A friend of mine is about to undertake a major detox from sugar. No cookies, no alcohol, not even fruit. She was telling me about the process that bodies go through when they detox - from any substance, really, not just sugar. It's not pretty. There is a lot of pooping and cleansing and sometimes a person can get serious body odor as toxins leave. There are intense cravings as the body rages fiercely to hold on to its last, gasping, dying bits of crap.
(I remember trying to cut out all sugars and carbohydrates in college once. I dreamed embarrassingly detailed dreams about bagels and ice cream. I got dizzy and nearly delirious while simply walking to class. The sight of someone eating pizza made me borderline homicidal. I lasted three days.)
So I'm sitting in the car, listening to my friend tell me about detox and the body pushing out toxins and that's when it hit me -
I'm detoxing from men.
I haven't had a boyfriend since April. I know that's nothing compared to the bouts of singlehood that others have endured. I have friends who have been boyfriend-less for so long that they feared an inevitable demise of spinsterhood or worse, cat-hoarding. But six months without a boyfriend is the longest I've gone since before I was married. About nine years.
I've been waiting for this moment; waiting for the day when I would actually, genuinely desire to be single. Not putting in due diligence so I could get to the end of the tunnel to my destination, which is another boyfriend. Not begrudgingly eating my vegetables so I can eat dessert as a reward. But honestly, sincerely desiring this state of being unattached - indefinitely. I like it here. I feel healthy and clean, like a body getting rid of it's crappity-crap on detox. I'm in no rush to metaphorically stuff my face with cookies again, no matter how good they may look. (Not that there are any good-looking "cookies" in front of me at the moment, which makes this rush of self-possessed confidence a bit easier. . .)
Nevertheless, I am still experiencing some symptoms of man detox - mantox, if you will.
- I have dreams about past boyfriends most nights, or even future boyfriends. (Last week I had a dream that I fell in love with a hot backpacker dude in a wheelchair and he was my dream man in every way. Weird.) This happens even though I spend very little conscious thought time on the subject during the day.
- I have realizations about mistakes I have made in past relationships right smack in the middle of teaching a class, or merging on the highway. ("Oh! That's what he meant when he said . . . It all makes sense now.")
- I have sudden inexplicable cravings for boyfriend-y things like hand-holding or pushing each other in shopping carts and stupid stuff like that. And then they're gone. They rise and fall like waves inside me. I just watch and know it will pass.
- I feel healthier and stronger in my body. I'm not compromising my sleep or meals or exercise for some chump who is making demands on my time.
- I have a clear mind. I have been fascinated to see what has come up in the absence of a man to fill my head and my weekends. It takes and unbelievable amount of mental energy to be in a relationship. That is all freed up now for me to think about whatever I want. And whatever-I-want is becoming more interesting every day. . .
*Both of the terms "mantox" and "mancation" are copyrighted material. You may use them, but you have to send me $4.27 every time you do. Or jalapeno chips. I love those.
The end. Or the beginning. . .