(16) you said a mouthful

The cravings for things never seem to go away. I’m not sure if I have an oral fixation or not. I probably do. I used to suck my fingers. Not my thumb, my ring and middle fingers. I did this for years until I was about 10 years old. It took me a very long time to quit. My mom would wrap band-aids on my fingers before I went to school. My tee-ball baseball photo is of me holding a bat where the band-aids were clearly visible. It was embarrassing. But apparently, according to my mother, I stopped sucking my fingers overnight. I had just decided to stop one day, even after jacking my teeth up to the point where I needed braces for two years. I honestly don’t remember it being that simple, but perhaps it was.

There seems to be something surrounding my mouth that I haven’t gotten a hold of yet. Like I said, I sucked my fingers. I smoked cigarettes for ten years. I’ll still smoke pot after this month (probably, though hopefully not as frequently). And, I eat. I want to eat all the time, especially when I’m bored. When I was in therapy, the oral fixation issue came up a lot. But I never really found resolution on it. It’s not that I didn’t want to go to that place. All the work I’d do on myself never came up with any answers on it. So now I’m left wondering why it is I want to place things in my mouth, but clam up the moment I have the chance to say what I really want.

We’re always told things don’t happen overnight, but I think a lot can happen when you take the time to rest and regenerate. Maybe the light switch does go on the moment you close your eyes. Maybe it can all change in an instant. I may wake up tomorrow never having the desire to smoke anything ever again. It still wouldn’t address the core issue as to why I have the need to shove things in my mouth or down my throat. I’m not about to speculate here, as it could take hours and it’s already past my bedtime. However, there is confidence rising that I can stop all these bad habits, at least for a little while.

There’s got to be some kind of instant gratification at play here. If I’m hungry, I eat. If I wanted to smoke, I’d smoke. If I want to speak, I do, except when I’m actually around people where my words could have consequences attached. Well, even if I’m by myself, these actions would have consequences, too. Eat too much? Get fat. Smoke to much? Fry my brain. Suck my fingers? Jack up my teeth. I guess I’ve just not been weighing the bad effects as much as I should. I’d rather save the embarrassment and shut my mouth and make myself temporarily feel better with pot or a snack. The process feels like a slow burn rather than an overnight ending.

All I know is that no matter how long it takes, it’s happening. There’s no stopping it. And I can keep indulging in my bad habits, or I can grin and bear it. I’m choosing the latter. To smile where there was once pain. To nourish myself properly. To know I can overcome any kind of craving and not feel limited by the lack of willpower. I can do this. With a smile. Frowning gives you wrinkles, anyway.

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