I Don’t Drink, Don’t Smoke…but Not Why You Think

I’m not a big drinker and I’ve never tried so much as a puff of a cigarette. I haven’t said much about all this because what I have come to see is that my Position on drinking and smoking is less about Principle and more about Propensities.

To put it another way, I don’t drink much or smoke at all because I think if I did more of the one and even tried the other, well, I think I’d like it. Too much.

What I share here as to my reasons is very personal and not meant to point a finger at anyone else. For all I know, I’m the only person who’s had such little experience with substances yet craves them something fierce.

Somehow though, I keep feeling like it is something I need (want?) to share. And, you know, I’m on the internet now and my life is an open book anyway.

Over time I have had Good Reasons not to Do Substances. When I was underage, both were, of course, Illegal. As I dabbled in fundamentalist Christian thought, it was rather convenient to forego these substances because I was taught they were Sinful. And regardless of one’s age there are certainly Risks involved.

But those Reasons have faded over time. I’m old enough now that they are Legal, I no longer universally see their use as a Sin Issue, and I know plenty of people who are relatively Responsible about occasional enjoyment of these substances from time to time.

What remains for me personally a Stumbling Block about drinking and smoking though is the Addictive Nature of alcohol and tobacco because I sense in my body the very real and present possibility of Getting Hooked.

I have just enough sorrows that are just enough exacerbated by my stupid depression that I want to Drown Them All. Alcohol especially would be soooo easy…so easy.

My husband picked up a case of beer the other day and he put a few bottles in the fridge.

High Life?

Every time I so much as see the bottles there when I open the fridge, I feel a rush, a craving, a longing…a desire to Drown All The Everything. I want to grab a bottle and feel it course through me.

But I know me…and I know that times I’ve given into that a little, I’ve wanted to keep giving into it.

In this one area of my life, my tendency to Think Too Much has been a benefit to me. My self-awareness of how much I want to indulge has always nagged me enough to stop drinking before I’ve had too many and not even try smoking.

This part is delicate, so I want to tread lightly here, but I also have family history that stands as a warning sign to me. I know that these Propensities can run in families, so I have been especially Vigilant in my own life.

I don’t claim some moral high ground for my choices in these matters. If anything, I feel somehow weaker than others that I can’t just have one drink without Overthinking Every Sip.

But knowledge is power, and I do indeed know myself on this matter which is why I don’t drink and I don’t smoke.

12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hermano Grande on August 24, 2014 at 8:28 am


  2. Beautifully written. I see your heart and wisdom of yourself in each word. I see a wonderful witness of loving oneself. Thank you for sharing your struggle.

  3. Posted by Jennifer Krushas on August 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks for this. My dad, a Lutheran pastor, had an occasional beer and made some wine from grapes one summer and bought an occasional bottle to share with company, gathered my brothers and I together one day and said something like, “I’ve been witness to marriages and lives being shredded by alcohol in the various congregations I’ve served. Also, I’ve enjoyed a margarita with a Mexican meal and a cold beer on a hot day. The jury is still out (this was the early 80s) as to whether addictions are genetic, but if alcohol addiction is in your DNA, then I’m asking you to be very careful as you make choices in your lives, for alcoholism splashes its way through both sides of your family. I really am not asking or telling you not to drink. I just want you to know the risks for you may be pretty great. And if you find you’re splashing around in it, and you need help, your mom and I are here, and we are not afraid to step in and help.

    I haven’t been much of a drinker either.

    Peace to you as you make choices about your body, mind, and spirit.

  4. Thanks, Jenn, for the thoughtful self-awareness. I too counseled my daughters about the addiction that runs in our family, and how it might just be Russian roulette for them to get too cozy with alcohol. Can’t control it, of course, but I think it a wise thing for a parent to be aware.

  5. Thank you for this.

  6. Very nice! I simply have a low tolerance, don’t want the extra calories and it’s NOT cheap either. An occasional GOOD drink is fab, but that’s as far as I go. I don’t have addiction in my DNA, that i know of (so far so good). I think w/me is being told that I CANNOT do something is the kicker and that goes for many. My parents also used reverse psychology w/me. I sipped as a child; beer & wine. I said ‘Yuk!’ Case in point. Now where is the soda water w/fresh Californian lemons? 🙂

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