The Ultimate Canada Day Test!

Oh man alive, so over Canada Day, my family and I went to Ottawa for the big firework shows and festivities…I was hoping to see Peter Mansbridge in person at his last broadcast (I didn’t, but oh well, I saw Trudeau so that’s my runner up)…but the KICKER is that we were staying with a relative who smokes in the house.

Imagine THAT, multiple open packs laying around the house taunting and teasing me.  My aunt sipping a coffee and lighting one up right in front of me….ashtrays everywhere…you know to other people ash trays filled with used up butts look hideous, but to me they just are like a cue to smoke.

Like I seriously still think I might just grab a half smoked cigarette out of that ash tray and just light it up!  There’s quite a homeless folks in town who are regularly out picking through public ashtrays and I’ll have to say, on some level, I can relate.  There’s a lot I can’t relate to from my place of privilege, but there’s definitely common ground in the, “I’m gonna do what I need to do to get a smoke,” process that non-addict people don’t understand.

Anyways, definitely the ultimate test.  ALL my clothes smell like smoke, every night I smell smoke going to bed and waking up…those late night 3 am smokes.  Smokes after a glass of wine….smokes around the campfire….the guys even pulled out fancy cigars one night and sipped Stella’s talking about manly stuff.  I wasn’t invited because either they didn’t have enough cigars or perhaps I was fully engaged in a round of MarioKart 8 on a wall size entertainment system with about 10 of my nephews and nieces which qualifies me as a nerdbomber unworthy of manly cigar time.

This was a test of every possible situation and I didn’t have a smoke!  Not even a drag.  The whole time, like a week!  Which is amazing ’cause I’m like the one of the most hyper addictive people I know, at least to unhealthy things anyways.

So hurray for me, I went on a nice “I’m back home from Crazy (but fun) Town” run today on my lunch break and celebrating my ever increased lung functionality…but this recent family vacation has me thinking that maybe there’s more to my addictive personality than just will power.

Like a wise friend once said to me running down the Dagobah System trail, “You seem like a smart guy, why the smoking?”

While I think he was referring to the statistics on smoking and *insert death or type of cancer here* and why I wasn’t religiously living my life via the most recent linear regression model of healthy life choices vs predicted lifespan increase (NERD!), he did have a point.  If I’m a “smart guy”, reasonable well educated, lower middle upper class, generally keep my lawn mowed and prefer angled lines over straight…..why is it so easy for me to get hooked on substances?

This, of course, kicked off a whole other pile of questions that require some research on my part.

What are the root causes of addictions?  Why are most treatments for addictions so ineffective and lead to relapse?  Why do 12 step programs always have God in them?  Is going to a luxury Thai rehab facility better than a normal vacation….and perhaps more justifiable, “Yes honey, I’m going to Thailand to ‘recover’ from the habits that have produced my beer belly….this is all work and no play dear.”

Ah!  So many questions to explore and write about.  Still, big pat on the back to me, myself and I.

 

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