The Four Toxins

  • Posted on: 12 November 2014
  • By: Shawn DeWolfe

My friend asked me to join her on a challenge: 30 days without booze, sugar, coffee, and pot. I believe in abundance and that runs counter to abstinence. Nevertheless I understood her reasons and I wanted to applaud and support her pledge.

How hard can it be? It all depends on the toxin.


Alcohol for me isn’t a big problem. When I was 15, I was diagnosed with gout. It was a matter of health that I should not drink. Eventually, I realized I could drink. I like to drink but I don’t have a compulsion to drink, so long weeks can pass in between drinks. Giving it up for 30 days was not going to be a killer. That said: next week, they’re doing a pub crawl at work, so I will have to sit there with my soda water showing solidarity for my friend.


I was made hyper-aware of the impact of refined sugar. It gave me spikes of energy followed by sugar crashes. I used to put it into my coffee and tea. The sugar shaker level would drop like a rock. Over a year ago, I worked to cut sugar out of my life. Since then: added sugar is about 90% gone; sweets (baked goods and candy) are largely gone. I try to cook everything from scratch, so that I can control the amount of sugar that goes into the recipe. Could I dial all the way to zero for thirty days? Yes.


Enough with the pre-game. I love coffee. I will drink cup after cup of the stuff given the chance. I usually drink 40oz per day; on weekends it’s more like 80 ounces per day. Solidarity. I quit. I have daily headaches and today the shakes and sweats kicked in. I can ride this out, but it’s going to be hard for a couple more days.


I don’t smoke pot. She pledged to quit pot for 30 days, so it’s on the list of things to give, but I didn’t opt in, so I’m not opting out.


If she was giving up four things, it seemed only fair that I work to omit one more thing. She made her four choices because those toxins are impacting and hurting her ability to function and enjoy life. Insecurity, for me, is a 10-tonne weight on my chest. I have tried to make this a 30-day pause in my practice of insecurity. Insecurity yanks me to shameful places. It makes me think poorly of others. It give me doubts, suspicion and a level of toxicity that I wholly do not enjoy. I have asked myself to not act out of insecurity and try to not let insecurity rule my thoughts and opinions. This has been harder than coffee, but I am trying.

Insecurity goes in a cocktail with desperation and fear. Desperation founds upon scarcity. As I don't believe in scarcity as a reality, I don't want desperation, its step-child fear nor the bastard of insecurity. I had moved from a mindset of jeopardy to one of opportunity. That has dismantled desperation. Fear comes from the unknown. I rarely have unknown situations, so fear has wizened. If I can make insecurity a foreign concept-- one that atrophies and withers itself away, then this 30 day challenge will have given me a huge benefit. After 30 days, I intend to see if I can keep my finger on the pause button.

Last updated date

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 01:50