Photo by daniellehelm
My parents divorced sometime in 1988. I was two. Sometime after that, my mother decided to start smoking crack. Around 1992, I think. My father had custody. So the influence of a drug induced lifestyle wasn’t as prominent on my upbringing as it could have been.
From 92 onward she continued consorting with the wrong types of people. She continued smoking crack. After some time, she checked into a rehab center where she met another beau. Together, they helped each other get over their addictions—crack for her, and alcohol for him. In late 2003, she was clean.
One year later, she was back down in Tampa to see me. At some point during the day, I had to go meet a friend and she dropped me off at his house. When she came back, it was obvious that she had smoked crack. Between then and now, it happened one other time. So that’s two relapses.
You know about my binge eating problem. What you don’t know is I also have a slight nicotine addiction. And by slight I mean it’s pretty damn huge. I hung out with the older kids when I was young, so I took smoking at an earlier age. In 2009 I decided to get on the nicotine patch with help of the fine people at the Moffitt Cancer Center. They paid me for time since it was a research study, and I got the patches and the counseling to go along with that. I didn’t smoke for two years. And then I did. I relapsed. I have also relapsed many times since then.
These days, I use nicotine mints, toothpicks, lozenges, and e-cigs. Sometimes I smoke. But never to the extent that I did when I was younger.
You. You used to have an eating problem. You ate too much. You ate too often. Then you would hate yourself for a lengthy amount of time after. Then you would repeat the cycle.
One day, you decided to fix that. You brought your eating under control. You lost some weight. Started exercising. All that good, healthy shit people have been nagging you to do for years.
And then you fuck up.
Tw0 for ones at Applebee’s and some cheese sticks, along with more drinks, more desserts, and it dawns on you that you’ve fucked up.
Some of that weight you lost comes back.
Feelings of guilt return.
Now you’re in a less vicious cycle than you were before.
All is not lost, however.
The nature of progress and fear of failure
What do these situations have in common? Nobody lost. We might have had the fear of failure. But we won. We are winning. Such is the nature of progress. It is never linear. You’ll have ups and downs. If my mom was still on crack now, or dead because of it, that would be a loss. Had I not have quit in the first place, it would be a loss. If you never managed to succeed before, then you would be losing.
But you’re not. Keep winning.
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