I don’t want to take steroids because I know that I could never get back off. Becoming a superhuman beast that afterwards turns back into a relative weakling would completely fuck up how I feel about myself.
Currently, I feel powerful every time I hit the gym. When I leave, I can shout with conviction, “Now I’m stronger than ever!”—although, literally, it’s false because my muscles are dead after training. Had I ever experienced roided-up strength, even just for one cycle, I’d always feel weak in comparison (unless I kept juicing). A friend of mine fell into this trap. He’s lost all his love for lifting weights, even though he’s been off the juice for many months now. Personally, I love lifting so much that I’d never jeopardize my passion by taking steroids.
Sure, once my body ceases to produce enough testosterone on its own, I’ll probably undergo TRT, that is, when I’m over 40, but in the meantime, long-term steroid use would only limit my freedom due to dependence on synthetic substances and needle injections. I want freedom through strength, not strength over freedom!
I know the temptation of taking steroids, though—oh, I know it all too well. After several years of dedication, you arrive at a point in your lifting career where you realize that you’ll have to work just as hard or even harder to make a tiny bit of progress (maybe add 20 pounds to a major lift, or gain 2 pounds of muscle mass in an entire year—if even). You realize that you’ll never be nearly as strong or jacked as any serious roider, even if he puts in less hard work and is less strict about his diet than you. You realize that, no matter how hard you keep working, you’ve lost your power to make old friends you haven’t seen in a while go, “Whoa, you’ve turned into an animal, man!”—your years of astonishing body transformation are over. You also realize how every article or book you read about bodybuilding suggests bullshit through photos of physiques that are unattainable without anabolic drugs, and don’t even get me started on YouTubers (on the other hand, I’ve never been a bodybuilder, so I don’t really give a fuck). And, finally, what you realize after a long and steady commitment to your goals is that some of them simply aren’t achievable for natural athletes.
I have enough mental strength to not be dazzled by these realizations, and I have so much love for the process that my goals can’t mislead me. But that’s not the reason why I don’t take steroids. My reason is that I have too much respect for the psychological consequences. I fear what they will do to me mentally in the long term. I don’t have enough mental strength to deal with (relative) bodily weakness. I’m still too attached to my identity as a physically powerful man. Yet once I have the mental strength to do without that identity, why would I want to take steroids in the first place?