When I was a kid I enjoyed getting dirty in the mud and playing with bugs, and yes, sometimes eating them! When I went to birthday parties I would pig out on all the sweets, cake and chips, because we weren’t allowed many “sweet things” at home.

I hated being forced to bath or brush my teeth or eat all my vegetables, but I did it because I was told to and I really had no choice in the matter. Being healthy was a chore when I was young but as I grew older I realised that doing these mindless tasks would make a difference to my health and they soon became a routine, as it should for everyone. I am now 25 years old and I have probably seen a doctor less than 25 times in my life, and most of those times have been for sporting injuries, I hardly get sick! I don’t have any cholesterol/ heart problems or serious allergies, that I know of. I have a super metabolism, which has gotten me the accusation of being either Anorexic or Bulimic throughout my life. But if I just generally eat healthy and exercise a couple of times a week, I don’t have to watch my weight and I still get to indulge in all the treats I enjoy. Despite a bit of an iron deficiency (because I don’t eat much red meat) I seem physically healthy and whether its good genes or their strict rules on food and hygiene, I guess I have my parents to thank for that. We all know that the most important time for our health is during our childhood when our bodies and minds are still developing and I am so lucky to have come from a home that could supply my growing body with nourishment and cleanliness.

It all sounds great on paper, I’m a healthy little package, but I will eventually have my mental health to thank one day for my poor physical wellbeing. I may eat right and exercise, and keep clean, yet I choose to smoke, drink and take recreational drugs. Talk about a double standard. I preach health everyday when I force myself to eat that fruit, or take that jog but I just can’t kick my nasty habits.

It started in high school when I had a terribly low self esteem and the only thing that made me feel better were the cigarettes and the wine that I would steal from my parents. They never noticed the wine missing as my parents don’t drink, those bottles were merely for guests, and show and I would drink alone in the afternoons before they got home. I had a weekend job at a restaurant nearby and I would lie about the late shifts I was working; I was out drinking with my friends. This continued through high school and was only elevated by my discovery of Marijuana; I found it when I was snooping in my older brother’s cupboard for cigarettes. I had heard about this magic green plant that you could smoke and it would make you feel like a hundred bucks! It wasn’t long before I was friends with the “stoner” crowd and was meeting up with them after school for a few puffs.

As I grew older my need for “steam” as I call it, grew stronger and stronger. Naturally I began to smoke and drink more and soon I was being introduced to all sorts of drugs at University, where I found a soft spot in my heart for hallucinogenics. We had so much freedom in comparison to high school, and I came across so many like-minds that it almost seemed that everyone was doing it, of course that wasn’t the case, I was merely clouding my mind with excuses in order to feel better about doing it. Before I knew it I could quite honestly label myself as a regular drug user, and it wasn’t until recently when a close friend passed away suddenly from a serious illness, that I started to evaluate my life.

I wouldn’t say that these harmful chemicals that I’m poisoning my blood stream with, rule my life, I am not an “addict”, so to speak. I am not at the point where someone might find me lying on the bathroom floor foaming at the mouth, overdosed on some concoction, but then again I am only 25. For now, I’ve managed to contain it so that I can get up for work during the week, and maybe exercise some of the brain cells I have left, but when it comes to “off-time”, I over indulge on anything that makes me dizzy. When I am stressed or just need to wind down, I like feeling out of control and reckless, and alcohol and drugs do that for me. They make me feel invincible, and suddenly my troubles are far away, until I wake up with a pounding headache and no recollection of the night before.

I know its wrong; I know all of the health risks and what it does to my pocket! After a binge I am depressed for days beating myself up about it and making empty promises that I will calm down. This is something I have been battling for years, and it’s been a constant struggle physically and mentally to remain motivated and focused, but now I have a constant reminder, of how short life can be.

The memory of my friend, and how much life she still had to live makes me feel guilty about recklessly throwing mine away. I am now on a path towards changing my life, one where I am forcing myself to assess my priorities, goals and dreams daily. I am not the type of person to waste away in the corner, I would like to make a mark on this world, but these kind of dreams don’t happen overnight, and I don’t want to leave the wrong legacy! I hope to live a long successful life, one that I can remember, and where I am not suffering from Emphysema or Cancer! I want to be healthy not only in body, but also in mind.

Advertisements