It took me a while to realize and even longer to admit there was a problem. One day, it just hit me: I'm a gum addict. Not just any addict. An Orbit Wintermint gum addict. And this is my story.
We all remember the days we watched our parents or older siblings chewing the gum we weren't allowed. It was like candy that never got finished, a relish in the mouth that could last for ever if only it weren't so slimy and hard to keep from slipping down the throat.
And then the days when we were eight. And it was allowed. It was all about the Zebra gum. It tasted the best. It even had cool jokes.
And those times when you're sitting under the bleachers, trying to escape the sun at your brother's baseball game. You're bored. You've been there for an hour and a half already. Meaning you've actually been there for approximately 556632.43 hours. You've already climbed the tree. Yes, there are multiple trees, but only one that has branches low enough for you to climb up to. You played in an empty baseball field, but the other team showed up and you had to move on to tag with that one kid you don't really like. Now your clothes are dirty and your jeans are ripped revealing freshly scraped knees. You hop bleachers over to your mom and ask if you can get something at the snack bar. She hands you a nickel and next thing you know, you've got a huge cheekful of that "Dubble-Bubble" gum the man pulled out from a tub. I'm sure it was four years old. But it didn't matter.
As I grew up, I learned I was above the Zebras, Juicy Fruit, and gum balls. I needed something that lasted and I needed something minty. I personally don't like gum that is fruit flavored. And, unlike normal children, I started hating anything bubble-gum flavored. So I used Trident for a while. And then the beautiful day: my mom pulled some Orbit out of her purse. Oh, I was hooked. She's more of a Peppermint type of gal, so that's what I used. But my first year of independence, my freshman year of college, I discovered it: Wintergreen. A little sharper than the regular. Oh what a beautiful day that was.
My mom buys us those 12 packs from Costco for each of us kids for Christmas each year (like alcoholism, gum addiction is genetic and hereditary). That used to be enough. But I'm on my third? fourth? box since December. I even eat them only half pieces at a time (saves money, saves me from an annoyingly loud chew, and--I know you won't believe it-- makes the flavor last longer..), so that's doubled compared to the general population. I guess the fourth box should have been the first sign. But I was finally hit with my problem a few months ago. I was cleaning out my back pack and there were showers and showers of wrappers falling out. I looked around my room. There were a few on the ground, a good many on the desk, some on the dresser. I pulled out every pair of pants from my drawers and pulled at least one crumpled wrapper out of EVERY POCKET. Throughout the next few weeks, whenever I remembered my problem, I'd reach into my pockets and pull out a new wrapper.
Well, then I joined a support group, and that brought me here to you today. I'm still working on it. I have my set backs every now and then. But I'm trying. And I feel like a new woman. And you can too!
Well, that's my story. I tell it in hopes that I can stop others who, like the old me, are on a path of something that seemed innocent. I was just curious, just bored, just did it for social reasons. But now I need it. I need it. Otherwise my mouth gets all dry. And I get hot. And I see spots. And the room starts spinning... So please, stop and think: how many boxes have you been through? How many wrappers are in your room at this given moment?