Stop Smoking, Live Longer

It’s easy to quit, I’ve done it a thousand times. I quit 31-years ago and never looked back.

It takes three days for the body to forget nicotine and in that small window of opportunity is your chance to quit for good.

The question is, do you possess mind over matter?

IMG_0741.jpg

Quitting cigarettes begins in the mind weeks before your declaration to stop. It becomes necessary to deconstruct every occasion you spend smoking if you are to destroy your defense of smoking.

Mind over matter can be a healing process for some and a crutch for others. You can use the mind for good or bad, you need only make up your mind.

Once you commit, you have to destroy any notion that smoking cigarettes is a positive thing. It isn’t. It never was, but the tobacco companies did everything in their power to suck you in to their poisonous vortex by glamorizing tobacco with its use in film, television, and literature.

Brainwashed into thinking smoking is cool, like James Dean.

Smoking isn’t cool. It’s deadly in the hands of the user and assaults the senses of everyone around, especially your kids.

Medical Marijuana. Got Help?

If you’re like me and you have a prescription for medical marijuana (Mm), you prolly have a million questions and struggle to find answers. Couple that with the fact that you’re are under the influence of a psychoactive drug.

It’s been my experience, the real roadblock with Mm is the stigmatism associated with recreational marijuana (Rm) and the role its played in American culture.

These are two distinct cultures and unfortunately, they blend.

In the Mm realm my approach has been a “sober” one because the costs can be prohibitive with no insurance, forcing me to tightly govern the expense of my treatment. It can get out of control very easily and that’s a Buzzkill.

I am a veteran and a pariah to the VA where I am forced to conceal my prescription and treatment by my civilian doctors. Never the ‘Twain shall meet!

And don’t get me started on Arizona’s outrageous annual fees that have to be absorbed into my household budget. I see no relief anytime soon. When Governor Brewer initially implemented the Mm program they never anticipated the demand that would follow and these fees quickly ballooned into a surplus million-dollar revenue stream, none of which is getting back to the community. It’s disgraceful.

Mm is regulated in Arizona and an ounce can cost as much as $400 from one dispensary and $150 in another. The names of strains and the pricing is inconsistent from one store to the next, so you really don’t know what you’re getting.

What concerns me more than anything is the proliferation of the chemical processes to produce concentrated Mm and without regulation or oversight at the Federal level, I could easily be poisoning myself and might not know it for years; like cigarettes.

With the advent of legalized marijuana becoming normalized, I fear Arizona will follow suit and the quality and integrity of these products will suffer, exposing me to risk and possible injury.

These are the things that keep me up at night. I certainly don’t have all the answers but I know where to look and if you’re interested, we can look together.

I have been self-medicating with Mm since the Sixties. When others were getting high for the pure spectacle, I was treating my anxiety and depression, and staving off my hunger pangs, just to get through another day.

I have come a long way since 1967 and the only thing I can say for certain, there is no cure for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I’ve lived with it my who life. It was my divorce that sent me over the edge, forcing me to confront my situation. I sought help. I gave myself up to the doctors of the Veteran’s Administration for seventeen-years of therapy and treatment and I can say without equivocation from a treatment standpoint, it was a complete waste of time.

I still suffer from depression and anxiety and nothing they prescribed was lasting. That’s my point. The pills never last and they’ll kill you if you suddenly stop taking them, it’s insanity.

The only aspect of my treatment that inspired me was the one-on-one with the psychologists of the VA for which I spent hundreds of hours examining the very things that troubled me. They have a lot to offer in the way of helping you cope. But the help is limited unless you are willing to ask and answer key questions about the underlying tension that governs your life.