There are many people in this world that would have you believe that addictions are a horrible thing that happen to us. As a person who smoked cigarettes and drank an average of a twelve pack of beer a day for the better part of 15 years and walked away form both practices, I think I have some expertise on the subject of addictions. I don't look at either of these addictions as negative. I look at them as my greatest teachers. Although I was caught in the haze of drinking and smoking for all of that time, I now realize why it happened. I've learned that both practices taught me more than they took from me, although on the surface that may seem hard to believe.
At first the idea of addictions being your greatest teachers sounds weird, but if you begin to think about it, you will realize that its true. Without being “addicted" to beer and cigarettes as I was, how could I really explain to my daughter why she shouldn't engage in such things? I couldn't. To me there is nothing worse than someone telling someone that they shouldn't do something simply because that thing “isn't good for them" or “isn't right". To me that was always the definition of hypocrisy. Telling someone not to do something that you yourself have no experience with. For example, I couldn't tell my daughter that she shouldn't rock climb, why? Because I have no experience with rock climbing, so what the hell do I know about it? I would imagine that it's dangerous, but in actuality I have no idea. The bottom line is that I can tell my daughter all about both drinking and smoking when the time comes. They both taught me a lot and I have the direct experience of knowing how they can effect a person.
This very fact is one of my major problems with politics. Politicians want to tell everyone what to do, while having no direct experience with many of these things themselves. It's just a terrible way to deal with things in my humble opinion. So my addictions were my greatest teachers and I will always be thankful for the fact that I came to this realization. Maybe, in the divine plan of the universe, that is the very reason that I started drinking and smoking in the first place. To come to that realization.
Remember, anything that you might find yourself addicted to isn't bigger than you are. As much as people might want you to believe that your addictions are bigger than you, they're not. Your addictions are just trying to teach you something. Something that you couldn't realize in any other way. You have within you, everything that you need to conquer any addiction.
Trevor Kugler - Co-founder of JRWfishing.com Trevor has more than 20 years of fishing experience, and raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country. . . . Montana.
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