An Innocent Question
It happened a couple weeks ago. My mother looked at me and asked: “Are you doing any Christmas baking this year?”
I am not good at taking hints. But even I understood what my mom was really saying: she would like me to do some Christmas baking for her.
And with that, my brain went nuts.
It was like a symphony of voices broke out. They were all coming from inside me, but they were so contradictory, I had difficulty making sense of it all.
I was ok. I was calm. Sure, I could bake some cookies. I was strong. This was not a problem at all. But I was also nervous. Why was I nervous? Oh, yeah – Christmas cookies had been my downfall before. But no worries – I was beyond that, now. No reason to be nervous. Maybe a little excited. Wait, what? Why would I be excited? I tried to follow this trail, but wherever the emotion had come from, it quieted down as soon as it realized I’d noticed it. Of course, I wasn’t excited, I assured myself. There was no chance I was actually going to eat any of these cookies, so I had no reason to be happy. These cookies were meaningless to me. Not my food. Just being a good daughter, and helping out the mother who asks very little of me, by doing this small thing.
And yet, that small part of me, far back in a corner, looked forward to this task with glee and delight.
My 1st Mistake: Underestimating the Saboteur
I made a fatal error. I ignored that part of me. I convinced myself it was insignificant. That it didn’t mean anything. That I was stronger, and I could handle it.
I went ahead with those plans. Even as I felt that gleeful part of me growing. As I bought the necessary groceries and loaded them in my car. I told myself that it was just a residual adrenaline rush, echoes from a past life of binging that was over now. Empty, powerless. Soon to be disappointed when it realized that these cookies were not for me.
A Binge Never Makes Sense
Was it the Christmas music? The smell of shortbread in the oven? The nostalgia? Probably all of the above, and more. That small part of me suddenly came out of the corner, and she wasn’t small at all. She took over so easily. Like France in the 1930’s, my better self threw her hands in the air and surrendered to the enemy without even putting up a fight.
Once again, the Christmas cookies got me.
The Long Road to Recovery
I’m clean again. But I’m still reeling from the effects of this indiscretion. It was so much harder to stop, than it was to start. And I no longer trust myself.
I’m weak. This incident has shown me just how weak I am. And it means that I have a lot of work to do.
Resolutions: Never Again
I’m building fences. I’m watching my behaviour. I’m staying away from dangerous situations, and building more safeguards into my life. Because apparently, I need it. I can never forget that I am an addict. I cannot give myself the benefit of the doubt. I can’t relax – not for an instant. Until this thing is such an ingrained part of me, that those voices disappear. Until straying from BLE is as unthinkable as trying meth.
Even then, I don’t think I can ever be alone with Christmas cookies.