I have mild allergic reactions to springtime. My eyes itch. That’s 90% of the problem. Sometimes my nose gets stuffed up or runny, but that doesn’t taunt me with a feeling that will only get worse if I satiate it. I will ruin my makeup and push my contact lens out of place. When it itches it’s all I can think of. I’m determined to overcome this.
And I think if I do achieve the level of discipline to never rub my eyes at the calling of ragweed I will be able to conquer so many of the habits of which I am a creature. I snack too much, like so many people in the modern first world. I pick at skin, like zits or scabs or hangnails, in spite of the blood and/or scarring that come from that tick. If I, or at least my inner judgmental sense of appropriate behaviour, can gain hold of those problems I will consider myself an accomplished individual. The next few weeks, until this seasonal ailment departs for the rest of 2012, will be a serious test of self-control. The eating problem is cliché, and the skin-picking is a habit every parent struggles to get their teenage children to break. But not rubbing your itchy eyes is perhaps a topic too taboo to bring into the public discourse of personal health. I know more people suffer it than are willing to admit. We all need to speak out about our struggles and support each other in keeping the hand away from the eye until the darkest hour turns to dawn.
I don’t have a chronic alcohol problem, I never got that much into drugs, the two cigarettes I’ve smoked in my life were far from pleasing, and I have avoided medically legitimate prescriptions as much as I practically can. I don’t go through caffeine withdrawal and I simply do not see any pleasure or thrill in gambling (even payday pools at work). There’s a new type of dependency that so many people claim to have these days, but for a sex addict I sure have little of it. I wouldn’t call these habits of mine products of an addictive personality – they’re products of a fascination with existing as an organic being, a love for potato chips and chocolate-covered almonds, and that GODDAMN ITCH IN MY EYE. It’s a story of overcoming adversity. Yes, nowadays in the wealthy world, light hay fever is considered “adversity”.