Witnessing others’ smoke withdrawals puts addiction in perspective

Hannah Benson and Hannah Benson

Addiction is a funny concept.

I’ve witnessed this past week how addiction, and the withdrawals of addiction, changes people.

Due to a small fire caused by irresponsible disposal methods, the smoking area at my job was blocked off, forcing many to not smoke for 12 hours.

To me, this seems like no big deal.

However, I do not smoke.

People lost their minds.

This week at work, I saw how vicious and ruthless addiction can be.

Ordinarily harmless co-workers grew fangs and their fur spiked straight up [figuratively speaking, of course].

The lunch room was obviously more crowed at break and the vending machines saw more business than usual.

Not only were people becoming increasingly more grumpy throughout the day and eating more than usual, but they were also taking drastic measures to curb their withdrawals.

There were rumors of some sneaking their way outside and others of some taking to the bathroom to smoke.

I immediately asked myself why someone would risk their not only their life, but their livelihood for this addiction.

I never really have been around smoking, but it has affected my life.

When I was a very little girl, I lost my grandparents on my mom’s side due to smoking-induced cancer.

Because of an addiction, I grew up not knowing who raised my mother.

I do not even have a handful of memories with the most important people in my mother’s life.

It is safe to say that I will not be smoking anytime soon, but that does not mean I cannot try to understand the way others feel.

When trying to understand how so many people can be controlled by such a small, deadly object, I tried to think of something similar in my life that I allow to control me.

The closest thing I could come up with is food.

Sometimes, I cannot control my cravings for certain foods.

And, just like cigarettes, too much of the wrong food can be harmful to the body.

But I know it is unhealthy for me and I do not need someone to tell me so or scold me.

I need to find the willpower within myself to control the addiction.

I applied this reaction to the smoking scenario at work.

I cannot judge someone into making a better decision for themselves.

So, to wrap up this rant with something of substance, I learned through this experience that everyone has their own addictions.

Because we are all humans, we should be slow to judge other people’s downfalls.

However, this does not mean we should not try to overcome these addictions on our own, because they are inherently unhealthy.