Think About Issue 1
Dear Fellow Addicts:
For over 20 years, I smoked cigarettes and was severely addicted to nicotine. So much so that there was a time when I thought that I would never be able to quit smoking. Over the years I lost count of the number of the times I tried to quit. One time when I had only been smoking for a few years, I was able to quit for about six weeks. I was so proud, but made the mistake of boasting to a co-worker that I hadn’t had a cigarette in six weeks. She turned to me and in the meanest, most smarty-pants way she sneered, “You should have never started in the first place.” I felt crushed, embarrassed, and ashamed. Yes, she was right. I was a terrible person because I smoked.
I was for the most part a closet smoker. I never even smoked in front of my husband. Although he and everyone else knew I smoked, I didn’t want the lectures, the judgment, plus I knew that second-hand smoke annoyed others, not to mention in later years we all learned of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
It wasn’t until after I had my son that I decided that I had to quit. After six years of praying for our Lord’s help to quit and chewing Nicorette gum until my jaws ached, I finally went an entire year without a cigarette. It was then that I knew that I had finally, “kicked the habit!”
Yeah, me! Not so fast. I have another addiction that no matter how many times I try I cannot beat it. I am addicted to food. I am going to guess that most of us who are overweight (unless we have a medical condition that causes weight gain) are probably addicted to food. If not food, then think about other addictions we may have … gossiping, watching football, being on Facebook, our cell phones, our computers every chance we get; even exercising can become addictive. Think about someone telling us to stop doing whatever it is we are addicted to doing. It may sound easy at first. Now add the word FOREVER to that command. Could we stop overeating, unhealthy eating, watching football, gossiping, checking our cell phones or Facebook, exercising FOREVER? That may not be quite so easy.
That is what we are telling those folks addicted to drugs and alcohol to do. We are telling them to just stop using the drugs and alcohol and to stop FOREVER!
When you are voting on Issue 1 in Ohio, please keep your heart and mind opened. Think about any addiction you may have or have had and tried to beat FOREVER. How successful have you been at beating it forever? How much help and support did you need before you were able to beat it forever? When casting your vote on Ohio’s Issue 1 please ask yourself, “Do I want to be the compassionate person who says, ‘I want to help you,’ or do I want to be the mean, smarty-pants person who says, ‘You should have never started in the first place’?”
Mary Jo Delbert