My Corner Drug Dealer

My dealer waits for me
On every corner of every town in every state
Their supply never runs out and their drug
temporarily makes me feel great                                                                                               Until withdrawal begins, though I’ve yet to withdraw for long                                                             My drug is everywhere and my dependence is strong

My dealer is every store
My drug is sugar
Sugar finds its way under my skin
Even when I think I’m not going to let it in
It is suddenly in my hands, then melts in my mouth
My gastrointestinal tract welcomes it
My blood carries it around
It causes little fires everywhere in my body through inflammation
It over-taxes my pancreas which struggles to produce enough insulin to handle the copious amounts of sugar I pour into myself
Sugar never stays long on my pantry’s shelf
While vegetables, the true heroes of this story
Wilt in the fridge in unsung glory                                                                                                You are neglected but not forgotten, dear salad greens

Sugar comes in an endless variety of colorful packages
At my corner drug store, it was on sale today
So I easily threw my vague intention to abstain away
It doesn’t take much
For me to justify buying another sugar rush                                                                                                         When it comes disguised with vitamins, fiber, probiotics and protein                                               and covered with velvety dark chocolate                                                                                       It is even organic, for Chrissakes                                                                                                       A wolf in sheep’s clothing

In the throes of my addiction,
I fool myself into believing that my affliction is not so bad                                                         I will stop after I finish what I’ve got
It is already bought, so I better use it
I’m just using it because I have it
Otherwise, it’s a waste of money, right?
A person’s gotta eat, and I need energy for my busy life

I know that in reality
My drug will finish me
It is only a matter of time
Until my body won’t be able to stand the abuse anymore
Sooner or later the drug will crash through my door
Crush me helpless on the floor
It will be too late to un-do what I spent a lifetime doing then
One mouthful of sweet poison at a time

My willpower is weak when I am stressed out and hungry
I wish that my corner drug dealer would stop tempting me so
If sugar was less ubiquitous, not so easily found
How might that boost your wellbeing, help you reach your health goals?
How much would it radically improve the health of our nation, our world?
How sweet would it be to see our epidemics of obesity and diabetes decrease?                Tell morbidity and mortality to go bark up someone else’s tree
We may never see in our American lifetime                                                                               An end to the societal sugar overdose
But I want to plant the idea seed
And see if it grows
Maybe someday I will quit sugar
If only for today                                                                                                                            Today was not the day                                                                                                                      But tomorrow still could be

Love and Ice Cream

Love and ice cream
Are my slippery slopes,
My legal dope
I use them in plain sight
To abuse my body day and night

Too many years
I’ve caught myself in the cycle
Of getting high every time I start to withdraw;
I let into my life another bowl,
another boo, even worse than the one before
The novelty wore off long ago
And I’ve seen the pattern;
I know where it is gonna go
It always ends in regret

Today I was hot and thirsty
For that cool creamy sweet treat
With chocolate chunks for me to eat
It was on sale and high in quality
So I loaded up my shopping cart,
imagining the pleasure awaiting me

Then I remembered
How bad I always feel afterward
How out of control, how unwise
I’ve given in to temptation too many times
And paid too heavy a price

So I put the four pints back on the shelf
Let them go home with somebody else
Victory was mine at last
At least for today

Then I got home and considered writing to an ex
An ex who is still sort of a friend                                                                                                             I love them dearly
But slow down, it’s a dangerous bend
They treated me unhealthily
Why would I expect anything different this time?

Feeding my addiction
Would bring me a quick, cheap high
Although I desire them so
Like ice cream on a hot summer’s day
If I over-indulged, the disappointment in myself
Would be here to stay

I’m only human
I have to eat and to love
But knowing how easily
I fall hard where others only stumble
It is worth it for me to mindfully look where I’m walking on the rocky road
So that I can stand tall when it rumbles