Pain in the Lent

The author gives a progress report on the Lenten sacrifices. It’s holding steady, but it aint pretty.

I didn’t expect to have cigar withdrawal. I didn’t think I had them often enough to get withdrawal. But here it is, day 3 of Lent, and giving ’em up for Lent is proving tougher than I expected.

Cuban cigars AP photo at right by Jose Goitia

The thing about having an addictive personality is that the brain, in its warped state of affairs, needs a fix of something to feel good. Call it an addiction to feeling good for the sake of feeling good.

But it’s tougher still because I’ve given everything else up permanently. No more booze. No flour and sugar. I’m trying beyond trying to keep my spending under control because there’s really no choice these days. I’m doing surprisingly well on that one, though once in awhile I backslide.

When an addictive mind is deprived of one thing, it seeks out something else to fill the hole. For me, there is nothing else. [See How to Play Addiction like a Piano]

But then that’s the point of the exercise.

Jesus died on the Cross to give us all a second chance. Surely this abstinence business won’t kill me. It’s so stupidly pale in comparison to the sacrifice He made.

But I’m sure I’ll bitch about it anyway.

My children have actually taken on tougher challenges than me this Lenten season.

Duncan has given up being mean to others. He’s actually a sweet kid. Not even close to fitting the mean description. But he said he wanted to give up being mean, so there it is.

This morning he got annoyed with something Sean said or did, and scampered into the kitchen huffing with indignation.

“Dad, I need you to go be mean to Sean,” he seethed.

“What for,” I asked.

“I gave up being mean for Lent, so I need you to go do it,” he shot back.

Sean has made the toughest sacrifice of all: No TV, no computer time and no desserts for the duration.

There will be times where his sacrifice will be tougher on his parents than it is on him. He gets bored easily.

But I’m proud of him for taking on such a big one.

Anyway, that’s the latest.

I still have my coffee, so all is not lost. I’m not quite like this yet:

And in the end, I have everything to gain.

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13 thoughts on “Pain in the Lent

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  11. I thought about giving up alcohol, but I don’t drink often enough to feel a real sacrifice. Cigars have been my primary vice for a while, but also helped me deal with torturous commutes. On fat Tuesday, my 26 mile commute home was over 2 hours. I didn’t get at all upset because I smoked 4 cigars (small ones) and had some XM Classic Vinyl on. I was in a happy place.

    I removed all temptation from my truck (always had an emergency cigar tucked away somewhere), and survived my first test – the Friday drive home where good music and a fat stogie set the tone for a happy weekend.

    The next test will be a horrendous commute, but the biggest will be traveling. I don’t think I’ve ever gone on a trip without enjoying a nice cigar.

    I should also mention that I wasn’t sure what I was going to give up for lent, but when you said you were going to give up cigars, I figured I’d give it a go. Kelly thanks you!

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