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Oct 26, 2009 - 0 comments

Well...  I finally did it.  My entire life I've been trying to battle addictions... from age 15, right to my age 24(turning 25 soon, so almost 10 years) the substances I've abused include cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and even crack cocaine.   You can also include coffee in the list, but coffee isn't really unhealthy for you besides the high amount of pesticides it has.

I feel so much better about myself and my life now that I quit... somehow it was just time.  My 2 best friends who were my drinking friends somehow turned their back on me for a reason that I really don't know, although it's not the greatest feeling to lose 2 great friends of almost 10 years, i realized all we did together was drink.  That was a great help.  I also focused on why alcohol abuse is so bad for me, reasons why I need to quit.

I came up with the following-->

Excessive drinking greatly inhibits production of ADH, anti-diuretic hormone, which causes the kidneys to reabsorb water.  Because of this, you become dehydrated, lose your salt balance of sodium and potassium, lose your water soluble b-vitamins.  And since you are less hydrated, your blood pressure shoots up, your brain shrinks in size(not very much but it does because of the dehydration), and your skin doesn't look so great.  

Excessive drinking beyond 3-4 drinks, and your body no longer uses alcohol dehydrogenaze to break down ethanol into acetaldyhe(which is also a prime hangover compound).  Instead it starts turning excess alcohol and storing it as fat.  The fat from the ethanol is stored right in the liver... causing the liver to have an appearance like marble cheese, with little fat deposits here and there.  As these fat deposits are broken down, your liver appearance becomes much like swiss cheese, little holes are here and there.  Eventually the holes are filled with scar tissue.  But either way, the more you binge drink in your life, the more the natural architecture of a health liver becomes destroyed...  This reduces it's efficiency so much.  Of course this destruction occurs with binge drinking, if you can have 1 or 2 drinks no damage to the liver occurs.  

Perhaps one hugely negative aspect of alcohol is what happens while I'm drunk.  I'm uninhibited, I make the wrong choices, I become irresponsible with myself.  All of the bad experiences I have had in my life occurred to me while being intoxicated.  Some are pretty bad... but somehow and for some reason, I'm here today without anything tragic happening to me despite being drunk a ridiculous number of times.  

I can't help myself with alcohol, if i have a drink, my body always wants another one, and another one, and another one... i get a great release of dopamine while drinking, and then when that drink is done, I crave another drink.  I can't help myself.  It's strange though... my alcoholism almost completely goes under the radar for pretty much everyone I know being friends and family... I mean, I'm not a violent person, I don't have a criminal record, my driving record is completely clean...  but it's still become the biggest problem in my life.  Maybe no one sees it as a problem for me, but I certainly do.  Then again practically all my old friends, and both my parents are drinkers.

Tobacco-->
For tobacco... it just hurts my lungs, and I'm totally sick of being short of breath.  I definitely notice the damage done to my lungs, you end up getting little holes in your lungs, and a greatly reduced lung capacity.  Add to that the fact that tobacco causes less oxygen flow to my skin and makes it look unhealthy, and the premature wrinkling that it causes... no thank you.  

How did I quit tobacco?  You know I quit on and off in my life... 15-17 i was a smoker in high school, because that's all we did at lunch time, go outside, talk, and have smokes.  Then I quit at age 18 because I got my wisdom teeth removed... then I started again for a summer age 20, quit again... Smoked again age 22, quit again.  Then age 24... just recently quit again.  It seems I always start again smoking socially, when I'm out drinking I might become uninhibited, then I might have a smoke.

You know I really had no problem quitting recently, I caught a cold, and my desire to smoke is just totally lost when I get sick, I don't even get a craving at all.  That was over 5 weeks ago, just bam cold turkey, but being sick made it so easy.  Now here I am 5 weeks later, and my respiratory health feels like absolute ****, I feel short of breath, sometimes I got some pains... yea I know, my lungs are healing.  But never again this time around.  

Marijuana-->

I liked smoking marijuana before, it became a central role in my life... almost since age 15, I would smoke daily sometimes, then sometimes I'd take breaks.  I'm not sure, it seems like in a social group we'd hype it up to be something special.  Now it's just like... okay, I smoke it, it makes me temporarily stupid, why should I be stuck on stupid?

I grew out of weed now... it just doesn't interest me at all anymore... but they say you don't grow out of the weed, the weed grows out of you.  haha, not sure... but I just have no interest in smoking pot anymore.  It's funny, I can come up with so many reasons against alcohol, and tobacco... but marijauna?  Yea respiratory problems obviously, but for the years where I'd only occasionally smoke pot and not cigarettes my lungs didn't ever bother me.  But being stuck on stupid isn't fun anymore.  THC, basically known as 'a credit card molecule'... it basically hits your brain and sticks in between nerve synapses, reducing the amount of neurotransmitter that crosses through... creating that slow down in your brain that so many people find relaxing.

Crack cocaine-->
I wrote a whole post somewhere here on medhelp about crack cocaine and all i can say is that nothing I have ever experienced in my life is more destructive than this drug.  This is the drug that nightmares are made of.  Everything about it, the experiences you go through and people that are around this drug, to the physical after effects.  
I just read a Time Magazine on the human brain, a users guide.  Cocaine and crack users brains have extremely impaired glucose metabolism in their minds... and it can take months, or even years to recover from this.  It kind of scares me to think of the damage I may have done to myself.

But my overall changed perception on my substance abuse problem/disease-->

Maybe I grew up I'm not sure... I can say so much of my substance abuse is partly because of learned behaviors in groups of people, and then secondly because of low self-esteem.  But I see myself differently now, I just want to be able to function and be able to think with my mind.  I think of myself as a biological machine now, with drugs and alcohol only causing malfunctions and problems with my functioning.  I'm not happy with my life like this and I know the only way I'll ever be happy is to live totally sober now.





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