Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Potty Mouth, Party of One?

Everyone who knows me is well aware that I am afflicted with a rampant case of potty-mouth… honestly, I could give the crudest sailor a run for his money.  To be clear, I am not bragging nor am I proud of this fact, it is certainly not one of my more admirable traits.   It is an unfortunate habit I have found very challenging to break. Unlike smoking, there is no “swearing cessation” patch or gum to wean me off of my filthy addiction. 

They say the first step in treating an addiction is admitting that you have a problem… “Hello, my name is Heather and I am a swearaholic”. Now I can let the healing begin, right? Unfortunately no, I have come to the conclusion that it simply doesn’t come naturally to me to NOT use a curse word as a noun, adjective, verb or adverb.  For some reason I need a billboard to remind me that the English language is peppered with equally eloquent words to replace my vast vocabulary of 4-lettered ones. Last Friday I hit rock bottom when I unconsciously unleashed a string of obscenities within earshot of my boss that not only caused him to blush, but to shoot me that “dad look”… you know that look, the one where you are so instantly ashamed that you don’t even care what your punishment is because you know you have earned it.
The Remembrall
Now I’ve made peace with the fact that I have no willpower or the fortitude to stick to a goal, especially one as abstract as not swearing.  I knew I would need help but had no idea what form that “help” would take.  I thought about it all weekend, thinking it was too bad there isn’t a shock collar for swearing because that is what it was probably going to take to snap me out of my cycle of language abuse. I needed my own personal version of a Remembrall, the magical hand-sized clear, glass ball that glows red when its holder has forgotten something (sorry for my shameless Harry Potter reference).

So I set off to create my own version of a Remembrall, something that was practical but would still always be present as a visual cue to use my big-girl words rather than the dirty ones of which I had grown so fond.  I finally landed on a simple bracelet, I figured that if it was good enough for Lance Armstrong it should be good enough for me.  Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of those tacky yellow, rubber bracelets (no matter how positive the message was) so I had to create something that suited me, most likely with sparkle. Identifying that this was a great excuse to go to my favorite bead store I headed out first thing Sunday morning to purchase the perfect beads for my Remembrall, 48 Swarovski aurora borealis crystals, to be exact.  48 little reminders that I am better than the potty-mouth I have cultivated all these years, 48 reminders that if I want to stay gainfully employed I better break the cycle, quickly! 

 I’m on day 3 of my new swear-free life and I have to say, the bracelet is doing it's job.  Do I drop the occasional bomb now and then?  Sure, but I’d say the instances of the curse has decrease at least 80% (granted I sound like Ned Flanders now when I want to express myself but that’s a trade-off that I’ll have to accept).  The other unexpected side effect is that when I am ready to lose my patience and let the temper off its leash my little sparkly Remembrall reminds me that I don’t have to become unglued, I can make the choice to take a time out, breathe deeply then find a way to express myself in a way that doesn’t result in a permanent note to my personnel file!

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