Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Four Chocolates

This is how an addicts' mind works. Keep in mind that I have been free of drugs and alcohol and in active recovery for more than ten years.
I enjoy chocolate sometimes. I am trying to watch my weight, so I try not to eat too much chocolate.
For the past couple of months, I have kept some individually wrapped Dove chocolates in a desk drawer at work. After lunch I allow myself four of these. A co-worker I know keeps a bowl of chocolates on his desk to attract and reward people to come to visit with him. This seemed like a good idea. I would go get chocolates from him sometimes. But later I got my own bowl, except I keep my bowl in a drawer, out of sight.
Today at lunch I looked forward to the chocolates. I opened the drawer to find there were only five chocolates left. Truth be told I knew that before lunch, because I checked. So I took four out. Then I thought, "If I take only three, I will have two left tomorrow, and will have been extra virtuous". So I put one back in the drawer. I unwrapped one, and bit it in half thinking "It will seem as though I have six chocolates, if I eat them by halves".
Congratulating myself on my self control and ingenuity I went back to work.
Without thinking I popped the second one in my mouth.
"There is only one left", I thought, "One might not be enough to satisfy my sweet tooth!". (Yes, I thought this with an exclamation point!)
So I unwrapped the third and bit it in half, only eating the first half.
And I thought "If I eat all five, I can buy more tonight, and all will be well." And I ate the second half of the third chocolate.
The point of this is not that I am addicted to chocolate. I am, of course. I am addicted to everything. Right now I am actively addicted to chocolate, playing basketball, watching TV, and a computer game. I am not being glib about it, I just get addicted to everything one can get addicted to. It is the nature of my genetic code and it is a disease I have.
While I was writing that I just opened the fourth chocolate and ate it, thinking "I always get four, why should I deny myself, I work hard.". No exclamation point, just a matter of fact. That fourth chocolate was always doomed.
The point of this is not even that given a choice, I choose to indulge myself. Lots of people do that, even if they are not addicts.
The point is not even how much time I spent thinking about this. I anticipate the chocolate well before lunch. Like I said, I checked the bowl for chocolates before I went to lunch. If I don't have any in the drawer I make a point to stop by a store and buy some before returning from lunch. I will not run out, after all. And I think about the chocolate when I am walking back from lunch.
I just ate the fifth chocolate. I might feel a little guilty later, but it tastes so good and creamy in my mouth right now. Was it always doomed? I don't know.
I will have to give up this little habit soon, or risk becoming more overweight. Not today though, but someday. And I will replace it with some other little habit. Something I just fall into doing without thinking about it, and before long realize that I am addicted to something else that I will need to recover from. I know that.
I guess that is the point.

Rob Seward

July 2008

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