Two Books And An Insane Early Morning Sugar Craving

A few nights ago I woke up from a dream where I had been fighting honeybees while stuffing their honeycomb into my mouth. A few minutes later I was in the kitchen squeezing liquid honey from a bottle on whole wheat bread after deciding toast, as as sugar delivery tool, would take too long.

I scarfed down three large pieces of bread coated in honey and then started opening cans of peaches. After eating the peaches I drank the syrup straight from the cans. I was still in a haze when I started to reach for the maple syrup, but I was pretty sure at that point the sugar shock would either kill me, or my feet would just turn black and fall off.

I have Type-2 Diabetes. I think my ten minute glucose / fructose binge should have put me into the hospital.

Until my honey dream I had been off glucose, fructose and sucrose for a few months. Mostly. I’ve had the occasional Peak Freen, but no ice cream, no cake, no… I can’t even remember what they put glucose in anymore. Fruit juice… definitely no crappy fruit juice. I only drink and eat products in which natural sugar appears naturally, like 1% milk and Tropicana orange juice and apples. But for snacks I’ve been eating yogurt or unsweetened apple sauce.

Since the honey dream, however, I’ve been eating a lot of cookies. Someone who knows about this stuff told me that maybe cutting everything out wasn’t such a good idea. That maybe having a vice would keep me sane.

But I think I’m going to have to find a new one because I like cookies… like, a lot. And over the past four days I think I’ve eaten eighty assorted (albeit trans-fat free) cookies.

I’ve never had a food craving like the honey-dream morning. At least not since I’ve had enough money to make sure there’s food in the cupboards.

And now when I think about dipping a cookie into a glass of milk I get the same feeling / craving in my mouth and neck I used to get when thinking about a cigarette.

I ate three cookies while writing this. Thank God I haven’t taken a blood reading in the past few days, if I saw how high my sugar levels were I’d probably give up altogether and they’d find me sitting in the street drinking a cookie dough and frosting milkshake.

I was in Ottawa with my grandfather for a few hours late last week, he was dropping off his tax paperwork with his accountant and we stopped to see his brother for lunch.

In between we ended up at a Chapter’s long enough to pick up a few books. My grandfather loves biographies so I suggested he get “Rickles’ Book: A Memoir”. My grandfather likes reading life stories written by people who did not have an easy life, but are capable of finding humour in themselves and the situations they lived through.

I don’t know why, but I keep forgetting my grandfather did not have it easy while growing up. He’s an engineer, and he’s had an incredible life working all over the world. And, mostly, he was one of the guys in charge of whatever was being built. But he grew up dirt poor in a family with six kids.

We had lunch today and were talking about schools and I asked him why he chose the University of Ottawa over Montreal’s McGill University. Both of which are world-class schools today. He laughed and told me back in the day the UofO was just a small school where the tuition was cheap. Whatever prestige it has today came after he had graduated.

I picked up two books of my own… I really shouldn’t have, but I’ve had a bit of extra money hanging around so what the fuck.

The more obscure of the two is “The Whisperers: Private Life In Stalin’s Russia” by Orlando Figes. It’s a fun romp through Stalinist Russia and the “paranoia, alienation and treachery that poisoned private life in Russia for generations”. Basically everyone spoke in whispers so as to not be turned in by their neighbours… or their children.

Having grown up in a collective based on Marxist-Leninist, and then Maoist philosophies, I’ve always had an interest in the truths behind the bullshit my father preached for so long.

The first section of The Whisperers has four pages of glowing reviews from some big name newspapers and magazines. Way back under Yeltsin the Russian government opened their archives to researchers from the United States and Canada.

There was another amazing book published not too long ago (1998) called “How It All Began: The Prison Novel”, written by Nikolai Bukharin while he was awaiting his 1938 execution. Along with Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky, Bukharin was one of the original 1917 Revolutionaries.

His existence was almost entirely wiped out by Stalin, except for the files which Stalin kept in his personal stash… including “How It All Began”, which is a fictional documentation of how the Revolution started and where it went completely wrong. Bukharin was executed before he could finish the book, but it’s still just an incredible document.

The other book I picked up was “Marching As To War: Canada’s Turbulent Years 1899-1953” by Pierre Berton. There are very few books written about specific moments in Canadian history. At least not readable ones. Most books written about this country’s past are hyper-generalized “what does Canada mean in the world” fantasies by tenured academics. Some of which are okay. I guess.

But Pierre could put a story together and make it interesting. Basically he’s Canada’s unofficial / official historian.

So… bet you didn’t know Canada was at war almost continuously for the first fifty-something years of the 20th century.

Canada was an integral part of The Boer War, WWOne, WWTwo and The Korean War. Then we took an official break for a few years. The government didn’t commit combat troops to Vietnam, but between 1954 and 1974 30,000 Canadians joined the American Armed Forces so they could fight in Vietnam.

But then, between 1970 and 2000, our military was ignored and forgotten and allowed to deteriorate to the point where soldiers stationed near Ottawa during the early 1990’s had to use welfare to supplement their income. Worse, our veterans were kept in dilapidated and broken nursing homes and had to fight the government for their pensions.

So, in my opinion, books like “Marching As To War” should be mandatory high school reading.

…even though the book doesn’t exactly discuss the themes I’ve just written about.

Berton does write about how, over the course of the two World Wars, Canada’s relationship with Great Britain changes dramatically from colony to a country Great Britain relied upon for its very survival. There’s also the massive change in the dynamics between Canada and America…

…one of my favourite Berton Books is “The Invasion Of Canada: 1812-1813” which documents the American attempt to takeover Canada. Which, the American government predicted, would take about a week. heh heh. Sometimes it’s referred to as the “War Of 1812″… or, as we call it, “That Week We Burned The White House To The Ground” or “TWWBTWHTTG Day”.

Canada: more than we think.

*I think my sugar cravings are coming from my drop in milk consumption. A couple of weeks ago I went from drinking 3-4 Litres of 1% per day to one Litre or less. Per 250mL serving (one cup) there’s 11g of sugar… so four cups per Litre makes sixteen cups per day at 4L. Holy fuck… that’s a lot of sugar to be taking out of my diet. No wonder I’m eating so many cookies.



About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Books, Bud, crazy people with no pants, Diabetes, Health, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, Ottawa. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Two Books And An Insane Early Morning Sugar Craving

  1. thordora says:

    Ah, Canadian history. The class everyone hates cause it’s boring.

    But it isn’t! Berton should be in classes.

    MMmmmmmm applesauce. Why do people put sugar in that anyway?

  2. robomiso says:

    you should have gone for cinnamon sugar toast.


  3. Gabriel... says:

    Hi Thor. The thing I hated about history class was it changed every twenty minutes… my first year of high school the curriculum changed halfway through so we weren’t learning dates anymore. Because who cares *when* something happened, surely there’s no relevance or perspective in dating something.

    Then the school board / Ontario Ministry of Education decided the “why” in teaching history was about assigning perspective, not learning the facts.

    My history teachers tried, but the curriculum’s were total touchy-feelie bullshit from day one.

    Mom made diabetic friendly brownie’s for dessert tonight (Sunday) and she used applesauce as a sweetener. They were pretty good…

    Hi robomiso… you’re right, I probably should have taken my own advice and just wrapped two slices of bread around the honey jar and drunk it straight.

  4. On the plus side, we’ve found your power animal.

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