I was visiting with my brother at lunch today downtown. He told the story of a young man he had worked with many years ago. This man drank at work and hid tiny vodka bottles in the toilet tanks of the bathrooms there. My father did that… at home and at our newspaper… tiny vodka bottles that my Mum gathered one year and threatened to hang (dozens, if not hundreds of them) as Solstice tree decorations!
It got me thinking as I drove home with a truck full of hay – we each choose our “poisons”. Some people eat bologna and white bread; some (like I did) smoke cigarettes; some choose things to inject into veins and others find stuff to inhale, ingest and imbibe to the point of numbness. And we are all simply looking for an escape, a relief or a soothing of some exploding trauma deep inside.
I have to admit, I thought about my emergency cigarettes as I faced the past few months of my life. I smoked half of one and felt no guilt and, remarkably, no desire to continue. I have a glass of wine (and am always cautious, knowing my father’s alcoholism can be genetically in me) some nights now. When caring for my Mum, I couldn’t risk being anything other than totally clear; couldn’t play my music (loudly) in case I wouldn’t hear her; couldn’t burn incense (it bothered her and my elderly dog who passed over earlier)… now, I am finding me again.
I do not regret a single moment of taking care of anyone I loved or love. Now, I will be taking care of me, mostly… for a while. I love me, too, actually.
And I need to be extra aware of my own proclivities and work on controlling potential obsessions. Of course, horses are a given and cannot be categorized as an obsession! But cupcakes can be. With no appetite lately, the french fry and cupcake draw are in the background, but could at any moment leap to the front of my experience. A lifetime as a vegetarian sometimes meant that french fries were the only choice for me eating out. I got to like them… potatoes, really, in any form.
So, tonight I look at what I need to eat for my health and happiness. I’ve been living on apples (a proper choice!) and feeling pretty good, actually.
Thank goodness I love tofu. I remember my Mum trying to eat tofu burgers I made and tofu-chocolate pie and tofu scrambles (like eggs)… she hated tofu!! I used to bake chocolate/tofu pies and shared one with the elderly Mexican man who lived by me on Furnace Street – my landlady tried to explain tofu, then called it a “frijole” chocolate pie. He made such a face!! I laughed till I peed.
I love butternut squash, parsley, celery, tomatoes, beets… it’s a good thing, these are what my body needs. And, on occasion, a cupcake, glass of wine and once a year, half a cigarette.