C l e a n

Not drinking.
Sugar // Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2003

The other day someone brought Krispie Kreme doughnuts in to work. I was eating one when I realized I was way too into it.

After each bite I would pause, tilt my head to the side, let my eyes fall half-shut, wait to feel what I imagined was the sugar hitting my bloodstream, then shudder slightly before taking the next bite. In other words, I was �using� the doughnut the same way I �used� drugs and alcohol.

Also, recently, I went on a day-trip with the women�s outdoor activities group. Because we were going to be away from bathroom facilities for most of the day, I skipped my morning coffee(s). Halfway through the day, I was blindsided by what was probably the worst headache I�ve had in my life. I couldn�t talk, or move my head, and it lasted for hours. At several points I thought I would just start screaming hysterically. It was unbelievable. I don�t know for sure that it was a result of skipping my caffeine dose, but if it was, I have a serious addiction problem.

So, it�s not news that people use a variety of substances, some prohibited by society and some encouraged, to manipulate our moods. Some of these substances are more dangerous than others, though that issue is hotly contended. (Some people at the needle exchange where I volunteer insist that a well-managed long-term heroin habit is less damaging than smoking or drinking. I still haven�t met that guy.)

This �everything�s a drug� idea presents several opportunities for me to try to talk myself into drinking. There�s the basic �can�t avoid everything, so if I�m doing some �drugs� I might as well do them all, in fact it would hypocritical not to!� argument. Then there�s the similar but more complex and slightly more enticing �I can control my caffeine and sugar intake, why can�t I learn to control my drug and alcohol intake and use them in the same way� argument.

I come to a familiar conclusion: things are not black and white, even though I would find it very intellectually satisfying if they were. Sure, caffeine and alcohol are both drugs, but I don�t interact with them the same way. I have to approach each substance separately and make a decision about it. I can�t go along with society�s decision about what�s acceptable or not -- I don�t want to drink, or smoke cigarettes. It�s up to me to figure it out. Maybe I need to reevaluate my relationship with sugar and caffeine. On the other hand, I don�t want to get sucked into the �addiction� of deprivation -- giving up one comfort after another and feeling more self-righteous with each one.

prev // next

Visitation - Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2004
Tired of This - Monday, Jul. 12, 2004
Watershed - Thursday, Apr. 29, 2004
First Date - Friday, Apr. 23, 2004
Online Dating - Sunday, Mar. 28, 2004