A DIFFERENT KIND OF ADDICTION

original painting (excerpt) by hotdogandbun
original painting (excerpt) by hotdogandbun

One of the first observations about the United States that Mrs S., had mentioned to me many years ago was that it seemed like there was a donut shop on every corner.  Interestingly enough, I’d lived in Los Angeles for 25 years and it had never actually occurred to me until she pointed it out.  Then again, truth be told she’s a tad bit more visually observant than I am.  That’s why she made detective and they booted my bumbling incompetent ass off the force, but I digress…

crack cocaine - Wikimedia Commons, Attribution Share Alike International 4.0
Crack Cocaine – Wikimedia Commons, Attribution Share Alike International 4.0

If I had a dollar for every time somebody told me that addiction was a disease I could finance a Tom Cruise movie and get Martin Scorsese to direct.  Okay, I’ll bite, but before anyone goes getting all uppity on me over my having said that, I’ll just put it all out on the table.  I have experience with addiction, myself.  I’ll start earlier and not so juicy.  I started smoking cigarettes at the ripe old age of 10 and developed a habit of smoking one to two packs a day until I was 32.  Not only that, but I also used to do a lot of cocaine for more than two years, doing anywhere from $40 – $80 per night all by myself, with an ass-pocket bottle of bourbon to keep me from going over the edge.  Every single night that I would find myself sitting in my car parked outside of St Nick’s on 3rd in L.A., trying to talk myself out of it.

“why are you doing this to yourself?”, I’d ask.

“You know this is killing you.  Are you really so sad that you’re willing to die alone in your shitty little apartment over some blow?”

“All you gotta do is put your key back into the car and just go.”

Then I’d stick my quarter in the payphone right outside the joint and say, “two invites, I’m right outside,” and dude would come out and we’d do our deal and I’d go home to wallow in my own misery.  But guess what, all of that was a choice.  One day I decided that I didn’t need that shit in my life anymore.  I threw out a brand new pack of cigarettes and stopped smoking cigarettes and doing cocaine on December 19, 2003, and haven’t looked back since.

But that’s not what this essay is about, is it?  It’s about a different kind of addiction.  It wasn’t difficult for me to quit doing blow and puffing smokey treats.  I just up and quit, no problem.  No meetings, no therapy, no gum, no patches, no hypnosis, no cravings or self defeating inner dialogue.  But you know what was harder?  The hardest thing that I’d ever done was to quit using sugar.

original painting (excerpt) by hotdogandbun
original painting (excerpt) by hotdogandbun

When I mentioned it at the top of the page about there being a donut shop on every corner, it was when I was struggling with quitting sugar that I realized just how addictive that stuff truly is.  I was driven to stop using it because I needed to detox my entire system after I was diagnosed with MS.  Make no mistake, processed sugar is a drug, and it’s in practically everything.  MS and many other conditions are connected to candida yeast overgrowth, and candida feeds off of sugar, so I had to starve my system of all forms of sugar.  I didn’t even eat fruit, except for blueberries, for more than six months.  I had to read every label of every food that I ate, not to mention that I had to quit using flour products, processed foods, dairy, basically everything that tasted good.  However, it wasn’t until I was at a grocery store checkout aisle when I realized something incredible.  The mental process that I was going through every time I was standing next to all those delicious and tasty Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, M&Ms, and Twix bars at the checkout was identical to the mental process I was going through outside St Nick’s when I was trying to talk myself out of buying some cocaine.  It dawned on me, that there’s a reason that sugar is in practically everything.  It was the first time I realized that The Man wants you to get sick.  It’s not like heroin or cocaine, the drugs that can actually kill you on your first usage.  It’s happened many times, first time users who were experimenting with hard drugs like coke or heroin ended up dead.  But sugar, it’s sweet, it’s delicious, it’s addictive, and it has long term ramifications.  Between the sugar industry and the medical industry, they’ve got you coming and going.

MORE TO COME…

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