Summer Camp Rehab

Going into fifth grade I was still a thumb sucker.  I wasn’t a walking around with my thumb in my mouth thumb sucker.  I was at night in bed, sneak and thumb suck, thumb sucker.  Summer meant summer camp and I was still a thumb sucker.  It was never something that caused me crippling embarrassment, but I was smart enough to know that fifth graders did not freaking suck their thumbs.

First night came.  We all did our evening routines.  Shower, brush teeth, PJs on and into bed.  I had the top bunk.  I reminded myself that I would need to be careful.  I would need to be careful not to fall out of bed!  I would also need to be careful no one saw me getting my fix… my thumb sucking fix.  Lights out.  Wait for it.  It was safe.  Thumb in. Oh the guilt, the internal pressure.  Would someone see me?  Would someone see me or catch me sucking my thumb?  What would I do if they caught me?

Morning came and no one was any the wiser.  Feeewwwwwffff, addiction fed and no one is on to me.  I may have snored that night and may have drooled a bit, but those were minor.  I had gotten my thumb sucking in.

Why did I feel so incredibly guilty?  Could it be the fact I was in fifth grade and I still sucked my thumb?  Possibly I was scared shit-less someone would discover my secret? Maybe it was because this was a church sponsored camp and we were here to work on ourselves?  Perhaps it was the sheer fact that I needed to get my ass in gear and STOP SUCKING MY THUMB!

The second and third nights came.  I didn’t.  I did not put my thumb in my mouth!!   The fifth day  was my last day at camp.  My mom came to pick me up. I was over the moon proud of myself.  I had kicked my addiction.  Putting my things in the car, the drive home, stopping for lunch, unpacking my duffel bag… I didn’t tell her about my personal victory.  I was no longer a thumb sucker and it was my happy secret.




This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Pretty  
Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop

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4 Replies to “Summer Camp Rehab”

  1. As a past thumb-sucker…I can feel your pain! Good job kicking the habit! My retainer forced me to stop (in the 5th grade too).

  2. I love your blog! So glad I found it. This post touched me b/c I was that 5th grader, but I never even tried to stop it brought me so much comfort. I think I stopped by summer of 5th grade but more that I just outgrew it. I remember feeling such sadness when someone “accidentally” threw my thumb-sucky (blanket) away. Some of us…we needed to suck our thumbs. I pretty much find that the adults I meet who, like me, were thumbsuckers – are pretty deep characters! (-;

  3. Hmm, kind of what some people feel like with a smoking addiction? I know its not right, but still do it anyway. Hopefully, I will grow out of it.

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