Today is my anniversary. Two years, nicotine free. Yes! Addiction is a strange phenomenon. A person can become addicted to just about anything from on-line shopping to the Vicodin their dentist prescribed for a toothache. Some addictions, such as food, are more visible than others to the naked eye. Some such as prescription drugs or gambling might go virtually undetected until the addicted party begins spiraling out of control or outside influences, such as a random drug test at work or unexplained money issues, begin to leak the secret.
To the person standing outside of the addiction, it might seem much like watching a man continuously beating his head against a brick wall, screaming after each blow. The obvious solution to the observer would be for the man to simply stop hitting his head against the wall to stop the pain. However, when held in the firm grip of addiction, stopping is at the same time the problem and the solution, or at least in part the solution. Even when an alcoholic becomes “dry”, the problems urging him to drink in the first place linger beneath the surface needing to be addressed. Oddly enough, or perhaps not so much, often when an individual gives up drinking, for example, not long after they might begin to overeat or turn to another source of addictive behavior to bury whatever issues are left behind.
I know from where I speak on this subject to some extent. My second stepfather was a functioning alcoholic. During the day he held down a responsible position as a middle school principal, but once home with a little help from “Old Grandad” and his predominantly Irish genes, like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde a different person emerged to greet the world. As a disclaimer, I am certainly not saying all men of Irish decent are drunks, I am simply pointing out along with Native Americans and several other ethnicities, the Irish are known to have a slightly higher predisposition for alcohol abuse.
Perhaps this goes back to the old adage “all things in moderation”. I have a friend who cannot control her credit cards. Those playful little plastic buggers jump into her fingers at will insisting on sliding through the machine at the cash register. No, is not a word she often uses when having a conversation with herself once eying something pretty on a shelf or a spotting a new pair of shoes to add to a closet already overflowing with shoe boxes.
The dictionary describes as one definition of the word addiction, “The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something.” In the past I have known people addicted to love, addicted to drama, addicted to purchasing new cars, gambling, sports, you name it. So many things fall under the umbrella of that description. Our society is a consumer based entity and too much is never enough.
Somewhere I read that gambling is a tough one to kick. The lure of winning the next roll, the big spin, buying the winning lottery ticket to propel you to where you think you want to be. I’m constantly saying I’m going to win the lottery, and my other half keeps reminding me I have to enter the game in order to win the prize. For me the odds are a little lopsided. Intrinsically I know somebody has to win, but when I see odds like 120 million to 1 and look at my luck in the past, I am not fully convinced I’m going to see myself on TV holding a big check and flashing every tooth in my mouth. Not fully convinced. What’s up with those people who win multiple times? I want to sit next to them on the plane. I believe I read recently that a man won a huge amount of money and was murdered the following day. Talk about incredibly bad luck. I do not want to sit next to him on the plane.
Life seems to be based in part on a combination of your good judgement, your lineage (although looking at the Kennedy’s, and other families fraught with tragedy in their peer group you wonder about this one), your belief systems, and the universe’s dice toss of luck for good measure.
Pleased I am with myself I have put cigarettes behind me. Like a siren combing her hair on a far off rock her song rising above the crashing surf, I still feel the pull of a craving from time to time. Intrinsically I know if I give into temptation it wouldn’t be long before that familiar monkey would be perched once again on my shoulder. Why are things put on the earth to tempt we human beings, I wonder? Perhaps they are there to test our character, or possibly just a whim of creation. No answers from this writer. For my friend, friends actually, fighting with their food cravings the question must arise every time a bony friend stuffs another spoonful of chocolate cream pie in her mouth. Why do some of us lean in to hear the siren songs while others resist?
At any rate, those are my lofty thoughts for this spring day. Tomorrow the rain returns but for today my garden sings its song in my ear and I cannot resist.
These muffins are totally yummy. We had them with tomato soup and they were the perfect accompaniment.
Herb and Sun Dried Tomato Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray large muffin tin (8 hole) with cooking spray.
Mix the first seven ingredients together in large mixing bowl.
Whisk together egg, milk, and olive oil. Stir into flour mixture until just moistened.
Fold in cheese, green onions and sun-dried tomatoes.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way. Bake for 30 mins. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 mins. and remove from pan. Allow to cool on wire rack.