my head. is. killing me.
okay, not literally. my head has inserted neither bullet nor knife into my person. but my head hurts. a lot.
i never thought i’d be the person to say i was going through withdrawal of anything. i don’t drink (for personal reasons) and i don’t take drugs. and i’ve had real coffee maybe a whole three times in my life thus far, so i never thought i’d even be withdrawing from something as mundane as caffeine.
but y’all? i’m going through withdrawal.
of sugar, that is.
and i’m being completely serious. this is why my head hurts. i’m dealing with some of the worst headaches i’ve ever had in my entire life, every night since the day i gave up pop for lent.
and honestly? it kinda sucks.
i’m learning something through this no pop for lent experience.
i learned it when, last thursday night, my skull felt like it was about to split open and i felt like my entire body was moving through molasses. and i thought, maybe: maybe i should just give this up and drink pop anyway. this pain is ridiculous.
i have a high pain tolerance but a low annoyance tolerance. i can handle the pain. what i can’t handle is knowing the solution is very simple yet not being implemented.
that’s when i learned something. (or at least, one something. i’m sure there are plenty more things left for me to learn this season.)
i learned the solution may be simple but it’s not the solution to the real problem. the real problem is i drink pop like it’s endangered and it’s impacting my health. that’s the problem. the solution to that problem, that more pressing, more crucial problem, is to not drink pop. maybe not at all, but definitely not as much. so my giving up pop for lent is an exercise in cutting it out, and then i’ll spend some time practicing how to incorporate it back into my life in a far less necessary capacity.
i also learned that the only thing on which i should be dependent for anything is Christ. which sounds like a cliché thing to learn but which didn’t reveal itself thusly.
i was raised southern baptist; many of you know that. for those of you who aren’t familiar with how southern baptists do things, there’s a huge emphasis on personal salvation and a huge emphasis on avoiding corporate ritual. so for a long time, lent wasn’t much clearer to me in purpose than a mythological creature is in reality. i never practiced lent growing up because, as the reasoning was given me, Jesus is not impressed with our sacrifices and our sacrifices do very little if anything to benefit Him.
i agree with that. but i also believe in structured rest. and i think lent gives us the opportunity to take a rest from some of those mundane things with which we usually clutter our lives.
for the past two years, i gave up blogging, a fact that began when i decided i needed to take a step back from it and reevaluate what i was doing with it and where i planned to go. it was a very necessary rest, and i’m glad i took it.
last year it served more as a ritual sabbatical, something i did because i had done before but also, equally if not more greatly in importance, because i was worn out and lent naturally lent itself (pun intended) to taking a break.
and this year i had already planned to do some blog stretching in march, plus i had put my blog almost on hold from november through january, so i considered my sabbatical for the year taken and decided instead to place focus on my blog through this time, instead of taking it off.
giving up pop was a spur of the moment decision i made out of the consideration that i was drinking too much of it to be healthy. and i believe, as rightly as i believe it is to steward one’s influence well, that it’s also important to steward one’s body well. and honestly, i have not been doing that.
ashley told me about a post she wrote last week, partially inspired by my giving up pop for lent, about how she’s often idolized the skinny girl. and i felt really weird reading this post because i am the skinny girl. and then i felt convicted because a good metabolism is no excuse for feeding my body trash.
(even if earlier i was terribly craving a vanilla milkshake from mcdonald’s. it happens.)
so maybe we should call this skinny girl confessions: i am the skinny girl but i don’t eat like it and here’s to eating not like a skinny girl but maybe just healthy. amen? amen. i am all down for that, and if less pop and sugar withdrawal is the way to go, far be it from me to shun the way.
my head feels like it’s going to split open (and i promise never ever to complain about this again, because i’m already sick of hearing it myself). that is a truth. but another truth is that our bodies are investments. the same way we invest in a house for our bodies to live in, we invest in a body for our souls to live in. it just so happens the soul’s what had a cost and the body came free of charge; that our souls will tell the memories of our bodies in direct contrast to houses that collect stories of their owners.
He has given us grace in neurons firing to move muscle and tendon and bone. and i want to be not only fully alive in that, but fully invested in it.