The Greatest Things I did for my Health

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.

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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.

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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.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoMarion Michele

unsplash-logoSajjad Zabihi

unsplash-logoChristin Hume

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34 Replies to “The Greatest Things I did for my Health”

  1. Nope, alcohol and anti depressants/anti anxiety meds really don’t mix. Glad to hear you have stopped. And stopping it cold turkey is even more admirable. Not many people can do that! Hope you had a great day and hope 2018 is a great year!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As someone who lives with depression and anxiety, I understand where you’re coming from. While I have never felt the need to smoke or drink, I too have had some unhealthy coping mechanisms. I think it’s good that you reflect on the things you have given up in order for better health. It’s a strong reminder that you can be in control, you don’t have to let your illness control you. It’s a good reminder that you have over come problems in the past, and you can continue to do so. I very much enjoy your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a great post! ❤ I also quit drinking alcohol. I only drink some sips not more lol 😂 It ain’t no good for my anxiety and also isn’t a good combination if you take anti depressants.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes $7 or $8 for cigs. I thought VA was bad at $5. But that’s good you stopped 🙂

    I too used to turn to alcohol to help with depression. Only I drank excessively with people and alone. I was very indenial at that point anything was wrong. It took me blacking out and feeling like I was suffocating to realize how bad it was to be drinking as much as I was.

    I stopped for awhile and thus my tolerance dropped rapidly. I have a drink casually on holidays, but it’s like 2 and I’m done for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some of the more higher end cigarettes reach past 10 dollars. It’s crazy for those people that buy by the carton. It’s good you found moderation. For me it was all or nothing with alcohol. I can’t just have one or two drinks. But if you have the self control then that is what works for you. Thank you for taking the time to share a little bit about your own experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I drank a lot more before late last year when I was put on Bipolar meds. Now I drink one glass if I can’t fight the need, but I’m hoping to completely stop this year. Fingers crossed.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sounds like you’re making many positive changes in your lifestyles, getting rid of those bad habits of drinking and smoking for good, and it’s a good thing, because with these changes in your lifestyle, your overall health will surely improve too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Super, super inspiring! It’s definitely difficult to give up vices, I’m always impressed when anyone managed to give up smoking, drinking or illicit drugs as they are all so addictive. Many of the people I know on anti-depressants still drink heavily in social situations, as it’s such a big part of the culture in Australia.

    I also still drink, but I haven’t drunk heavily for quite a few years now after having a couple of really scary experiences. My medication tends not to be affected by alcohol, but I hate the feeling of not being in charge of my body.

    Having said all that, I’m very aware that I have an addictive personality. I have smoked a total of one cigarette in my life, but I used to hang out with heavy smokers all the time, and I still often crave cigarettes many years later. I even still play with my fingers as if I’m holding one when anxious. The worst bit is not knowing when it’s my anxiety or my addictions playing up in terms of over-eating and binge-watching TV (to the point of not getting important things done). I often substitute these things for mental exercises that will calm me down, especially when I was studying. It’s difficult to work out when it is necessary and when it’s a vice rearing its head, and that really scares me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think many of us within the mental illness community have addictive personalities. It comes with the territory because we are all trying to find ways to not be in our own heads. I think that’s what smoking and drinking was for me. Thank you for sharing as always.

      Like

  8. I quit smoking over ten years ago. My reason wasn’t my health though. I finally took a serious look at the cost of a carton of cigarettes and was shocked at how much money I was burning up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be very costly. I was never a heavy smoker. A pack would last me a month. It’s good you quit. If you were in California a pack is about 7-8 dollars for most brands.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats on giving up both alcohol and cigarettes! It’s so difficult to quit something you use as a vice. I made the mistake of using alcohol as a vice. I didn’t drink every single day, but I was close. And when I did drink, I drank heavily. One of the few regrets I have is turning to alcohol to solve my problems. I feel if I actually would’ve tried to work on things in a healthy way, I wouldn’t be having such a difficult time now. I still drink on occasion, but I usually only have 2 drinks. It makes me nervous to drink now. I hate that the use of alcohol is considered “normal”. I see a lot of people that don’t think getting wasted all the time is an issue. One of these days I’ll give up cigarettes. Smoking used to calm me down but within the past few months I’ve realized cigarettes actually make me more anxious. I never even realized they were a stimulant. Starting to smoke is also one of the few regrets I have, just because it really is a nasty habit. I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke and I hate when I can smell it on my clothes or in my hair. But yet I still keep smoking. I know it’s gonna be a difficult habit to break.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was one of the reasons I quit smoking. Like you it helped me get through things but for some reason the smoking started making my anxiety worse. It is hard to give up our vices. My issues with alcohol were the same. I drank too much and I thought it would solve my problems but it never did. Thank you for sharing your own experiences here.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Exactly….there is comfort in knowing it is normal and like so many others and that there is support to be found in that sameness and empathy. We are more alike than different!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My NY resolution was to stop mixing my psych drugs, eating disorder (empty stomach) and too much alcohol. They just really don’t mix, and I used to just think “whatever” but I don’t want any bad experiences from now on.

    Well done. With the cigarettes too. I’ve never really been a smoker but really respect how hard it must have been.

    Like

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