The Modern Confession

WRITING - Joe Bob's America

I repent of smoking cigarettes. It was cool when I started, but it became uncool and I quit.

It was hard. I was an addict. I was a miserable nicotine-head, two packs of Marlboros a day, but I quit, and I'm proud that I quit.

Unfortunately, it was the seventies, so I became a cokehead. Remember when it was cool to snort powder? It WAS. It really WAS. That's the only reason I did it. But I became a sniveling paranoid cocaine addict, and so I got professional help. And I quit. It was hard. I was an addict, but I quit. I'm proud that I quit.

Unfortunately, it was so hard quitting cocaine that I started smoking cigarettes again. But this time I only smoked ONE pack of Marlboros a day, and I was proud of that. But I could see after a while that I was only fooling myself, and so I quit.

Unfortunately, I started drinking more and more. First it was two or three Scotches at lunch, then it was seven or eight Scotches at dinner, and finally it was 17 Scotches, seven Tequila shooters, nine vodka Martinis, and a Coco Loco for breakfast. For a long time I told myself I could control it, but the day came when I had to face the fact that I was an addict. I was a miserable smelly drunk, and I had to quit. So I quit.

Then, after six months of quitting, I got real drunk one night and quit again. I was real proud of quitting, especially the second time.

Unfortunately, when I was coming off the liquor, I got addicted to coffee. My shrink said it was this oral fixation that I have. Sometimes I would drink 94 cups a day. It was affecting my stomach, my complexion, and my eyeballs were turning green. It took courage to admit that I needed help, but I finally sought caffeine-addiction counseling, and eventually I was able to quit.

It was about three months later that I realized how fat I was getting. I loved chocolate. And I loved food in general. I would go to Denny's in the middle of the afternoon and eat the whole left side of the menu, then I would go to Mrs. Field's Cookies for dessert. One week I gained 30 pounds. People thought I was dying of cancer. They thought it was medication that was bloating my body. I took down all the mirrors in the house because I didn't want to see the truth--I had become a 470-pound circus freak. I tried Ultra Slim Fast for a while, but I was able to drink 950 milkshakes a day, so that didn't work. Finally, I went to Obesity Camp, where they chain you to a bed, wire your jaws shut, and beat the crap out of you every time you mention food. After three months of therapy, I was cured. I was a foodaholic. I'm proud I was able to beat that.

Learning that I didn't have to be fat anymore made me realize what I'd been missing from life. For the first time I stopped to smell the roses. I would walk in the park every day, smelling roses. Then I started walking in the park at night, too, because the roses smelled different at night. Then I decided to start LIVING in the park, because I couldn't get enough of those roses. I had to smell roses at all hours of the day or night.

Then one night I got mugged in the park and left for dead, and a few hours later, at the hospital, I realized that I had a rose addiction. I went to a special three-times-a-week therapy group for botanical addictions, and it helped a lot, knowing that so many other people could identify with my problem. One of the people in group was Teresa, who had an addiction to the musky scent of zoo animals. Teresa listened to every word I said in group. In fact, Teresa liked me so much that I started going to therapy every night that Teresa was there, whether it was my night or not. From three times a week, I increased my sessions to six, then to seven, and I noticed that people always listened to me when I talked about my various addictions. I started going to therapy sessions in every spare hour I had. Finally I was going to 37 therapy sessions a week, even on the nights when Teresa didn't go.

It was Teresa who first pointed out to me that I was addicted to addiction. And I loved her for that. She suggested that I see a therapist about cutting down on my therapy sessions. So I received counseling for therapy-addiction, and every time I went to a therapy-addiction counseling session, I was able to ELIMINATE a botanical-addiction counseling session.

I'm almost finished with the therapy-addiction counseling, now that I'm down to three botanical-addiction sessions a week now--and, now that I have more free time, I spend it all with Teresa. Three weeks ago I saw her six times in one week. The week after that we went to a resort in Colorado for the weekend. Last week I saw her 94 times. Now that I'm free of all addictions, she's the most important thing in my life. In fact, just thinking of the name "Teresa" . . . sorry, gotta go.