…and that’s really what I’ve been having to do lately to keep myself from going crazy.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the epitome of good health. Though I am in good physical condition and exercise regularly (and eat reasonably well), as you can tell from my alcohol and tobacco reviews I do have my vices. It seems lately I’m engaging in my vices a lot more than normal, probably as a way to cope with the increased stress from my heavier work load and just being away from friends and family. All of this is, of course, compounded by the stress of the holidays which gets everyone down.
On my down time, I’m one of three places: at the bar, the cigar lounge, or at home. In any of those instances, chances are I’ve got a drink in one hand and a smoke in the other, pretty much all the time. If it’s too damn cold outside; it’ll be a vape in the other hand. Whatever the case, it’s what I have to do to unwind.
Yeah, I know I’m not doing my liver, mouth or throat any favors. Trust me, I know. I have at the bare minimum 3-4 standard units of alcohol per day (and that usually runs closer to 5-6 given the higher than average ABVs of my beverages of choice) and anywhere from as few as 1 to as many as 4 cigars in a day.
I’m very well aware that my consumption of these things is well above the medical recommendation (the US definition is up to 2 standard drinks per day and up to 2 cigars per day) but man, I don’t know what else to do. For me having a drink and a cigar is a ritual that relaxes me. It takes the edge off and I kind of forget about the worries of my job and my shitty ass life in the meantime.
I mean, what’s worse for you? Tobacco/alcohol or stress? It seems to me stress is a far greater harm to you and I have plenty of that from having an boss who doesn’t understand how to deal with autistic adults, no real support structure and all that bullshit. When you look at people like Jose Orlando Padron who always had a cigar in his hand, you have to come to the conclusion that genetics probably plays a far bigger role in developing smoking related cancers than exposure to smoke itself. That’s not saying it helps matters, but you get the idea. Same with many old wine makers, distillers, etc. – they don’t appear to have a higher-than-normal incidence of cirrhosis or similar.
I guess the point is I just question the legitimacy of all this “smoking/drinking is so bad for you” bullshit. I’m not saying it’s entirely risk free. Alas, in my view you have to pick your battles. I’ll gladly gamble with a slightly elevated risk of mouth cancer or liver disease if it helps me to reduce my stress levels. As an autist, my vices are as much as ritual and routine as much as pure enjoyment. It is what it is.
We all have poisons in our live we have to choose between. Pick the one that’s the lesser harm to you because you have to pick one. There’s no avoiding it altogether. I don’t give a fuck if you think I have a problem. You’re not me. And no, I won’t “get help.” I’ll keep doing what I do. It works for me.