Bearing Crosses

I have an extremely addictive personality – that is my cross to bear in life.

I am constantly struck by just how addictive my personality is and at what lengths I have to go to get “well”.  I remember back in the late 70’s and early 80’s when cocaine was the drug of choice (before crack made it cost effective) and people were always trying to get me to do some blow.  I never did.  And when asked I would always say, “If that stuff is as good as everyone says it is then I need to stay the hell away from it.  I have the kind of personality that would mortgage the house to get more if I needed it.”  Followed immediately by, “Get me another drink would ya?”

If I knew waaaaay back then that my personality was that addictive, you think I would have had the sense not to drink, or eat too much, or spend too much money either.  After all, I got it from both sides.  My dad chose alcohol but my mom chose diet pills (amphetamines in the 60’s), spending money, having affairs, and gambling to quell her demons.  I mean really?  When I look at it like that, it’s a wonder I didn’t turn out like my sister! (((shudder)))

Anyway, now I’m trying to shake the carb monkey and it’s got me thinking…what the hell am I going to do now? 

When I quit smoking I turned to alcohol and shopping.

When I quit drinking I turned to sugar and shopping.

When I quit shopping I hung on to sugar even harder.

Ummmm…when I quit sugar???

I not gonna lie…it’s got me a little freaked out.  I guess I shouldn’t think about it right now when I’m in the middle of detox, but isn’t that when the urge to reach for something else is the strongest and also when you really need to figure out which way you are going to turn for help. 

When I quit drinking I was fortunate (blessed) not to have to do a medical detox or rehab.  I didn’t even set foot in an AA room until 2 years later.  I just quit.  Some may call it stubbornness, some may call it pride.  I call it stupidity and ignorance.

If I had really reached out for some help during that time, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be where I am right now in this battle against sugar and carbohydrates.  I missed a very essential part of the recovery process which is how to cope without your drug of choice and where to turn and what to do when you are faced with yourself and your lingering demons.

Now don’t get me wrong, I did extensive reading and research when I quit.  I joined two online AA groups which were fantastic.  I had my husband who acts as my part time shrink.  I did a lot of soul searching.  I did a lot of healing.

But I still leaned heavily on carbs and sugar to get me through and I didn’t think twice about it.  I mean, isn’t that the stereotype?  A bunch of recovering alcoholics drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and eating sweets?  I thought that was what I was supposed to do.

Now here I am trying to kick yet another habit.  This one is easier in some ways and harder in others.  It’s easier because…well…right now I can’t think of any reason it’s easier but check back next week…I’m sure one exits.  It’s harder because sugar is EVERYWHERE!!!!  Normies eat it all the time!  Normies do this really cool thing called…MODERATION.  I do not.  Moderation is not in my vocabulary – again…that’s my cross.

So now I’ll figure out how to manage my life without this substance and I’ll do my damndest not to replace it with anything else that’s bad for me.  I’ll exercise.  I’ll meditate.  I’ll practice yoga.  I’ll love.  And if I’m lucky I’ll get addicted to one of those and I’ll get better.

Here’s the real deal though…and I mean this.  Everyone has their cross to bear.  Some have physical issues like MS or Cerebral Palsy or Down’s Syndrome (which is probably called something more politically correct now but I don’t know what that is) and that is their cross.

Some people’s crosses are mental like severe, untreated depression which, from my own experience, is a special kind of hell that I hope no one has to ever experience.  Some are bipolar, schizophrenic, or narcissistic. 

Some have been through things so horrific that they will never fully heal.

Some are battling cancer – some are winning (Yay Ellie) – some are not.

Some have lost a child – there are no other words necessary.

If an addictive personality is my only cross to bear in life then I think I’m getting off pretty damn lucky.  I thank the good Lord everyday for giving me that particular cross because, with help, I can bear it for as long as He wants me to and I will do so with a smile, a positive attitude and as much joy as I can muster on any given day. 

Because no matter what, I am loved and He is always with me.

Namaste my friends.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

From the Hymn “Be Not Afraid” by John Michael Talbot
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2 thoughts on “Bearing Crosses

  1. Your going to do this and I'll bet you $50 you don't pick up another bad habit (oops that's gambling, we better not go there). Seriously you are one wise and strong person and just having the awareness you do is going to take you where you need to go.

    We do all have our crosses to bear. Mine was constant pain. I still have it, but physical pain pales in comparison to my boy being addicted to heroin. My therapist tells me he's amazed at how well I am considering some of the shit that occurred in my childhood…but I don't consider that a cross to bear, just a challenge to overcome.

  2. Wow. I could have written that post myself. I am adding sugar to my list of “I guit” on the 21st. That's my lucky date…1/21 I quit drinking 3/21 I quit smoking and 5/21 I quit sugar. I have been non-stop eating baked goods…I just can't get enough. It makes me sad that I have so little self control. But I decided to get mad instead…because anger is very motivating! Take care!

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