OK, since Jane decided to blow the whistle on me through her stupid all-seeing phone, I guess I should come clean. I succumbed to the siren song of the Danish. But have you guys ever had a Danish? They're so delicious! It's like how sometimes people say they don't like babies, and I just feel like "God, you have obviously never seen or smelled or touched one of those little dudes." I mean.
But of course, now I feel sort of terrible both physically and in my soul. Which is the point of all these self-desctructive behaviors, or at least part of the point. Because if I'm feeling miserable then I don't have to focus on all the other, realer stuff I'm feeling.
Which is what behaving addictively is ultimately about -- avoiding feelings, which, let’s face it are the worst. I’ve tried to consult with civilians on this one, to find out if everyone finds both good and bad feelings incomprehensibly awful, a mountain lion to flee from without thought.
“So, do you totally hate feelings? Or is that an addict thing?”
“Do you mean, like, talking about feelings?”
“No, I mean…does feeling things seem, like…terrible?”
I spend a lot of my time probing this way, trying to understand how well-adjusted people handle basic life events.
“But what do you do when you have a bad feeling?” I search my long-suffering boyfriend.
“I don’t know,” he says. “I just have a bad feeling.”
“You just sit there and have it?” I feel almost angry at him for this wholly unsatisfying answer. How is anyone supposed to live like that, constantly being stalked by bad feelings that could pop up at any given time and hold you prisoner with their unpleasantness?
Luckily, the boyfriend, a 38-year-old television producer whose general uniform consists of cargo shorts and Converse, seems to find my cluelessness generally endearing, although when I call him from the grocery store perplexed by how to find lettuce, he suggests I don’t mention this story to anyone else. (Sorry, honey!)
The point is that even thought I no longer drink or use drugs, doing stuff like compulsively gorging on sugar is just one more way to get out of myself and not have to feel anything except sick, and miserable and guilty.
But, progress not perfection, as they* say. I can love the me who only made it 4 days without eating sugar, just like I can love the me who will get up and start over tomorrow.
*A certain social group of like-minded individuals who shall remain anonymous