I have become addicted to chocolates. No, that’s NOT all right. But thank you, I appreciate you’re trying to make me feel better. You are very kind.
It started one night after an especially long and less than happy day. As I was slumped on the couch, exhausted and brain-dead, watching some mindless sitcom playing on telly, I was seized by a sudden craving for the taste of sweet cocoa. It came, and it gripped me, without warning, and I could not push it away.
So, I grabbed my car keys and drove to the nearest supermarket for a bar of Kit Kat. I know: people always laugh at my humble, if plebeian, choice of chocolate. Most of my friends, even those short of calling themselves sophisticated, have progressed to Ferraro Rocher or Lindt, while connoisseurs would of course allow nothing less than the likes of Godiva or Chocolatier to grace their lips.
Yet, I have stuck stubbornly to my Nestle bar; nothing beats the glossy red foil that calls for me to ‘Have A Break, Have A Kit Kat”. I don’t know I can explain why; they remind me of my childhood, perhaps.
And since that night, I find myself reaching for a serving after dinner each evening. Only one finger — in case you’re wondering. Plus or minus half. Depending on prevailing state of mind.
Thank you. Yes, I agree: it’s not much. But it is still an addiction. And I have tried to overcome it. You know how medical experts advise wine-lovers to have at least two NADs (Non Alcohol Days) every week? Well, I have tried my own NCDs (Non Chocolate Days), but they just haven’t worked.
First, I timed my dinners so that I had to call mum straight after washing up. But because the phone’s adjacent to the fridge, there was not sufficient distance to stop me from stretching the telephone cord, opening the refrigerator door, breaking a chocolate finger, and nibbling while speaking. There was not sufficient willpower either. Nope, (sigh), none at all.
Then, I moved the phone to the study. However, that only meant I left my sin to later that night. And that was worse.
Stop stocking it — is the obvious answer, I suppose. But that could also mean another trip to the supermarket at another ungodly hour.
So, now, I am actually in the process of trialling a new strategy: replace one addiction with another; a negative one with a less negative one. And hopefully my enthusiasm for the second will subdue the “cold turkey” agony in rehabilitating from the first.
Hence, I am sitting here and writing this post – although I’m beginning to suspect that this isn’t such a smart idea, after all.
Writing is hardly the sort of debauchery that offers instant sensory gratification; it is a deliberate, meditative exercise that requires deliberate, meditative effort. If anything, writing induces a stronger craving for chocolate than it extinguishes it.
Research has it that chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that help conteract depression. And most who write will tell you that writing (or failing to write) can be utterly depressing.
I have lost count the number of times I have stood up, walked to the fridge, been tempted to succumb, restrained myself, walked back to the study and sat down.
Perhaps, I should have gone for a walk, watered the garden, or better still, done some housework. Nevertheless, I am determined to sit this one out, break this vicious circuit, even if it’s for one day, even if I cannot nurture writing into a worthy addiction, which is a shame, because although it does not burn as many calories as some of the other activities do, one can be confident that unlike chocolates (and men) it stays away from the thighs and hips.
And well, well, look at that: it is almost bedtime, and the new bar of Kit Kat has remained untouched!