….I just decided not to start…(Yet)

Eh? Have you lost the plot? What the hell are you talking about Carl?

Wait, wait people. There is a point to this.

I believe words have power and the way you behave can be influenced by the words you choose to describe yourself (whether in your own thoughts or to others) and how you behave/react to things.

Let me give you an example. From earlier posts you may have read that I am abstaining from alcohol (for a number of reasons but they’re not important). Now this is where words and their meaning become vital to me. I have not ‘given up’ drinking. That implies to me loss, sacrifice and being denied something that was a big part of my life (to my detriment admittedly but nevertheless…)

Instead I phrase it as ‘I am NOT drinking’ – that means that the option to drink is still available to me should I choose to do so. I don’t see this as avoidance of the issue or that it means I intend to start again, but it is honestly much easier for me to not drink (out of choice)  than ‘give up‘ drinking which has a sense of finality about it that disturbs me and I resent. You can apply the same thinking to many other life choices.

You often hear the saying ‘Once an addict, always an addict’ and that is a very negative statement for people attempting to free themselves (believe me I know). It’s much more positive to think of it as ‘Ok, I am an addict but I have made the decision NOT to use/gamble/have sex with strangers etc.’ than to GIVE UP your particular vice. The implication then is that you have the mental strength to beat your demons rather than live a lifetime being in constant fear of their return.

Addiction or ‘addict’ has in its very meaning the implication of not being able to resist the compulsion to act on it. That’s simply not true. If it were then NO-ONE would ever be able to become or stay clean/sober.

So I think it’s better not to fight the compulsion to do something. Much healthier (both physically and mentally) to accept that it’s there and probably always will be but also realise that you have a CHOICE and use your right to choose just as you might embrace free speech or your right to vote.

It’s your life, you can choose to live it any way you like and it’s also your right to make the wrong decisions should you want to.

Conversely, you can also cry (Like Elliot Richards (Brandon Fraser in ‘Bedazzled’) ‘Damn the Devil! Damn the Devil to Hell!’. 😀

Like Foxy ‘Citizen’ Smith used to shout – ‘Freedom for Tooting!’

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