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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Scrub My Brain With Smart


The word "brainwashing" has negative connotations, but I embrace it as a method of DIY reprogramming that can be used for good or ill. In my case, for good. For me, it's the power of positive thinking portrayed with sarcastic cynicism. It's an effective aid to habit swapping when used in a voluntary fashion upon oneself.

I used to be the kind of person who felt betrayed by life. Thinking I deserved endless joy and constant satisfaction, I was content to sit around and await their arrival. I invested no effort, and was surprised by the lack of dividends.

When my habitual over consumption left me overweight, unable to breathe, constantly ill, and frequently depressed, I piled on. More tobacco. More alcohol. More cocaine. More weed. More food. More sleep. None of these provided anything but fleeting respite.

For a long, embarrassing decade, I was bewildered. Why was I such a shitsack? I deserved the good life! A bounty of riches! Respect! Attractiveness! Happiness!

Then, of course, I quit smoking, altered my diet, began exercising, and miraculously, felt a whole lot better physically and mentally.

I like to think I left my former self behind completely, but that's not completely true. That sorry, whiny, complacent caricature still surfaces. I consider his porcine mindset to be my evil alter ego; the proverbial devil on my shoulder. I still frequently fall sway to his dulcet harp despite the resultant consequences.

Last Saturday I bought a pack of cigarettes and a pizza. The cigarettes provided no satisfaction, serving only to raise my body temperature, artificially accelerate my heart rate, and coat me inside and out with a fine layer of yellow tar filth. My complexion shaded gray. They were suppose to be an indulgence, an alternate to alcohol as a way to relax, basically, a reward for good behavior. Instead of enjoying them, I was left with naught but counterproductive nostalgia and shame. The pizza was supposed to be a joy wallop of verboten foods, wonderful tasting, no effort, calorie dense/nutrient sparse garbage. The taste was underwhelming, despite ordering from Pizza Metro, one of my former favorites. I gorged and fell asleep sweating.

This led to a Sunday of leftover pizza, cigarettes, and sluggish deadness. I farted a lot. I was glad to empty the ashtray and throw out that pizza box at the end of the night. My rewards had become punishments to be endured, not indulgences to be savored.

On Monday I didn't want to move. I didn't crave a cigarette, amazingly. I guess addiction is no longer my default state. My fruit/vegetable/meat diet didn't recharge me back to energetic vibrancy until halfway through Tuesday, when I finally had the willpower to restart my push-ups and sprints.

Why are the weekends such a danger zone for me? How come I keep fooling myself into thinking that a temporary reversion to my old self will somehow be fun? I keep doing it, like slamming my finger in a door because it'll feel nice to stop.

I suppose this is progress. Instead of blithely embracing pollution, I now feel exactly how sludgy true gluttony feels. Instead of comfort, these poisons give honest accounts of themselves to my body chemistry. I morph into a slump shouldered foot dragging old man for 48 hours after this crap. I much prefer the energetic healthy guy I am during the weekdays, the one with massive lungs.

Really, this means I need a new hobby. I can't hibernate two days a week with fuckloads of spare energy to burn. This restlessness without an outlet leads me backwards. I need an activity.

For the first time in ten years, I actually want to go outside. As a bonus, springtime is dawning. I am thrilled by this development. I never was before. I even used to tell people that winter was my favorite season. Fuck that, am I right? Yep, my spring has arrived.

Lucky me.
5:11 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


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