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Sunday, December 01, 2013

It's A Disease!

The next time I hear someone refer to alcoholism or drug addiction as a disease, I will infect them with Ebola.  Influenza is a disease.  Diabetes is a disease. Choosing to ingest something to the exclusion of everything else is not a disease, it's just stupid.  Yet, we have tons of bleeding hearts out there crying and going into rehab when they feel their face time is a little low in the media, screaming that it's a disease and they can't help it.

Oh shut up.  Yes you can help it.  Addiction is not a disease, it's a choice.  You consciously make a decision to put something in your body that A) you know you can't control and B) you think excuses you from all the havok you wreak when you do ingest it.  This goes for alcoholism, this goes for drug abuse, this goes for smoking and to a certain degree, gambling.

If you are so weak minded that addiction controls you, then I honestly think that we should have some mechanism of culling you from the herd.  And wait, before you sit there, all butt sore because you think I'm preaching, I've quit drugs and smoking (twice) and have no trouble controlling the alcohol I drink because I realized, in my teens that I did not want something outside my body controlling my behavior.  Why?  Because even if I blame that outside thing, it's still my fault for using that outside thing.  Addiction is nothing more than a weak mind at work on an idiot psychology.

If you want proof, I present my hapless husband who has, possibly, the most addictive personality I've yet seen.  And I've had truck with junkies, so you will have to understand that for me to say this about a man I love... well it's the gospel truth.  He's addicted to smoking cigarettes, sugar and game playing.  He spends hundreds of hours online reading stuff about his D&D game, or some stupid weather condition.  He sneaks cigarettes and thinks I lost my olfactory senses in some bizarre gardening accident because I've told him that smoking won't kill him.  I will.  The smell is horrific and I can't stand it.  He used the bathroom yesterday while I was out running errands.  How can I tell.  When I got home I hit the head and it reeked of cigarette smoke from his clothes. It was overwhelming and disgusting.  But hey, he thinks I can't smell it, so he can continue smoking.  I'm going to start making him carry around something the same weight as his mother's oxygen tank.  He may as well get used to it now.  She has Emphysema COPD after decades of smoking and it didn't show until she got pneumonia a few years after she finally quit.  He tells himself and everyone else that the COPD is from the pneumonia, despite everyone explaining to him that it doesn't work that way.  If she didn't get emphysema from the cigarettes and COPD from that and the pneumonia, then he can keep smoking.

Justifying is when you lie to yourself. Rationalizing is when you lie to others.

Now, let's take me.  I quit drugs and smoking based on the fact that both disgusted me and it was irrational to do it.  I had to quit smoking twice because I really liked smoking until I was slapped in the face with a person who smoked inside their car so much it literally oozed from their pores.  It took me a while to quit, but I just made it harder and harder to do so until I just stopped buying the stupid things and never looked back.  I changed my behavior to achieve a goal.  Addiction, meet the strong mind.

Now, I have a disease.  It's called diabetes.  I cannot wake up one day and decide I no longer wish to be diabetic and take steps to achieve that goal.  No, I am stuck, for the rest of my hopefully long life with a semi-functioning pancreas that basically hates me and killed off a part of itself to prove that.  Now, again, let's look at the disease Diabetes.  I have Type 1, or what used to be called, stupidly, Juvenile Diabetes.  I got it in my mid-20s.  One day my pancreas started killing off highly specialized cells that made it possible for me to convert the sugars in my food into fuel for my cells.  Food is the gasoline and insulin is basically the key to the gas cap.  Insulin lets the glucose molecules cells to fuel.  I lost my keys to the gas cap and now have to get new keys daily, sometimes a couple of times daily, to make sure the gas gets into the tank.  So, you see, my disease has no "out clause".  There is no pill or 12 Step Program I can go through so my disease goes away.  For the rest of my life I will have to take insulin.  Every. Single. Day.

Oh yeah, most Type 2 Diabetics can control their form of diabetes through diet.  But for a lot of them, their addiction to eating forces them into some kind of insulin maintenance.

When you get influenza, most times you have no idea when or where you got it.  You breath in the virus through vapor particulate in the air and the virus gets into your body that way and then wreaks havoc on your respiratory system.  Then after your immune system kicks in, a week later you start to feel a little more human and less like a germ spewing phlegm faucet. But you get over it with very little intervention other than treating the symptoms.  No amount of government intervention or self-affirmation can get rid of a disease.

Cancer is an horrific disease.  It devastates the body it resides in and so many other things.  You cannot 12 Step cancer away.  You cannot take a pill and gradually wean yourself from cancer.  You can treat it and/or die.  They don't have Methadone clinics for cancer sufferers.  You cannot receive Social Security Disability payments if you get diabetes or cancer like you can if you are hooked on heroine or meth. Because Diabetes and cancer are real diseases, things you have no idea when you get them until you're sick from them.  Nobody ever goes to a party where everyone has Meningitis thinking, oh goody, I'm gonna do some meningitis!  We avoid disease, and court addiction.  For anyone, ANYONE, to equate addiction with disease has obviously never had a real disease.

And explains why anyone who says addiction is a disease and not a lifestyle choice should be infected with Ebola.  Because disease is not something we want to experience time and time again.

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