Monday, December 02, 2019


How do you manage your addictions? If you don't have any, that's great. (Or maybe they are good ones like a healthy diet and exercise.) My big three are crosswords, coffee, and cocktails. In that order. I can go days without drinking and not miss it. Notwithstanding the custom glass at my neighborhood bar. I really miss the first cup of coffee (or two) if I can't get it, but the others, like the one I'm having now after lunch and at almost two in the afternoon are not so craved. (And since I don't use cream or sugar they are not as bad for me as they could be.) 

But I can't pass up a crossword grid easily. I get up in the morning, excited to make a cup of coffee and work the puzzle in the New York Times. Later in the day, I'm likely to give a whirl to 1-3 others in the other papers we get. Not to mention a Ken-Ken or Jumble or Suduku.  When I should be doing chores, I tell myself I'll just finish this puzzle, then I'll be productive.

I guess I'm addicted to Facebook, too, I'm always putting something on there and trying to start a conversation. (Sometimes it's a picture of my cocktail, crossword or coffee!) I like seeing my friends' activities and opinions. (Although some are frustrating for sure.) 

Sometimes when I feel I've been drinking too much I purposively don't have any alcohol for a couple of days. (My dad used to say that he would stop drinking for a few days to see if he would have the DTs. He was kidding, but he saw plenty of delirium tremors working for the VA for three decades.) 

Sometimes when the "I'm going to get around to reading this pile" of newspapers gets too high, I make myself go through them and not work any puzzles. (I will sometimes cut them out and save them, however! Maybe I'm a hoarder, too.)

I never go without at least one cup of coffee in the morning. But I often drink green tea or just water in the afternoon or evening. Or...cocktails. Or wine. Or beer. I didn't choose cocktails above just because of the alliteration. I drink lots of different things, but first and foremost on the list is my Manhattan on the rocks. (Rye Whiskey please.)

So, am I managing my addictions well? I guess. I probably have some others, too. Jeopardy and some other TV. Reading. (Although I don't find reading as meditative as crosswords. Something about the interaction of it and seeing the finish line.) Walking. (I feel like I have really accomplished something if we go for a walk. If I record it on Facebook with a few pictures, I feel even more accomplished. If we stop for a meal or coffee (!) or a snack, I a crossword at the table!)

It's good to recognize your addictions, their purpose and how to deal with them, I suppose. Most addictions are for escape. If I was addicted to pain killers, I wonder if I could distract myself with the three C's. Probably not. Fortunately, I'm very averse to swallowing pills or taking any kind of drug. I have some low-dose phenylephrine and diphenhydramine that I take to relieve allergies. I almost never take anything else and I hate having to take those. (I take the phenylephrine to fly, too. Otherwise, my ears will not pop and its painful.) I get a flu shot once a year for the herd's sake. 

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