Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 336 Living hand to mouth

"Regardless of how much time clean you have, relapsing is always as easy as moving your hand to your mouth." --Seth Mnookin

This quote from blogger Seth Mnookin really struck me. Not only because it's a wonderfully visual description of relapse but also because it comes at the real issue in a different way. Relapse doesn't take much. One drink. One pill. One bad choice. One poor decision. One whim. One stressful evening. One bad day. One irrational thought and then hand to mouth. 

I've been thinking about how often we/I put hand to mouth: eating, brushing our teeth, drinking water or coffee, cough drops, vitamins, snacks, meals, cigarettes, toothpicks, fingers, lip gloss, pencils, thumbs. The bending of the elbow, the move of one body part towards another.

Living hand to mouth has a proverbial meaning of poverty. That you only have enough to eat and just barely, enough to get by. So hungry you don't cook it or put it on the table, straight from hand to mouth. But it occurs to me that this is a great image for addicts, especially food addicts. We focus our lives, our living on the distance from hand to mouth. Eating (drinking, pills) are central to our lives and sometimes the only real focus. It's an odd way to live, it seems to me, and one that is so easy to get stuck in.  

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