Taken To The Woodshed

woodshedPreviously on Betsy’s Blog…

As we saw in the last post, Betsy has apparently fallen into the den of her own iniquity by eating inappropriately for her diabetic condition.  Again.  In a big way.  When Harry, the Guide for Betsy’s Quest, and the Muse discuss this, Harry promises to have a little chat with Betsy.  After all, she needs to know that ignoring the reality of her body’s health impacts everything else.  Once that sugar/fat/chemical combo starts zinging around in her bloodstream, her life goes right out the window.

The Muse has gone, promising to return at a more opportune time, and Harry is waiting for Betsy to come out of hiding.  Will he be able to convince her that her health is important and the cornerstone of her Quest?  Let’s see…


*Frontal lobe opens* *Betsy’s sticks her head around the corner* *Looks up and down the corridor*

Is the Muse gone?

*Harry crosses arms over tiny chest* What do you think?

*Betsy slides into the hallway of her brain* *Kicks at a dangling cell*  Yeah.  She’s gone.

*Harry sighs* Don’t worry. She’ll be back.

*Betsy looks up* *Meets his eyes briefly* *Looks away*  Are you sure?

Yeah. *Harry pats Betsy’s ankle* Come to my office, doll.

*Betsy balks*  You’re going to yell at me.

*Harry shakes his head*  Not really.  We’re just gonna have a…conversation.

That’s what they all say.  *Betsy’s feet drag* *Follows Harry to his office in her brain*

*Harry turns on some lights* *Throws gPad tablet on a table* *Gestures to the sofa*  Have a seat.

*Betsy perches on edge of sofa*

*Harry climbs on coffee table* *Studies her*  You know what you did was unhealthy, right?

*Betsy hangs her head* I was a bad girl.

Nah. *Harry shrugs* Let’s just say the way you were eating was not advisable for someone with your medical issues.  So maybe we’ll call it “stupid”.

I know. *Betsy heaves a deep sigh* *Slumps back on sofa* I just couldn’t seem to stop.

*Harry climbs onto Betsy’s lap*  Look, I live here in your brain, right?  I see the cravings and how your body chemistry gets all out of whack once you start eating the stuff that sets you off.  Yeah, you can stop, but I see how much effort it takes.  I see how difficult it is.  It’s hard as hell.  But–

*Betsy pouts*  There’s always a but.

*Harry taps her leg*  BUT, you have to be aware of what you’re doing.  And you have to try not to start in the first place.  Right?

I guess. *Betsy looks away*

*Harry fists paws on hips*  You don’t “guess”. You know I’m right.

*Betsy throws up her hands* I just want to be normal, okay?  I just want to be like everyone else! Other people can eat pastries and ice cream, why can’t I? Why can’t I have a freaking DANISH without going off the deep end and ending up drowning in a cesspit of my own design?

*Harry shrugs*  Because you’re not normal.

*Betsy glares at him*  Well, thanks for that.

I mean it. First, I don’t think you should assume everyone else can eat things without consequences, but we need to focus on you now.  And even if everyone else in the universe could eat whatever they wanted without any ramifications whatsoever, YOU. CAN’T.  You can’t plan a little food holiday. You can’t say you’ll have “just one”. You can’t say “it’s just for today”. Not because the food is wrong necessarily, but because some of it triggers you to hell and back and sets up a destructive cycle.  For YOU.

*Betsy pouts* Well…it’s not fair.

*Harry sighs* Look. Let’s have a little reality check here, okay?  You are diabetic. Your body does not process sugars properly and too many fats just makes everything worse.  Sugar stays in your blood instead of going where it needs to go and damages all sorts of blood vessels and nerves and crap.  And your poor kidneys…don’t even get me started on your kidneys.  If they weren’t already working at capacity they’d be asking me to go out and get a bottle of whiskey for them and your liver.  Diabetes KILLS people.  Do you get that?

*Betsy frowns*  What exactly are you trying to say?

Oh, for God’s….*Harry jumps up on Betsy’s chest*  *Stares her right in the eyes*  I’m trying to say that when you eat the way you did last week your body goes haywire because it can’t process certain kinds of food properly.  Then your brain, which is part of your body by the way, takes a room at the Insania Motor Lodge for a vacation in Crazy Town.  Then suddenly you wake up and you’re missing a month of your life and a chunk of your income from buying Haagen Dasz!  So you need to NOT.  START.

Hey! *Betsy glares back at him*  Who made you the boss of me anyway?

*Harry waves paws in the air*  I’m freaking trying to freaking GUIDE you here!

For my writing! You’re supposed to Guide me for my writing!  *Betsy bares her teeth*

*Harry bares his teeth back at her*  I’m supposed to Guide you on your QUEST! And your Quest is to walk your own path, right? Is your path to be a shill for Nestle? NO!

*Betsy scowls*  Maybe I like Nestle.

*Harry jumps up and down on Betsy’s chest*  *Falls off*  *Climbs back up again*  I KNOW you love the Nestle people. But you get all of these sugars and fats and chemicals and whatever the hell else running through your system and you can barely function, let alone write. You can’t think. You can’t do anything. And thus we have another year of your life flushed down the toilet.

*Betsy’s lip quivers*

Ah, geeze.  Don’t cry. *Harry sighs* *Sits back on haunches*  Look. You have a serious medical condition and you are basically addicted to the highly-palatable food that make you worse. You just can’t do it anymore, babe. You can’t. Your body, your health, is the cornerstone of…of…of everything. You need to eat in a way that makes you feel…alive. Not ashamed. Not guilty.  Creative.  Free.

*Betsy sniffles*  The Dark Voice is just so loud sometimes.

I know, honey. *Harry pats her cheek with a gentle paw*  He always has been.

*Betsy knuckles away a tear*  What am I supposed to do?

You have to know that YOU can’t. This last time, you thought you could, but that was a lie. I don’t care what anybody else tells you, I don’t care how many times they tell you “one won’t hurt”. I don’t care how many times they say “are you sure” or “just today” or “it won’t matter”. For YOU, it matters. For YOU there is no just “one”. There is no “just today” because if you’re triggered, then you won’t stop.

*Betsy slams head back against sofa*  It’s so freaking unfair!

Maybe. *Harry shrugs* But we all have restrictions. I’m a white gerbil, not a white stag. You can’t eat pastries and ice cream. We all have boundaries. We choose how well we live within them.

*Betsy thinks*  Will the Muse come back if I try to be better?

*Harry sighs*  The Muse will always be here singing, kid. The trick is whether or not you can hear her. Stuff up your ears with fats and fill your brain with sugar and she could be singing Wagner for all you’d know.  You won’t be able to hear her.  See it’s not enough to just know what your path is. You have to CHOOSE it. And choosing FOR something, means choosing AGAINST something else.

Like ice cream?

*Harry shrugs*  For you, yeah.  Like ice cream.

*Betsy chews lip* I….I want to try. That’s all I can promise, okay? That I’ll try.

*Harry nods*  None of us are perfect, doll. You’re not gonna be successful a hundred percent of the time. All you can do is try.  *He looks at her sternly*  And you HAVE to try.

And when I fall into the mud?

*Harry holds out a tiny paw*  I’ll be there.

*Betsy takes his paw*  Okay.


To be continued…








  1. Man, I just got to read this and it’s really powerful. This should be read and understood by everyone who has an eating or drinking problem. Sugar is the number one addictive substance in our lives and the food industry counts on us giving in to the siren call. There’s a reason I make things from scratch and don’t allow junk in the house – if it’s not available its easier to resist, but those cravings are wicked. Vitamins have helped around here a lot!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Chris: Yeah, it’s addictive all right! And this time of year is just brutal. So. Much. Food. I can’t say I’ve exactly been on the straight and narrow, but I’m trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps. Again. 😛

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