confession time

I am going to run a 5K. I really, really am. I mean, I keep
talking about it, and I keep thinking about it, and I keep thinking about it
when I talk about it. I was thinking about it when I packed my gym bag last
week and took it to work and got to the gym and got ready to change and
realized that I had forgotten my sneakers entirely. The next day, I forgot a
T-shirt, and the day after that, I just forgot. I didn’t get to the gym at
all last week, and it is now Thursday, and I haven’t been at all this week,

It was so easy to start letting it slide–oh, that was a
mistake, and look, the world didn’t end. Did the world end the second time? No!
And that was enough for it to slip from A Number-One Priority That Makes Me
Itchy If I Don’t Do It Immediately
to something more like Eh, I’ll Get Back To It Eventually, I Guess. I hate it. I hate not getting back to it. Have I been back? No. Do I act
like I’m totally still going? Yes. Because I’m awesome! And it’s so hard to
confess that I haven’t been perfect, because I so want to be perfect. Which is
ironic, seeing as how I am the least perfect person to have ever walked the
earth. Besides maybe like, Hitler or something.

Hitler didn’t want to run a 5K, though, and keep yammering
about it. Though I bet even Hitler, if he had quit smoking cold-fucking-turkey
way, way back in the day, right before his operation, he would have been so very
proud of his awesomely awesomeness and possibly have been a little smug about
it with his significant other all the time ("Eva! I have quit the smoking!
How easy it was for me! Is that your second pack? Atchung!"), so I got
that going for me. I quit, it was easy, and guess who’s smoking a pack a day
again, now? I am smoking not quite a pack a day, but I’m starting to get up

It started off as a couple during drinks, and then a couple
more before drinks and a couple more after drinks and a couple in the morning
because there’s this whole pack left over and money is so tight and I can’t
just throw them away because that is
wasteful and a very terrible thing. So I smoked all the way through them over
the course of the week and then suddenly, my life is stressful. I have got a
new job, my relationship ends, money problems are still raining down from the
sky and no matter what I do, my house starts to smell like old cheese and I
start to suspect the cat of some kind of evil that will make me very, very
upset when I finally uncover it (probably underneath a pile of my nice
underpants. At least, the underpants that used to be nice.).

So of course now I’m smoking as soon as I get up in the
morning, after my shower, locking the front door, walking down the block to the
coffee shop. And then while I’m sipping my latte, waiting for the bus. And then
when I’m waiting for the next bus. And then, maybe an
outside-the-door-of-the-library while I’m finishing up my phone conversation. And then an hour later, when I am running
errands, because why not just pop outside for a second. And then 15 at
lunch and you see what I’m saying, right? Two paragraphs ago, even, maybe. I’ve
become a smoker, a hardcore smoker, a harder-core smoker than I have ever been
before. Right now, as I type, my throat is a little sore, and occasionally–just
occasionally, now–I cough a delicate little cough that causes flames to appear
behind my eyes. Ten-foot-tall flames that read SMOKER’S COUGH and I stagger
back, clutching my heart and crying noooooooo! But I am developing a smoker’s

What happened to my self-righteous sanctimonious taking care
of myself? When did I lose sight of the Ultimate Goal? What makes me say,
"yes, please!" to a second and third Maker’s Mark manhattan? Well,
they’re fucking delicious. And me, I’m fucking stupid.

It’s insidious, how the further you get away from having
been Operated On, ooh big and scary, the more normal your life seems and the
more normal you want your life to be, and what’s normal about exercising, or
giving up your bad habits? You started off this way, back when you were just an
embryo, with slug as your natural state and vice–not just something on TV
with guys in pastel shirts (hilarious comedy like that being your biggest
vice)–and there was a brief vacation of that self-righteous perfection, an upheaval
and things were all crazy and wild! But once things shake out and settle down,
it’s funny how everything seems to ease back into their former positions, take
their former places, hunker down like nothing ever happened and seem ready to
wait it out for the rest of your life.

I don’t want to be a snow globe of suck. I hate that this
shit has seemed to sneak up on me, oops my gym bag, oops, I’m buying a pack,
oops I’m going out and drinking and smoking and then eating something terrible
for me like French toast at the all-night diner! Oopsie! And it hurts and it
sucks and I am stupid, and I have hid it, but talking about it–that makes me…I
was going to say hopeful, that it is the first step, but what it really does is
make me embarrassed and ashamed of myself. Which is just as good a first step
as any. Shame can do wonderful things. From there, I will let Glowing Health
and Energy take over and carry me along the rest of the way, and by rest of the
way I mean maybe I won’t fuck up again. But who am I kidding?

5 Replies to “confession time”

  1. Shite, girl. You may need to look at some information on addiction transfer. Generally speaking, I’m a bit skeptical about that stuff, but it sounds like your drinking and smoking has you worried. Granted, you are going through major changes. Major, big, honking, stressful changes that would challenge anybody. Maybe you’ve just got too much on your plate – hell, for me, any two of the options from column B would have been more than enough.

    One of the reasons, in my theory-world, about why we have so many restrictions the first year post-op on food, alcohol, etc. (aside from “avoid alcohol cos your liver really is overworked”) is to give us some time to learn – and put into practice – new habits. You still have time – actually, you always have time – and, boringly, unspectacularly enough, it starts with small steps. Small, stupidly repetitive steps, which hopefully help you to unlearn some bad habits – like reaching for a cig when you need to chill out.

    You don’t have to be perfect. It’s actually a pretty major waste of energy, cos it doesn’t lead anywhere. You’re pretty fun and great just as you are.


  2. Thank you, doll. That’s something I’ve been thinking about, a lot, and yeah, it does worry me. I’m hoping that being so aware of it is a good thing, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to reign it in, just because I don’t like it, and I can feel the affects it’s having on me, in a very real way. That’s always been a big motivator for me.

  3. Boy, do I hate that–how quickly the decay begins. You throw out one little mink carcass under a pine tree while skinning said mink (road-kill–whole other story), and there are two flies and then there are twelve flies and then there are five hundred flies and sixty yellowjackets and a dozen very pretty but slightly intimidating carrion beetles. All for one busted-up mink in well under ten minutes.

    With minks and such, this is apparently the result of bacteria in the intestines starting the rot process the instant life ceases fending them off. With people…I don’t know. I guess it’s entropy, the downward trend to disorder and dismay. Why is it like this? Why does it take such immense effort to make things better and absolutely no effort to let exercise slip and Manhattans manhat and addictions and sloth control our lives? I just don’t get it. It’s not like I think the world is fair (cf: those dang ballerinas you mentioned), but on some days, when I’m not thinking about, you know, Darfur or anything, this seems like one of the unfairest things there is. Sometimes I think I’d have entropized myself right into death by now if the path there weren’t so damn miserable.

    Good luck, as you attempt to keep on keeping on. If it’s any comfort, it’s not just you. It’s all of us, plus the mink.

  4. OMG girl…smoking has got me by the balls too! GRRRRR I tried to quite a couple of months ago but same ole story…life got stressful, had a few too many parties to attend where everyone seemed to smoke…and before you know it I was back into it again. I just discovered the url to your blog and I love it…you sound like my kind of girl. I am looking forward to catching up more on your progress. I had lap-band surgery…so I well know the struggles of WLS

    :) Flabuless

  5. I usually lurk but I was a little worried by your last paragraph.

    Do not, I repeat, do not let the embarassment and shame motivate you! It’s not a first step. It’s a trap. Just as much as “oopsie I just drank four martinis, ate an appetizer and an entree so fuggetabout the gym” is a trap.

    Shame will only breed more shame, more ciggies, more manhattans and guess what… more shame.

    I say this as someone who is just getting off a mini shame binge(and staving off a bigger shame binge).

    I fucking hate how insidious shame is, creeping in and whispering about how perfect I have to be, how I have to try harder and then grinding me down into a stump the minute I act like a human being.

    So if you promise not to turn to shame in your hour of need, I will too.

    Okay, I’ll go back to lurking now.

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