunately the things that gave me those warm fuzzes, were not so good for my health. Just once, I wish I could find a positive addiction.
My addiction to drugs has been firmly under control for a while. My addiction to food, is in a much better state than it has been in a long time. My want of alcohol and nicotine however...not so much. My nightly ritual of putting a bottle of wine to my face and the half a pack of cigarettes that came along with it, was finally too much.
Eventually the feelings I got from my crutches, caused other aspects of my health to become, not so pleasant. The bad had finally out weighed the good. It's sad that sometimes you have to damage something so much, that it begins to fail before you realize just how much you would miss it if it went away. In this case, my very existence.
So, with the smoking and drinking being the only two things in my daily routine that were not good for me, I decided to white knuckle it and quit cold turkey. That was Sunday. So far, I have been smoke free and alcohol free for 3 whole days, and I already feel soooo much better! In just three measly days! It took me years to destroy my health and only a short time to begin to make it better.
Believe me, I do not consider this as a major of an accomplishment as some may think. When I get to a week, I will start to feel like this will actually take. I have been here before and failed. Which got me thinking. Why do I always do this? Why do I get to a great place in my health and then ultimately let myself down for one reason or another? And how can I keep this from happening again, for the umpteenth time. Then it hit me. Boy Scouts!
When I was a kid, I participated in the Boy Scouts of America program and it taught me a lot. Helped shape the person I am today. In scouting a lot of your time is spent in nature and places that are foreign to you. One of the first things you learn about nature is that it can be a beautiful and sometimes scary place to be. Finding your way through it can be rewarding and perilous at the same time. We were taught early on, how to navigate through unfamiliar terrain by using tricks and tools to help us along the way. To help keep us on course and reduce the risk of getting lost. One of those tools, was the use of observation and the importance of landmarks.
A good Scout will navigate through their journey, always being aware of landmarks. Physical anomalies such as trees, rocks, mountains, etc. that really stick out from the landscape and make an impression in your memory. Make a note of where you are when you observed that landmark and move on. This way, if you end up getting lost, it's easier to find your bearings again by looking for them. They can help you find your way back to the path.
So, I figured that I could handle my health the Scouting way this time around. I have decided to make an oath to myself.
On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to myself and my health. To keep my head up and look around every once in a while. To look for those landmarks that will get me back to the path. I will remember my blood pressure being under control or not feeling like I am a lethargic, nicotine riddled alcoholic with a death wish. I will strive to live to be 104 years old and do it with strength on mind and an iron will and I will NOT get lost this time around.