The Last Addiction
The craving never goes away
As much as I may like to
pretend otherwise, the longing is always there ... ticking quietly just
beneath the surface, like a first
I manage to keep it at bay
most of the time. I remind myself
how much better I feel without it. I encourage myself to remember
all the times I've paid the price for overindulgence. I tell myself
what a good example I'm setting for my children/my friends/my readers.
I chant my mantra:
makes me sick.
Plus the longer I manage to avoid
it -- the more time and distance I
put between today and the last big blow-out -- the stronger my resolve
It makes me fat.
It makes me broke.
If I get hooked again,
it will make me dead.
Still, there are
always triggers. It doesn't take much to get me thinking about it.
Emotional highs will do it. So will emotional lows. Bad days at work.
Good days at work. Mediocre days at work. Weather. Cramps. Traffic.
Then there are the
special occasions: New Year's Eve. The Fourth of July. My birthday.
Hallowe'en. Cinco de Mayo. Thursdays.
And -- the mother of all
*event triggers* -- The Super Bowl.
In the days and weeks
immediately preceding The Super Bowl, it's impossible for me NOT
to think about it. The advertisements are everywhere: on TV, on the
radio, in the Sunday newspaper supplements, on billboards ... even
plastered on the sides of the #52 as it trundles down Broadway. I
I can smell it in the air as we're on our way home in the evenings. In
recent years, it has become as much a part of the culture and the
celebration of The Super Bowl as feeble half-time shows and
lip-synched renditions of The Star Spangled Banner.
This year the craving
has been especially keen and persistent. "If you think it will help,"
David says gently, "we'll stop and get you a little bit. You can have
it just this once, and then we'll put you right back on the wagon
For a minute I'm
tempted. What could it hurt?
But ultimately I know I must resist. If I seriously thought I could
be happy with "just a little bit" -- of ANYTHING
I've ever been addicted to in my lifetime, from cheap chablis to nasal
spray to "country" decorating magazines -- then we could
probably go back
and rewrite about forty-four years' worth of personal history, right
here and now. But I know enough about myself, and about the nature of
addiction, to know that once I start down this path again there
may not be any turning back this time.
So I say "No thank you, Honey"
... and I grimly help myself to another piece of skinless
KFC Honey BBQ Wings: the
last unresolved addiction.
throw a rock