Addictions, habits and demons, oh my!

Are you addicted to anything or if not something to which one becomes addicted, in the habit of using or doing? I find that often, people do things which are not necessarily good for them as a diversion from the things in life which they cannot either face head on or deal with for whatever reason.
Of course, not all which to which folk are addicted or in the habit of begins as an escape. Take for instance, things like cigarettes, alcohol, and other substances which may relieve stress to some degree. Most people begin smoking and drinking when with friends, often when dared, and almost always to look/be cool. When young, the thought that those older than ourselves know more just because they’ve lived longer seems more like people who know nothing and are only trying to ruin our fun. After all, if cigarettes were so bad, wouldn’t they be either illegal or something which nobody would touch unless they had a death wish? As for alcohol, of course it reduces ones’ inhibitions, makes people more able to converse with strangers, flirt, and do other things which, when sober, one would never have the nerve to do. The fact that when lighting up a cigarette, the smoke hurts people’s throats, and stinks up the environment, is costly with most of the money going to taxes, and I recall I used to get a terrible headache after smoking a cigarette. Ah, but I do remember that I felt ever so sophisticated as in those days, women used long cigarette holders, and when wearing gloves which went up to a lady’s elbows, high heels, sparkly or ultra-sheer nylons (and in those days, they were made of real nylon), jewellery which dazzled, hair stylishly coiffed in the resident salon, and of course, expensive perfume. It seemed like it was a packaged deal, each item complimenting the other until the picture was complete. For people not to smoke made them feel like they were outsiders or like they were being judgemental, or when a youth, uncool, not willing to be daring, what some cruel kids called “chicken.” God forbid we were ever taken for being “chicken.” I believe another reason why those beginning such unhealthy and harmful lifestyle choices get annoyed at those who don’t is they fear being ratted out. As well, if everyone is doing something, it can’t be all that bad, unless of course it’s sanctioned by elders.
It takes a lot to say no when all one’s peers are doing it and being told how “cool” they are. They are often told those of the opposite sex will find them more appealing as well. Of course I now view those who refrain as individuals who know their own mind and won’t be persuaded into doing anything which they don’t wish to do. Those are the ones who often grow up to rally causes, run for political office and start up and/or run companies.
The same can be said of alcohol, another peer-pressured “indulgence” which young people are convinced will make them cock-of-the-walk; that is till they waken in the morning with a hangover unrivaled by anything save severe food poisoning and/or influenza. The problem is, however, the more people do these things, the more their bodies become less likely to balk and more likely to need these indulgences as the body will soon become either addicted or used to having these substances. That as well as how people turn to these items when stressed, upset, when trying to lose weight and an array of other reasons.
My demon was junk food, and lots of it. What I found was, by constantly focusing on my desire to lose weight, I would stop concentrating on the important issues which needed my attention. I would also blame a lot on my being seriously overweight. But what I didn’t realize until I began eating healthier foods was that all that junk with its sugars, fats and chemicals were wreaking havoc with my energy levels, my ability to concentrate, my overall health and most importantly my self-esteem. The problem is, when one feels badly about themselves, regardless of the source, they cannot feel better about themselves until they are rid of that source, i.e., all that sugar or people who treat others badly.

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