Addiction · Mental Health · Personal Development

Hover

Hummingbird” © AnnCam, 2010. CC BY 2.0.
“You’re running to stand still,” he said as he mimed the motion. “The way you describe it is like the way a junkie describes shooting up just to stay level, you know. You know. Just to keep from getting sick. It sounds exhausting.”

I glanced out the window, then back to him, and pulled one foot underneath me. “I guess I hadn’t thought about it like that. I mean, I guess I just figured I kind of have to do this stuff because…” I trailed off in a light giggle. “This sounds so fucking ridiculous.”

“It sounds dangerous, is what it sounds like. It sounds unachievable. It’s just another way your perfectionism is coming into play.”

He doesn’t usually get preachy. Usually he lets me get there on my own, so I can tell it’s important when he doesn’t. My religious avoidance of things that might be addictive or may cause unhealthy habitual behavior has become just that.

Taking care of myself is getting closer and closer to becoming just another avoidance tactic. Just another thing I do to not deal with what is happening. Focusing on my health slips from being a good idea to a dangerous obsession with just a few additions.

There’s got to be balance somewhere. An understanding of the things I need to do to take care of myself and the way I need to do them. Room for the just sitting, space for doing things just because I like them. There’s has to be a way to have a cup of coffee without thinking, “This is addictive. Caffeine is addictive. Everything is going straight to shit. I’m going to start drinking again.”

Flexibility has never been my strong suit. But I like to think I can learn to stretch. Learn to believe I have the capacity to live somewhere between the perfection that doesn’t exist and passed out drunk in a ditch.

Poetry

Masa

"Mexican tortilla" © David Boté Estrada, 2014. CC BY-SA 2.0.
Mexican tortilla” © David Boté Estrada, 2014. CC BY-SA 2.0.
This afternoon I went out for Mexican food
Well after the lunch rush
That quiet, empty space between meal times

Sat in a big, bright room alone
A man crooning Spanish over an accordion
played on the sound system
Accompanied by the clinking of ice in my glass and
the sound of my fork on my plate

Behind a curved glass wall
a woman stood making fresh tortillas

When I lived alone in Portland I made tortillas, too

Measured the masa by handful
Added water until I could feel the right consistency
Threw in a pinch of salt
Made balls of dough and
pressed them in that big, wooden contraption
someone must have also made by hand
Cooked them on hot cast iron
Flipped them with my fingers
Just like the Guatemalan grandmothers
on the YouTube videos do

I made piles of them and fed them to everyone
Ate them with nothing but a spritz of lime

Soft tortillas pressed against the flesh of our lips
Cut by the lightest pressure of slippery teeth
We didn’t think about how everything we do is wrong
and it hurts all the time

Just ate our fill