Yes, I am addicted to gum, this may not sound like a huge issue, one I really need to be concerned about, or even try to fix, but you would be wrong. And for two weeks now I have been tackling my gum obsession.
Why gum? And why us it such a big deal?
Here is what I discovered. I use gum as a food substitute, doesn't sound so bad right? Wrong! If I am stressed, angry, or feeling lonely I want sugar, sugar is my ultimate comfort food . Typically I will look around in the house for something to cut that craving, something to soothe my soul and wrap ii in a blanket of false love. Sometimes I give in and eat the sugary crap, sometimes I stop myself out right and do something productive, and sometimes I chew gum. And not just one piece of gum, I can go through an entire pack of gum in one afternoon. Yes, 15 pieces of gum in one day. That lies the problem. I am using gum, a substance filled with chemicals and a substance that has given my jaw issues as a crutch, a substitute for something healthy. A substitute for Christ.
Yesterday was a perfect example. I was in a horrible mood, a down right nasty mood for most of the day. I had to drive my husband's truck to do errands and get it emissions tested. No big deal right. Well unless you are me, the forever drama queen. I hate driving his truck to run errands with my son, and why, because not only is it stick shift, but it is a two door truck. Now don't laugh, well okay you can laugh, because I will admit this is kinda funny. But the main reason I hate driving the truck is because I have to fold down the driver's seat to let my son in and out of the truck, small thing right, but it just really ticks me off. So not only did I have to fold the seat down at every errand stop, but the damn truck failed emissions, which meant I would have to drive the truck two days in a row. And that my friends it what caused my horrible, no good, rotten day. I was in a bad mood all day because of that fact. Silly yes, but true.
I refused to allow myself to give into my bad day and feed it with food. Three times throughout the day I was ready to dive head first into my son's leftover Easter candy, but stopped myself every time. It was actually a huge victory, for one day, and hopefully many more I did not feed my emotions with candy or any other pointless food. But I wanted gum. And I wanted gum really bad.
I have not purchased gum in over a week now. I typically buy a pack or two every time I go grocery shopping. While in line to purchase my groceries, the gum is typically calling my name and begging me to buy it, but I refused, I knew I could go without it. Yet, I failed to realize what a crutch it had become until yesterday. Yesterday evening I was starting to feel better, getting out of my bad mood, but all I could think about was how much I wanted some gum, how much I needed my gum. How much I missed my gum. Seriously, I have never smoked, but I really felt like a smoker trying to quit and at every moment the nicotine is screaming for me to come back. Then lying in bed, it hit me, gum is my safety net, my easy button.
Since, I don't want to eat, I substitute in gum, because it is pretty much calorie free therefor, in my mind safe. But it is anything but safe. Not only is it filled with nasty chemicals, and can and has caused jaw locking problems, it is not what I need. I developed such a fear about eating too much candy over the years, that I allowed gum, instead of Christ to fill my needs. Gum became my safety net, a way for me to feel better momentarily so I did not have to be real, be honest.
The times when I most want gum, are the times that I most need Christ. I am stressed, therefor I need something to chew on, gum. No! You need to chew on the word of God. I am angry, I need something to sink my teeth into. No! Sink your teeth into Truth. I am feeling lonely, gum will give me something to do. No! Talk to Christ, he will never leave me or forsake me. That is what my gum addiction is really about, so much more than just a sticky substance, it is about substituting a perfect and loving God, with something I can put in my mouth.
So, yes, I am cutting my gum addiction one grocery store trip at a time. And instead of filling that void with some other garbage, I am going to fill it with Truth, God's Truth. Now that I have recognized the behavior, I can make the right choices. I don't need gum to fill a void, just like I don't need candy or wine. I need, I crave Christ and all he has to offer, and what he has to offer in not gone after 15 sticks, it lasts forever.
And I drove the truck this morning without any drama, as it passed the emissions test, but most of all it passed my attitude test. I choose not to let such a silly thing as folding up and down a seat set me off so badly. Satan is the prince of the air, and I don't have to choose to breathe his crappy polluted air.