Learned helplessness part 4

I used to be obese.  I used to smoke pot daily. I used to smoke clove cigarettes.  I wallowed in my helplessness.

I remember one time I decided to at least slow down on smoking pot.  I put the supplies in a plastic bag and sealed it with rubber bands.  I put it up in my closet.  I had to get a chair to pull it down.  It took me quite a bit of time to get to it. Then I’d find myself climbing up there and pulling it all apart, and smoking anyway. All along I felt helpless, in the thrall of my desire for that drug.  I’d feel guilty and upset and angry at myself.  But then afterwards I’d seal it up again, and it would slow me down a little more the next time.  That was a step towards getting free.  No change happens immediately.  It is all made of little steps.

I even moved two hours away from the person I bought pot from so that it would be harder for me to smoke.  I had to drive a long way to get pot.  I did that on purpose, to make it harder for myself.  That too was a step. Lao Tzu says that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  And then there is another step.  And another. You just have to keep walking towards your goal, one step at a time.

I remember one time I was making a rosary. I worked on it a little. Then I put it aside.  A lot of time went by and I didn’t work on it. But then when I came back to it I realized that all the work I had done was still there.   It hadn’t lost anything.   So I added to it. Positive actions towards a goal are the same.

You don’t abuse drugs, or food, or sex, or whatever.  You abuse yourself. You are insulting your soul.  You are abusing the gift that God has given you. Look at Ulysses.  He wanted to hear the sound of the Sirens.  He knew that hearing it might drive him insane.  He told his men to put wax in their ears so they would be safe, and to tie him to the mast so he couldn’t jump into the sea and drown.

Our addictions are like the Siren song.  They draw us away from our rational selves.  When we are sober, when we are free of the pull, we have the chance to make a decision to make it harder on ourselves to succumb.

My putting the supply of pot further away from myself was my lashing myself to the mast.  It slowed me down and made me think. Ideally, yes, I would have thrown it away.  At times I did that too, yet I bought more.  At that time, I thought I could control it.  Just like Ulysses, I wanted to hear that Siren song, just not succumb to it.  It is a dangerous game.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:29-30 (ASV) 29 And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell.  30 And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell.

Sometimes we have to make hard choices in order to get healthy. Keep walking towards your goal.  Don’t give up.  The life you save will be your own.

 

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About betsybeadhead

Hello, and Welcome. My name is Betsy, and I like beads and prayers. Fortunately those two things are more related than I ever realized. You are invited to “like” my Facebook page titled “Betsy Beadhead” and thus see what I’m talking about in my posts when I try to explain something using beads rather than words. This whole thing started because of that. Then I couldn't figure out how to post pictures so I just started writing. I string together words the same way I string together beads, and both serve the same purpose. I work at a library, surrounded by ideas brushing up against each other. I draw, paint, and collage. I study world religions. In all these experiences I like combining different things and making new things, and stretching my understanding of what “is” and what “has to be.” You are welcome to share my posts - just please give credit where credit is due. I'm anti-censorship but I'm also anti-plagiarism.
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