Sugar and I have a complicated relationship. An awkward dance of nearly four decades.
We’ve broken up over and over again. Sometimes for just a few hours. Once for an entire year. Repeatedly I have publicly acknowledged my desire for more than our typical trial separations. I have cried out for the finality of a divorce from its clutches.
My poor friends and family are never sure where sugar and I stand. Should they invite him to holiday events. Is it Ok if they bring him to the table or will that be too awkward for me? Truth is, it’s always awkward. If sugar is there, it’s still my choice to greet him or not. If sugar is absent, I miss him.
More than 3 years ago, I wrote sugar this Dear John letter:
For an entire year we didn’t see each other. Ok, we saw each other, and sometimes I missed you, but I didn’t let you in.
Then one January night, I said “Hello” again. And it was sweet. And I wanted more. And we haven’t said Good-bye in 3 months now.
But when I let you in, I don’t feel good. For a moment perhaps, but never in the long run. And my reflection in the mirror is harder to take after too much time with you. I don’t like who I am when I crave you. I don’t like how you control my thoughts, cloud my judgment, and call me back to you after a small taste.
I feel better when we’re apart. I am stronger when I say “Yes, I see you, but I can’t let you in.”
So here we are at Good-bye. Again. Maybe for good this time.
Good-bye, sugar. Good-bye.
But sugar is no gentleman willing to leave me alone. I suspect He never will.
Because sugar doesn’t care one little bit about my well-being. Despite the whispers of “You deserve it” and “Just one more time” and “Everyone else is” and “It’s not fair for you to be left out” and all the other things that sound like they are on my side, sugar has no crystal of concern for what it does to my body — not to mention my spirit, my state of mind, my self-worth and all the other things that just a taste begins to decay.
Freedom, then, will not come from sugar disappearing from my life. I’m not even sure if it will come from a lack of desire for it.
Truth is, from where I sit today, my head in a fog from another encounter with sugar where the sweetness has quickly turned to regret, I don’t know exactly what freedom will look like at all.
Because, today, I didn’t have the strength to kick sugar to the curb. And my resolve crumbles just a little bit. My hope of recovery takes a step backwards.
My history tells me I should have expected this. My mind knows that success doesn’t come in a straight line. The Spirit reminds me the enemy is mighty but our God is stronger. I am not alone in this battle.
But as my head swirls and my stomach aches, I have to dig pretty deep to find that mustard seed of hope again. Today feels more about regret than redemption. But I pray. Oh, how I pray, that one day I can weave it all together into my freedom song.
In response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.