This picture is in my St. Andrew's Missal. Lent is early this year and we prepare three weeks prior, cutting the season of Epiphany short. Christmas is all put away in our household ... even the cards.
My current detox program fits this preparatory period perfectly. Before I have a second round of Botox injections, I am weaning off all the painkillers. This means no aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, triptans, sleeping aids, coffee, tea or chocolate. You see, I live day to day and try never to take the same thing twice in a row, but I still take something most days because there is always some pain. Things have just gotten worse over the past 12 years. Although I tried detoxing several years ago, I failed miserably. I was in so much pain (we're talking a 9-10 on a scale of 1-10) that I ended up having to go to ER. My neurologist and I decided that the best we can do for me is to manage the pain. However, now that we have Botox to help us, we have a good chance of teaching the brain not to rely upon the painkillers. My new neurologist says it takes anywhere from 2-12 weeks to detox completely. It's HARD folks. This self-denial.
It's funny, I thought I would miss my tea the most -- I have a cup of minty black tea every morning and afternoon -- but a crunchy apple works just as well. What I miss most is not being able to even take an aspirin, the wonder drug. So, a great deal of mortification here, but I pray the fruits will be great.
Pray for me and I will pray for thee.
ETA: I don't mean to alarm anybody. It's perfectly fine to take painkillers on an occasional basis.