I've had an itch to write lately. The other night I found myself watching Marley & Me (and sobbing like a child) and was jealous of the man in it who wrote a column every day. I'm not sure I could produce something interesting to say every day, but I would enjoy it, furrrsure.
Anyway. Numero 3 on the list. My feelings on drugs and alcohol.
I think if you know me at all you probably know at least a piece of my feelings on drugs and alcohol.
Pretty much sums it up.
People make a lot of assumptions as to how LDS people feel about this subject. People make assumptions that we don't do it because we CAN'T, because we are FORCED to resist. They assume we are restricted. They assume we would do it if we could.
They assume we do not have the FREEDOM to live as the world lives, to participate in the world's greatest 'pleasures', to be accepted in social circles because we choose not to participate.
You know what they say about assumptions..
Not everyone does this, but many people do. So, since you likely already know that I stand very strongly against drugs and alcohol because of my beliefs, I would like to talk about why I would stand against them regardless of how my faith views them.
Earlier I mentioned the word freedom. People believe that freedom is the right to do whatever you want, whenever you choose. According to dictionary.com, freedom actually means:
'the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint:
exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
the power to determine action without restraint.'
People think we have no freedom because we do not participate in Thirsty Thursday, the date 4/20 means nothing to us, and we wake up sober on Sunday mornings. According to the definition of freedom, we are the living word. Believing that fiending for the next fix, killing an innocent person because you were driving under the influence, and that waking up and remembering nothing from the night before defines freedom is simply incorrect.
Drugs and alcohol are a prison, not a release. People believe it can be done recreationally, for sport. They believe they can keep it in moderation. This is true, some people can. But regardless of whether they become and alcoholic or simply drink a glass of wine with dinner, they are still 'restricted' and 'under physical constraint' while under the influence; they are not in the appropriate state of mind to have 'power to determine action'.
Many people have very addictive personalities, it's often times hereditary. Those people, the ones who can't live without their addictions, are in more of a prison than I have ever been by choosing to say no to these harmful and addictive substances. Every choice they make is revolved around the addiction, they have little control over their own lives. It is ruined by the drugs and alcohol. Anyone who has had an alcoholic relative or seen or witnessed someone close to you suffer withdrawl symptoms can relate to what I am saying. There is no freedom in addiction.
So you tell me, who is the free one? Yes, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, part of my beliefs is to follow Christ through obeying the Word of Wisdom. But the Word of Wisdom is a beautiful principal set in place to keep us free. Free from additions. Free from regrets. Free from the prison that is drugs and alcohol.
My family has taken many live-in extended family members at times when they struggled with these addictions. I have watched as people have lost everything in life they loved to these substances. They lost their families, their jobs, their livelihood. Every bit of money was spent to find the next fix. Every effort made was to get the next high. A life lived this way is a life lost. We have so much opportunity in this life to grow and excel. None of that can be accomplished if we rely too heavily on unnatural and harmful substances. I know many of you have suffered with close family members who struggled with these things. To you, I am sorry. I know, I've been there. This is all the more reason to keep yourself and your children and families away from those things that destroy us from the inside out.
The Word of Wisdom is freedom, not constraint. Read more about it here, if you'd like.
Well folks, that is all. Don't do drugs.