poi-son /'poizen/ n. 1. a substance that causes death or injury to a person or animal that swallows or absorbs it. 2. harmful influence
SYNONYMS: toxin, venom
Are you imprisoned by a poison?
Poisonous things take many forms. Sometimes we find ourselves in toxic relationships. I've been a divorce attorney and mediator for almost eighteen years. I've seen lots of people live years - decades even - in relationships that are poison to them. Why do they do it? Why can't they just leave?
Other times we find that the very food we eat has become toxic to our bodies. What for you may be a benign food may, for someone else, be a bona fide toxic substance.
For me, dairy products are poison to my system. Yet for years I have denied the extent of the problem. Oh, I use Lactaid milk and avoid ice cream (mostly). But then I slather cheese onto everything.
And I LOVE cheese. In fact, I've never met a cheese I couldn't love. Even the fluorescent stuff that squirts out of a can.
But it's poison to me. It will cause me pain. It will make me glued to my house so I can be near a bathroom (sorry for the TMI!). It will cause me joint pain and make me feel nauseus and bloated. It will often cause me to feel lethargic and tired, even in the morning.
Why in God's name do I eat this substance that is poison to me?
I suspect that the reason I eat cheddar cheese (and Gouda and brie and Havarti - you get the point), is the same reason people stay in those toxic relationships. The good part, even though it may be enjoyed a very small amount of time, is so freakin' good that we put up with the pain for the hit of the substance.
But there comes a point when the enjoyment no longer exists. Even a small bite of the substance causes extreme discomfort and you come to the conclusion that it's not worth it.
As it goes for cheese so it goes for relationships. Sometimes enough is enough.
Then it's time to clean house.
Cleaning house can feel good, especially when it's long overdue. An incremental change can make a difference. A whole-house mega cleanse can be life altering.
I've been holding onto cheese. And it has been holding onto me. But the love affair has turned sour (*rimshot*).
I'm cleaning house. From top to bottom and inside out, I'm ridding myself of poisons in my life. I'm starting with dairy.
I've started down this path before but honestly, I never gave it my best shot. I'd avoid cheese and stop eating ice cream, but I'd still use butter and didn't scan food ingredient lists.
That's a half-ass approach and it had half-ass results. The same can hold true for relationships. If you pull back a little, it can feel okay. But if you're still imbibing the poisonous substance, it will maintain its hold over you. Best to go cold turkey and cut the toxin out of your world completely.
How do you do it? How do you take that step and excise the poison from your life?
For me, it starts with proper motiviation. I quite simply want nothing more than to spend the majority of my day writing. And when the poison has such a hold that I can no longer do that, a change has to come. I have so many stories to write, I can't afford to have to take a day off - or a week off - because I hurt.
A proper vision of the thing you know you can achieve without the poisons in your life - that is the motivation that helps you clean house.
What about you? Are there toxic relationships in your life? What about poisonous substances that you still hold onto? And if you are holding onto a poisonous substance, what is the toxin preventing you from becoming? What dream is it killing?
Or maybe you have ridded yourself of a toxin? If you did, how did you do it? And how did you feel afterward?
I'd love to hear from you - especially if you know of dairy substitutes that don't taste like poo!