Tag: g2

clutz (g2)

We have been hitting on some pretty hefty topics, so I figured I would change the pace and share something a little lighter that would only be considered traumatic if I was still a teenager.

I am a clutz.

It has been a part of my general make-up my entire life. I don’t mean the run of the mill, occasional whack here and there. I mean the good-god-can’t-even-make-it-across-a-flat-surface kind of clutz.

My first realization came when I got my first 10-speed. The bike itself was probably a bit big for me yet as I think I was finishing elementary school. I was bound and determined to ride it like all the older kids in my neighborhood. Having a banana seat was for kids. Teens and adults all had the pelvis-crushing triangle seats from hell.

I was making pretty good progress and becoming a bit more confident with it when one of my socks somehow got caught up in the chain and pedals, I tried to pull my foot out, but apparently whatever movement I did caused my other sock to become ensnared on the other side. With both my feet being pulled down and around and curled, I ended up yanked off my seat and was essentially dragging my knees on the asphalt in order to stop.

I probably went a good 10-20 feet in this configuration until some kind soul in my neighborhood saw me and helped me untangle myself. Of course, my knees were a bloody mangle of asphalt and gore. My neighbor only had small band-aids but still managed to weave a pretty solid patchwork of a square to cover the heinous monstrosity my knees had become.

I walked my bike back home, sniffling along the way, convinced I would never be able to work a bike like a functioning human being my whole life. By the time I got around the block to my house, the bandages had long fallen off and the mess was running down my legs, into my shredded socks. I’m sure I was quite the sight.

As my mother was cleaning and bandaging my wounds, I was still wallowing in my miserable failure at being a big kid, a teen, the “pre-adult of awesomeness” when my mother suddenly said, “I’m sorry.” I looked at her and asked, “what for?” Considering I’d just done about the stupidest thing I had ever done (yet, I was still a kid), I could not understand why in the world she would be apologizing. I would have expected her to disown me for being such an incredible basket-case of a child. However, she said “You’re going to have an entire lifetime of this and it is all my fault.”

It took me a minute to understand what she was trying to say, then it sunk in. You know, I did seem to recall my own mother frequently incapable of basic motor skills and with at least some minor wound or bruise to show from the experience. I could see at least one at the very moment.

I think there was something sort of relieving at that moment to know that my grand exhibition in gracelessness was simply part of my genetic code and out of my control as I stopped sniffling and simply said, “ok.” At the time, I remember mentally running through a series of prior situations in which my movements were something akin to a drunken penguin in a ball pit. This was just one to add to the list.

I took a month or two off from bike riding to let the wounds, both mentally and physically, heal but eventually I managed to ride that damn bike. I cannot say I was exactly sad to see it go when it finally got old and worn, but I have to admit I felt a little badass when I finally conquered it.

I googled “clumsy ball pit” to see what wonders would arise and came up with this gem. I’m even a bit less graceful than Leonard 🙂

Alternate Link

depression (g2)

The first time I wanted to die, I was seven years old.

My parents were both young and absent and my grandparent, with whom I lived, was the type who played a few dozen mind games before their morning tea was fully steeped. They would often go on about what piles of excrement both of my parents were. To a young child, its an easy bit of math to figure out that if the two people who made you are nothing but crap, then you must be double.

It took some years, but I realized later that much of that dialog was rooted in jealousy. Children love their parents, even if they are not present, and it does not stop them from wanting to love them. My grandparent viewed love as a pool with a set limit. If you loved one child more than the other, it meant you were taking some away. In their own way, they were trying to eliminate the parental love to garner a larger share.

Of course, that was not helpful to a seven year old child, even if I’d known that then. Suicide and thoughts thereof would hallmark much of my childhood. I didn’t find birthdays fun. I stopped enjoying holidays altogether. I went to the happiest place on earth and thought it was a miserable experience. At seventeen, I attempted to take myself out of the equation.

Obviously, it was a grand failure. I learned a heavy lesson that some things just aren’t any of our business. Afterwords, I thought of who would have been most likely to find me if I had died and the kind of hurt and trauma that would have caused. I couldn’t believe I’d been so selfish. One moment of success and I would have never been able to correct that or take it back.

Depression in and of itself has been a large chunk of most of my life. Mostly, I was able to work my way back out of it. I made very good friendships the older I got and they were a great help in talking me out of the void, friendships that are still big parts of my life today.  I don’t think I will ever be able to express just how grateful I am to have them as my self-made family.

As I got older, the amount of responsibility and weight that comes with adulthood increases and so does your chance of succumbing to depression. For the first time, I had to enlist the kind of help that comes with a prescription. Three medications later and I finally found one that just lets me be me without any “extras.”

The first one I tried made me feel… nothing. My kid was just going through their series of firsts and I couldn’t force a smile on my face. That one had to go. The second one made me feel too much of everything all the time. The third, I felt like myself, only like a giant weight had been pushed off, as though there was a cushion between me and it. Everything was manageable, nothing was overwhelming me anymore. I sound like one hell of an odd Goldilocks, eh?

When Robin Williams took his own life recently, my kid had a lot of questions. How does a man who has always smiled and made the whole world laugh have so much pain inside he feels he needs to take his own life to get away from it? Jim Carrey seems to be another such case of the funniest among us who fight some of the biggest battles in depression. These two are just a drop in the bucket, but they are the first to come to my mind as I type this… at least that are still alive for most to remember (Farley, Kennison, Dangerfield, Hicks, Pryor or Belushi, anyone?). Why is this? Is their humor a way of trying to get the world to reflect back their amusement and humor so they might be able to feel lit like the rays of the sun?

You would think once you reach that age and that level of fame, you have enough resources to keep the demons at bay. You have the experience to understand when you’re weakest. Apparently, that is not the case for anyone. It was a wake-up call for me too in the sense that I should never be complacent in keeping my inner demons from manifesting.

My kid wanted to know what depression was and if sadness was what it meant. They only understood that if you were hurting that much there had to be a reason, a very real and tangible reason. How frustrating is it to try to explain the abstract concept of depression to someone who sees things in such simple terms. If it only it were so simple.

My kid and I are both fans of Allie Brosh, the author of Hyperbole and a Half. I even had to rebuy her book because my kid stole my copy. Allie also succumbed to depression for quite some time. The way she described the experience, in a funny but very honest way, became my source material in trying to explain this to my own child. You’ll need a laugh after this post, so please be sure to read them. They won’t disappoint.

Adventures in Depression

Depression: Part II

If you feel like you’re being sucked down the void, tell someone. Reach out, not once but as many times as it takes until someone listens and leads you to resources that can help you. Some people have no clue about the signs of depression or what to do if they did, sometimes not even the ones going through it, but keep reaching. Your doctor is usually the first best resource, but if they seem to be brushing you aside, find another. As long as you keep reaching, no matter your situation, you will eventually see light again.

relationships (g2)

Ah ha! G-uno is pulling out the big guns. G-uno is and has been a part of one very long term relationship, so she is a pro on this one. She will be that little old woman holding hands with the love of her life you stare at the back of as they pass by and wonder “How do they do it? That must be wonderful.”

I, on the other hand, had one very brief marriage of a few years and not one relationship last longer than maybe a year or little over otherwise. I am currently in a mode of “don’t give a crap, leave me alone” as far as relationships go. My track record is awful. I suppose this is where it might be even weirder saying that I and several of my exes are still friends. I’ve just never seen the point in being hostile with someone just because you don’t mesh well. Even my divorce papers were handled by me and my former spouse alone and notarized by the lead singer of a local band in the area, who happened to be a notary and a friend.

I could give a multitude of reasons for the failures, all of them very objective and as brutally honest as I can muster. I’m very painfully aware that it takes two to make a relationship both succeed and fail. There were many fights I should have stood my ground on instead of caving, because it set the pattern of behavior that made us both miserable. There were times I needed to stop running from one relationship because I was still haunted by the failures of a prior relationship. There were times I needed to run right from the start.

At some point, it all just got very tiring. I have friendships that have withstood over 30 years, but intimate relationships… have just come to exhaust me. The very thought of jumping back out there makes me wonder what I can marathon watch on Netflix. I may change my mind at some point, but for now, I’m content being on my own with just my kid. My kid and I discuss this kind of thing a lot, mostly because I do not want them repeating my mistakes and we don’t have a lot of good examples to go on.

I remember the stomach butterflies that came with youth, how they slowly faded to a mildly elevated heart rate and a pointed glance. I was honestly glad when the emotional turmoil of youth cools and tempers to the more reasonable reaction of adulthood. We are simply not meant to withstand that emotional and physical roller coaster ride. Plus, I tend to say some stupid shit, but it always seemed to be on an epic level of stupid when I was trying to talk to the target of my affection.

I too have made the mistake of getting “too comfortable,” or complacent in a relationship. In one respect its nice to be at ease, but there is something alluring about having just a little mystery. I also never understood why people seemed to treat their own family members shittier than they did strangers. Why is this? Shouldn’t the one who has to choose every day to stay by your side, be more impressed with you than some total stranger?

I had the idealistic notion that relationships should just be balanced and fair. You were honest and disclosed everything to one another. You shared your deepest darkest because this was the person with whom you would be partners, and partners backed one another up. On some level, that would be great but you cannot assume anything. Everyone handles things differently. I found out very quickly that two people can speak the same language and still not understand a damn thing the other says. And everything I thought was completely bullshit.

I married a person who completely utilized my inner fears, hopes, and self-deprecation as tools to manipulate. Logically, I understood this came from a deep fear of being abandoned and a desire for a codependent relationship. We fought a lot. I backed down a lot. I came from a home that was constantly fighting so that was the last thing I wanted to do anymore. In response to the manipulation, I stopped painting and drawing, I stopped sharing anything about me, I stopped fighting, I stopped…. feeling. I just gave up, on them and on me. I saw them as a leech, and I was out to cut off their nourishment so they would drop off me and just look elsewhere. Then I could escape.

It took me about two years before I could sit down and explain that. It’s very frustrating that when you are too close, you really cannot “see” much of what is going on, and often not in enough time to prevent the damage. I felt trapped and suffocated and that stayed with me for years, to the detriment of at least a couple relationships that had vastly better potential.

G-uno nails it, you have to acknowledge you are two constantly evolving individuals. Hell, I cannot even get my family to acknowledge I’m not thirteen anymore, so it makes sense this is also a problem for couples. I have lost or left behind friendships because we simply evolved too differently. I have had friendships that blissfully picked up where we left off, even after years of little to no contact.

The last person I dated was very bluntly told that they were not someone I would have a serious relationship with, but casual dating was fine if that was fine with them. I welcomed and encouraged them to meet other people. For me, I was just stretching my legs in the adult dating world after a long period of just focusing on my kid. I just wanted to enjoy a decent meal and conversation with someone my own age in a place that provided no playhouse area and crappy burgers. They agreed that casual dating was fine.

I can now understand why communication is such a problem in relationships. Even though I was completely upfront about keeping things casual, I was not believed. They either underestimated me or overestimated themselves.

I’m not normally a self-help book reader, but a few years back I did pick up The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. I’m not sure where the recommendation came from or why, but I read it. Then I read it again. It sounded like such a self-help, gasbag of a book at first glance. However, after reading it, I realized it was a pretty solid life manual. I liked the analogy he made that relationships are like a bucket two people fill to enrich. We withdraw when we need support, we deposit when we are supportive and caring. If one or both is making more withdrawals than deposits, the relationship will fail.

The author said he was once asked by a man if he had any tips on how to save his marriage, as he was miserable and was nearly resolved to file the papers. The whole book is basically about taking a different perspective, and coming to a resolution through kindness, respect and rationality, without getting baited into a fight.

The author’s response was simply, “love her.” The husband was understandably confused. However, the point he was making was to behave in a way that is loving toward his wife and the emotions would follow. Revive the person you were when you were trying to woo her, in order to revive the person with whom you fell in love with and the emotions once shared.

belief (g2)

Ok, so I’m dancing around the alphabet but I was suddenly struck with a good one for B. I’m going to drag the big elephant I generally tend to keep shoved in a closet out into the room.

I am an atheist.

I had my realization about my lack of faith about the age of twelve, in the heart of the southern bible belt. I did not have a word to call it then, but those around me would surely call it “heathen.” I was already a bastard child, so lacking any urge to thump any bibles would surely cause an uproar.

The funny thing is, up until I accepted that part of myself as immutable, I was the kid in the front row on Sunday morning, taking notes and asking a lot of tough questions. I tried so hard to find what motivated all these other people to move like a bobblehead in time with the pastor’s sermon. I wanted to know why the music made so many happy, even though at least two in that choir sounded more like screaming cats sliding down a chalkboard… slowly.

When I finally accepted no amount of study would generate faith within myself, I was both terrified and relieved. I found out that some fights are meant to be lost. I inherently understood as well that if I planned to remain around the southern area or even just the states, I needed to give up on the idea that I could tell anyone casually.

It took me a while to understand what the animosity stems from, the one where people who are religious want absolutely nothing to do (even for hiring purposes) with someone they know to be an atheist.

friend: “Then what’s your motivation to do the right thing if not God and Heaven?”

I was stunned. They were asking sincerely, they truly weren’t trying to be nasty about it, but…

me:”hmm, I guess the difference between you and me is I don’t need a payoff to be a good person.”

Apparently, there is no way that a person could ever want to be decent, kind, generous or ethical without some motivation, some bribe? Is the fear that, without fear of “God’s wrath,” there is no barrier from me becoming a liar, a con artist, a murderer?

I was married into a religious family, but I was honest about my own stance. I refused to take on their religion, even on the surface, because it would have been a lie. I had to endure the angry glares of in-laws who felt that I must be a deviant since I had no faith. It was relieving when after years, the glares faded when they realized that being without faith did not mean I was without morals. In fact, its usually the person who feels the need to emphatically declare themselves “Christian” that make my sphincter twitch.

To me, religion is a brilliant concept. Let’s say back when we were just starting to organize as small civilizations, when the idea of “crime” was becoming a thing. If I were that leader and I needed to reign in my people to behave, “heaven” is a wonderfully abstract concept that I never have to tangibly prove. By the time they figure anything out, they will be dead. God was simply a way to give meaning to the meaningless, to make us feel special.

This will probably offend the religious, but in that sense I’m sharing what I never can share in public, which is the whole point of this blog. In some ways, I’m envious of the faithful. They have something I lack and feel there is a greater purpose to things. I’m more inclined to believe we set our own destiny and to think you can sit around and wait for things to happen to you is ridiculous. Senseless death is senseless because its random, there is no grand plan. Otherwise, life would be fair, wouldn’t it?

I have friends of many religious backgrounds, we have a mutual respect and understanding to agree to disagree. For those who cannot embrace that concept, they don’t know I don’t believe. I even have a couple friends who try to subtly invite me to church or lend me books with a heavy religious undertone. I tell them my honest opinion, they get a little pissed, and the cycle begins anew.

I think they misunderstand something. I do not mind if at the end things for me, I’m proven totally wrong. It’s totally ok if I have to go, “my bad.” I live my life on my own terms and by coming to the conclusion that felt most right for me. That’s all anyone can do.

I’ve also seen my fair share of weird shit in this world that is completely unexplainable, for now. I’ve had my kid start interacting with the air 3 feet above my head while I was changing them, interacting in the same they did with their grandparent we visited every Friday… until they died two days before. My kid didn’t know that. How do you even explain death to someone under the age of two?

I’ve woken up at the exact time an uncle died (found out later), at a time I would have never normally woken up. I talked before about having the dream conversation with an old friend the night they died as well. I don’t analyze any of that because I don’t currently have an answer. I take it at face value and move on. Maybe its nothing, maybe its something. I’m sure fire looked like magic once too.

Now reincarnation and the essence of Buddhism and Hinduism I think are interesting. I do feel, or at least hope, that karma exists. Whenever I’ve been an especially big asshole, I’ve usually had it backlash on me tenfold. Thinking that some shithead who is obnoxious on every level might come back as a cockroach gives me no end of amusement. I don’t know much about it honestly, but what little I do know, it seems more of a spiritual rather than religious path and I find that more relatable.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not seeking a place for my soul to belong. I have long understood that, like G-uno, we can hold onto two vastly different and contradictory ideas and find them both… possible, likely or even true. That is REALLY tricky and frustrating for some people to understand. We’re the ones who don’t always give a straight answer when asked “what do you think?”

The idea that we are so attached to our own existences that some energy is able to remain behind for a short while that is not beholden to the constraints of the physical…hmm, possible? Likely? Probably not, but who knows? If a God really does exist, I would venture to guess we are little more than a boring ant farm taking residence among one of his marbles. But one all knowing, all seeing supreme being? I just cannot grab onto that one. Logic tells me we are walking future fertilizer.

With all that said, I hope those who might stumble on this and feel the need to save my soul or rage about religious doctrine, go get something soothing to sip on and take a breath because what I’m about to say might take some patience to sink in…

I will still probably be an atheist when you’re done. I’ve been around long enough that I have frustrated street preachers, strangers, classmates, long-time friends and family too. I was intrigued when C.S. Lewis went from atheism to Christianity but the best I was able to glean as to the reason, was fear…. a “just in case,” if you will. I’m sure there are a thousand speculations, and many which have solid reasoning, but I wanted to read it from the man himself, through his books.

I find religions interesting, but from the outside. It helps me to understand people. If I could wish for anything, it would be to eliminate that element of organized religion that makes so many hate those unlike themselves. If the whole doctrine of religion is about love, acceptance and generosity, why does it seem so many have none to spare?

I still have not figured that one out. Westside Baptist Church is the extreme case of what I see done more mildly everywhere else. I see religious tirades about sexuality and abortion, but I don’t think anyone ever shuts up long enough to ask themselves, why?

A person in a desperate situation makes a choice they feel they must for whatever reason, one they already have to live with the aftermath of, one which was difficult enough to do already. But then they have to be proverbially stoned for making that choice by a bunch of people who are not directly affected by their actions in any way. A person is attracted to the same sex, something they cannot control, and are deemed evil or wicked again, by people whose lives are not in any way affected by this person. All while preaching love and acceptance. I find this truly confusing.

Remember that no matter what a person chooses to believe, we should be judged by our actions, not the groups or words by which we define ourselves.Tall, short, fat, thin, male, female, religious, spiritual, gay, bi, lesbian, Catholic, Methodist, Pastafarian, Muslim… it all means nothing. If you shove all that aside and sit down with someone completely different, you might be surprised how much you have in common. “Love thy neighbor” is just great advice. “To thine ownself be true,” is just genius! It doesn’t matter where it came from or what you might get out of it, its sound words to live by. When you are true to yourself, to who you are, you are simply happier.

Now for those of you who are starting to get my twisted humor, I leave with you a song I would sing loudly when stuck in the car with my Grand with no booze to give them (they was a happy tipsy person). They were a deeply negative person and would go through the same series of martyrdom stories over and over until I felt like my ears were bleeding. Grand was religious though, so this made it much more fun.  If anything in my post pissed you off, don’t watch. Or do, poking the bear can be fun too.

LGBT (g2)

The timing of my thoughts on equality in gender came during an election in my area in which the deeply backwoods-inbred way of looking at things-southern state in which I reside will have to vote on same-sex marriage. I’ve heard the whole bible thumping crap about it being against God (it’s isn’t in there, sorry and King James was a sexist bigot anyway, find a better translation).

I have heard that society will crumble if it is allowed and people will want to marry children and farm animals shortly after… I cannot even understand where people come up with this crap. I don’t understand why this is even an issue. Blocking two consenting adults from marrying (tort law, not religious doctrine) is a civil rights issue, not a moral or a legal one. If a church doesn’t agree with that, then that’s their prerogative and I guess they won’t be holding a gay ceremony there, but for this to become the issue it has? I really don’t get it. I just know there will come a point when people will look back on this era and wonder why the hell we were ever this stupid and filled with hate. Much like we ourselves do when this was about race and segregation.

I have also been reading where more and more people are wanting to remove the gender section from birth certificates. Some have allowed them to be blank, but this has yet to really make any major headlines. I suppose this applies more to the transsexual/transgender groups. A group I admittedly have a very small amount of knowledge about. I hope I will not be offensive when bringing up this subject, I hope you will guide me out of it and let me know why, I would like to think that most people who ask seemingly offensive things do so from a lack of knowledge they wish to remedy. I used to think if we as a population just use respectful words to one another, this would never be a problem. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve watched how words that once had no stigma become derogatory terms, harmful and hated.

When I saw the article about removing gender, I thought “whatever for?” It seemed a remedial and strange thing to want to define as a “cause.” I identify heavily with my gender, I’m pretty proud to be just as I am. It’s easy to forget some people are not, they hate the meatsack they were born in and want it fixed so their insides and outsides all match up or they simply don’t wish to defined at all.

In one respect, I can understand the desire to fix all of that and keep it secret, so secret you never share it with anyone, even a significant other, since this is the “real” you… because, well it felt wrong to begin with right? However, if I were that significant other, I would feel really betrayed to find out something as basic as gender used to be something else. I don’t know what I would do in this sort of situation. I don’t think I would be the type to be hostile (my first reaction is normally the “why” of things), but I understand that this is the reaction many get, to a revolting degree.

I would like to hear more about it, though, especially considering it is a group I know so little about. Even the L and G parts of society I’m friends will have pretty strong opinions and identification with their birth gender. Even when a friend of mine was getting the concept of “tuck and cross” for his drag competition, he was only “she” when in costume. I was also surprised to learn there are female models who do almost exclusively male modeling as well as male models who almost exclusively model female clothing. Would they be offended if I referred to he as “she” and she as “he”? How do you know?

I then realized that maybe by breaking down all the things that define us on paper: race, gender, height, weight, religion, etc. and eliminating them one by one, maybe we will begin to look at the human instead of the demographic.

And with that said, this has been playing in my head the entire time I wrote this. Enjoy!


addiction (g2)

Yep, I said it. The big A. I tend to not feel I can consider myself in the ranks of an addict, perse. Those are the people who confront cocaine, meth, heroine, etc… the “real” drugs. Those are the ones who become true heroes for combatting their addictions. They are the ones who can talk about this issue.

Logically, addiction is in everything and everywhere though. I had a family member who is addicted to QVC, the US seems to be addicted to reality TV, sugar and even food are huge sources of addiction considering the number of eating disorders and obesity in the world today. Addiction is a very real and everyday thing for most of us. Can you go thirty minutes without looking at your phone? Did I just make you look?

About four years ago I quit smoking. It was deemed a major hurdle I needed to tackle for health reasons. I didn’t want to. I enjoyed smoking. My ten minutes of cig-loving on the back porch was the sole reason my child survived the “I’m going to scream for no reason” stages of development.

I had my first cigarette at the age of nine. I thought I would die. I could not believe anyone did this and enjoyed it. However, at the ripe of age of fifteen, with the very new and current introduction of at least a pint of “beer,” I found out why the cigarette was the BFF of alcohol. It would be twenty years before I would contemplate quitting.

I had tried cold turkey once, that lasted 3 days 12 hours until a visit from family had me hiding in a closet chain-smoking. When I decided I had to quit (no excuses) I knew I would need help, I did some research. There was the hugely expensive out-of-pocket shot in the head. Someone I knew tried it with his wife, they both quit easily, but within about six months they had gone right back to smoking again. I wanted permanence. I was not looking forward to any of this and I did not want to do it at all, but I sure as hell was not going to do it twice, three times, four…Plus, what the fuck is wrong with you!? A shot?! In the head?!

Some did patches and gum with varying success, but I felt that, for me, it would just an excuse to drop the expensive activity of smoking to go to a more expensive hobby of chewing crappy gum and sticking stickers on myself. No.

Someone else I knew had tried this drug that you take, smoke while you’re on it, and then it will slowly disconnect the enjoyment factor. This sounded more like me. That and he said his dreams were so lucid that his inner prepubescent 12-year-old just came bursting forth every night he took it. Yep, definitely up my alley.

So I talk to my doc, get three months of the stuff and get started. I’m nauseated just a bit the first week, I read the literature, that is expected. It did subside. By week two, I finally get why you keep smoking. It becomes fucking awful! I would smoke half a cigarette and get sick of it. It gave me all the enjoyment of sticking cotton balls in my mouth and lighting them. I still took my religious vigil to the outside smoking area at the same times I always did (10, 12, 3 anyone?), but I was starting to smoke less. But the quit date I had to calculate based on the medication’s instructions was coming fast and I was getting downright panicky.

This is when it dawned on me that the biggest key to the addiction were the lies I was trying to feed myself to avoid the inevitable. It’s very strange to have such an intense internal dialogue as:

addiction: “Look, the weekend is coming right after your quit date, you’re never going to be able to tolerate that, just hold off until Monday.”

logic: “no. quit date is quit date”

addiction: “But what if you’re mean to your kid? You know, when detoxing, getting hostile is pretty common. You’ve watched TV. Are you going to handle being around your kid for two days with nothing to rely on? What if you hurt them?”

logic: “shut up.”

addiction: “but…!”

logic: “NO!”

This kind of internal dialogue got worse the closer the date came. I was intensely on edge the day I woke up and knew I couldn’t have a cigarette. Now, I don’t remember much of it. I don’t remember if it was at work or at home. I know I sat my kid down and talked to them about what I was doing. My kid was really glad I was stopping because, “it’s nasty.” I remember also telling them that if I seemed grumpier or meaner than normal, then to please mention it. If I am aware of it, I could recognise and behave accordingly. My kid never said anything.

I remember looking up about day three of no smoking at work and realized I’d bypassed two vigil times that day without even realizing it. I migrated to the coffee station instead now. Decaf even. I felt like such a self-righteous yuppy. Maybe I would do “vegan!” Nah, fuck that…

I managed to wean myself off the medicine in about half the time I was given. Meaning, I had three months worth, but only took it for a month and half. When that internal addiction voice finally realized I wasn’t caving, it seemed to crawl in a corner and whimper a lot. The last week or so was actually me taking it only on days that I knew I would be around one or more smokers and I was feeling nervous. Otherwise, I felt like such a badass.

To this day, I still enjoy the passing waft of cigarette toxicity when outside. I can sit with a pile of smokers and feel no urge to join them. I still remember enjoying it. I think it helped that my last memories of it are so bad. I still cannot look at a cotton ball without feeling illogical animosity.

Mostly, I realized the biggest demon when it comes to addiction is ourselves. I was my own worst enemy. My addiction voice was using a twisted logic to gain favor and if I’d succumbed even a little, I would still be fighting with it. The world isn’t going to explode if you change, and that can be a terrifying thing to realize.

I suppose the biggest thing that helped me, is that I had this tiny person watching my every move and I was beholden to them to make good on my word. I HAD to be the hero on this one. I had to be the winner at least on this. I could trip on flat surfaces my entire life and knock my head on every cabinet in the house, but damnit I had to be awesome for this.

By the way, the dreams really were absolutely awesome! I haven’t had such vivid and hot dreams since…*sigh*