These Ancient Eyes: Guilty Consicence

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It’s only right that I come out and make my personal failures public if I’m going to make the problem public. A few months ago, I talked about the addiction to food I’m currently struggling with. And given that I just had my biggest personal failing ever a couple of days ago, I think I should talk about it now.

September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. For that day this year, Krispy Kreme, the major donut chain, offered a free dozen plain glazed donuts to anyone that would come in wearing a pirate costume. If you wanted just one free donut, you could just go in and speak one of the “pirate-y” phrases, such as “Arr!” , “Shiver me timbers!” or “Avast!”. Plain glazed Krispy Kreme – especially warm off the cooker – are my very favorite kind of donut. 

When Lona brought up that they were doing this the night before, I immediately said I wouldn’t go. That’s right – I WOULDN’T go. Because they’re my favorite. And I am not at a place where I trust myself. I was actually very proud of that decision. Lona and Nyx got dressed up on the day and went, then came home with two boxes, each containing a dozen plain glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. I could smell them. My mouth was watering. But I held onto the promise I’d made the night before that I wouldn’t have any. I’d already prepared myself to fight the cravings that smelling the donuts would induce.

Then Nyx asked Kata to bring me one anyway, thinking I was being obstinate. I tried to argue, but there was the delicious glazed circle in front of me. I took it. I ate it. I felt guilty immediately.

“Tyger,” you’re probably asking, “One donut doesn’t equal a failing on your part.” No. Maybe not.

But eight does.

Lona went back out again afterwards, doing some grocery shopping, and Nyx disappeared into her bedroom to work on her math homework. Kata’s back was to the donuts at his desk, and mom was at her desk working. I went to the bathroom. I fought with myself. Just one more donut, I thought. I’ll just eat one more donut, and then I’ll go back to my desk and get back to work. I thought I’d successfully won the fight with the addicted part of myself. I came out of the bathroom, reading my eReader. I went into the kitchen and got a glass of milk. Still reading, I returned to the dining table where the box of donuts was, and sat down. Reading with my left hand, I opened the box with my right and pulled out a donut and ate it. Then I ate another. And another. I didn’t stop eating them until I was out of milk – and the entire first dozen was GONE. Only four had been eaten out of it previous to me getting to it. Sitting there, in the space of less than 10 minutes, I ate EIGHT donuts.

It gets worse. My guilty conscience kicked in (though at the time I explained it away as ease of getting to the remaining donuts for other people), and I closed the empty box, lifted the full one, and put it on top.

Now we all know that ruse wasn’t going to last. I was already mentally beating myself up – not just for having failed so badly, but for wanting to go over and eat the OTHER DOZEN TOO, when Lona came home and discovered what I did.

Needless to say, she was very disappointed in me, and I was just as disappointed in myself. To make matters worse, we had to count out who’d had what to realize I’d eaten eight of the donuts – I only remembered five. We all agreed that my punishment should be that I have to stop working for an hour, dress up as a pirate, and go get another free dozen. Unlike the no-line wait that Lona and Nyx had earlier that day, I spent almost an hour in line – hot, in hot clothing, in a store full of hot oil fryers and the heat not being completely kept away from the consumer part of the store. But I successfully retrieved the box of donuts – and these were actually hot and fresh because of the line (it KILLED me to not be allowed to eat them…a fitting punishment in and of itself, I suppose), and returned home with them.

My penance may have been served, but I still feel horrible for what I did. Addiction is a monster – it makes it hard to control yourself, and can take you from having solidly made a decision not to do something, to doing it and forcing yourself not to think about it while you’re doing it – or worse; to NOT realizing you’re doing it – and the guilt afterwards only makes you want to return to the same thing again for comfort. Battling an addiction is a constant struggle.

I lost a battle this week. I WILL win the war.

[image credits: au_tiger01, Jim]