I started a workout regimen where early in the morning, once the kids are out the door and off to school, I pick up my skipping rope, head outside in the yard and get down to skipping, stretching and doing a bit of physical fitness. It is normally cold at this hour, sometimes misty.
When all you do is sit and write from the confines of your home, you soon realize that a bit of exercise to keep you in tiptop shape will do you good. A hell lotta good. That or you end up panting while putting on your shoes. After skipping 212 times (thanks to a rope with a counter) – I am doing 500 tomorrow, that’s a promise – and doing a few amateur stretches here and there, I went inside for the hula hoop exercise. I do this while reading Nora Roberts’ Captivated – I decided on one chapter of hula hooping. Two birds, one stone. I am gyrating my hips in tandem with the hula hoop – and I dare say, I am getting good at this. I could go for hours without stopping – then my mind drifts.
My mind drifts from the book to my mouth. It is dry, my mouth. I think I am thirsty. But this thirst is not for water. It might have been triggered by a thirst for water, I don’t know. I think of the box of wine that sits inside my refrigerator. It’s been there for eons, why am I thinking about it now? So early in the morning?
This is not right. First, because I have never in all my years craved for alcohol. Never. Second, it is barely 7am in the morning. Third, we have had wine sitting in the fridge before and I have always forgotten it is there. I don’t see it when I open the fridge to get the milk for tea every morning. I have been oblivious to alcohol for the longest time. I never acknowledge it. I never cared much for it.
The few times that I drink is in the company of friends and family. I hardly ever do it alone. And I drink relatively small quantities. Two glasses of wine, and my head spins as if I have had gallons. I have been made fun of a couple of times and some people think that I shouldn’t even consider myself a drinker. I don’t do Whiskies, Brandies and ‘Tuskers’ (read beers).
Alcohol and I have this relationship where we keep each other at arm’s length. I have made it a point not to get too comfortable with it. Yet here I am at 7am, obsessively thinking about it. I wasn’t thinking of it in the dismissive ‘Oh! There’s some wine in the fridge!” No. I was thinking of it as saliva filled my mouth. I craved for it. I thought of it wetting my tongue, tantalizing my taste buds as it slid effortlessly down my throat to finally settle in my belly, warming me up in the process. I even asked myself if it was too early to pour myself a glass. It was 7am! I had not taken my breakfast!
Alcohol scares me – truth be told. This is because I am genetically predisposed to alcoholism. I remind myself every time I have a drink that a single sip has the realest potential of dragging me to an AA session. Any single sip can have me losing control. And I like being in control of my life. To this point, I have not done anything that I did not want to do. I am fully aware that every aspect of my life is in my power to change. And I like that. So far.
I have never underestimated the power of alcohol though. It is a god. Once it has a grip on you, you don’t get to wiggle free easily. It has a good grip and freedom only comes with a price. I have witnessed it make puppets of its victims robbing them of every ounce of control. I have seen it rob people of jobs, destroy families, kill, maim and shatter dreams. I have witnessed violence, hate and irresponsibility as a result of alcohol. I have therefore always vowed to be in control over that SOB.
Now it wants to control me? It is trying to tell me that I need a drink when in fact, I don’t?
I had not eaten my breakfast for crying out loud!
It boils down to priorities. If you decide to take alcohol before doing everything else, before eating anything, it simply means that it is your master. I like prioritizing my life. That is why each morning, as soon as I leap out of bed, I kneel down by the bedside and say a little prayer. First thing. First priority. This way, I always remind myself who my master is.
When you know who and what comes before what, it keeps your life organized. In my world, alcohol will never come before God and Family and breakfast and work and sleep and play. It is out there in the oblivion; never a priority.
Yet even as I showered after the workout, I kept thinking of that box of wine. Maybe you would suggest that I get rid of it to avoid temptation? Oh,no. It is about control my friend. At the end of the day, I am in charge of my life. I choose what to eat, what to drink and when to do so. I would like to be able to make the choice not to drink. That leaves me in control.
That box of wine will stay there. Untouched. I will see it every single day as I open the refrigerator. I will pick a packet of milk instead. I will pass over the wine and pick the juice bottle instead. I will take out food to eat! I will take out eggs for my breakfast. I will eat breakfast. I will eat my breakfast damnit! The wine will stay there for months to come; lonely and cold. It will long for me to touch it just a tad. I will not even acknowledge it. I will ignore that box of wine until it becomes invisible in my eyes.
Genetics aside, I will be damned if alcohol, that box of wine, comes anywhere close to my list of priorities. I just need to check these cravings yo!
Damn these cravings!