Sunday, 31 March 2013

Big Claims, Little Action

So a few months ago I made some stirring declarations that I was going to start trying chocolate and alcohol again.

It has so far failed to evolve into a concrete plan.

Probably the furthest I've actually gotten is not scooping some foam off my decaf latte when some of the chocolate powder from someone's cappuccino got on it.
Oh and going completely off the chain and dipping my sushi in soy sauce that I haven't cooked to make sure the 6% booze has been neutralised.

I've always thought I had a bit of a contradictory personality in that I feel like I'm both a bit prone to addiction AND completely incapable of it.

I suppose addiction might be the wrong term and incapable probably ain't exactly accurate either.

If there's something I'm enjoying doing (reading) and I'm supposed to be doing something more productive instead (studying/cleaning/talking to flesh and blood people) I am very likely to let myself get carried away and read until 3am even knowing that I will feel like a sleepy idiot at work the next day.

If I want something and I can't muster up a compelling enough argument against it, I tend to let myself have it.
I'm self-indulgent like that.

But proper addiction is when your doctor looks you in the eye and says 'if you don't stop drinking you won't see 40' and you keep drinking anyway because you need to/you can't stop/you can't bear yourself/your life without it/you're sure it won't happen to you/fuck you, that's why.

If the potential cons outweigh the more probable pros I am really good at going cold turkey.

What I don't seem to be good at right now is looking at the statistics/likelihoods and making that gamble that I'm not the 0.005% of people who will be adversely affected by giving it a go.

The other thing that makes it tricky is that being nervous gives me a bit of a funny tummy at times.
So being nervous about trying alcohol and caffeine because they might give me a funny tummy might give me a funny tummy, aka a false positive.

Seeing as my brain is rigged to automatically plot out a range of possible consequences for everything I think about, way too quick to head off at the pass, I generally just sit through its mental powerpoint of 'shit you should consider'.
Even if I can dismiss 95% of it as 'as close to impossible that it makes no mind' considering it and running it through the 'hmm-o-tron' is quicker and ends with less worrying than trying to clamp down on the behaviour entirely.

At the moment I'm balancing on the teeter point of 'how long will it take for the idea to be less nerve-inducing so that I can accurately judge if it is throwing my system out when I have this stuff?' and 'seeing as life has been pretty well fine without this stuff is it worth the fiddling and fussing to get back on it anyway?'

In addition to that I have the previous experience of absence not necessarily causing the heart to make that much of a fuss.

A few years ago I went on the Liver Cleansing Diet with someone else as a sort of moral support.
You gave up dairy, red meat and alcohol for 3 months to allow your liver to 'bounce back to full operational strength after all the terrible strain that is put on it by our less than natural modern diet'. I honestly thought it was a pile of bulltwang but seeing as it wasn't telling you to drink your weight in cucumber water or anything ridiculous I was OK with giving a few things up for a while.

I wasn't really drinking that much alcohol anyway so that wasn't really a strain but cutting out dairy and red meat meant I had to think a bit harder about how to prepare meals and what to have.
And I really like red meat and dairy, they're two of my favourite things!

In any case after three months of abstinence I assumed my first mouthful of beef or cheese or chocolate would have my tastebuds rejoicing, my mouth flooding with joyful saliva and a choir of angels singing above me.
I mean it tasted nice but just in the usual way.
Its absence in my life hadn't made me realise that it was more glorious than mere mortal tastebuds could comprehend fully on a daily basis.

So when I get back to booze and caffeine (chocolate etc) I'm not anticipating a 'oh sweet lord how I've missed you' moment of sensory bliss, just a 'hey I can do what I want without having to double check ingredients, huzzah' which will allow me to relax a bit about food and indulge a bit more.

Eh, I'll get there eventually.
Or I won't.
Whatever, they both work.

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