I am cold turkey and this past week the demons of my addiction have stirred a bit. And while most people laugh about my demons, to me they put up a fight and they can make my lie somewhat uncomfortable.
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, no medical dependencies, no illegal drugs either. No, for me it’s goddam’ chocolate. And I am a spoiled bastard, too. Although according to Keith Richards book “Life” one should always go with the purest and finest to avoid issues and complications. Now whole mild chocolate is great, it is the swiss army knife of chocolate, it soothes the urge, but it does not necessarily provide ecstasy – that moment of “Whooa, Dude, That Was Awesome”. That comes for me from Italian Hazelnut Nougat – not Belgian, not Turkish, no Italian. Just imagining as I write this how I unwrap the little bugger from its golden aluminum-paper sandwich foil makes my mouth water. That first moment when you feel this smooth, nutty and sweet sensation expand in your mouth – Oh man, it barely gets better than that. Barely is underlined here, because there are clearly things that are better, BUT not many.
However, it is not just conveyor-belt-eating of Gianduja Nougat, no sometimes like any addict you want to binge and purge. Then my friends, my choice is clearly an aromatic 750gr jar (or bigger, but not the 5kg jar, that would be just obscene and vulgar) of Nutella and a big spoon – OH MY GOD!!!
But here is the unique characteristic about being a Nougat-o-holic, you don’t loose your senses when you go at it (maybe a bit), no you can still reflect and observe your behavior, like I do now. In late December of last year I made a promise and a challenge to myself. Evidently, we had just come off the Christmas holidays – which to me is like a Chocolate Woodstock.
On January 1st 2014, I went completely cold turkey off chocolate for 100 days – no exceptions, no excuses. The first few days were tough, much tougher than I thought, which surprised me and annoyed the hell out of me. But then my mind and my body got accustomed to the new boundary conditions. In fact I lasted for 111 days, until April 21st 2014. Then, feeling all smug and proud, I chose to end my abstinence, thinking I can “manage and control” my chocolatic intake. For a few weeks, I was doing very well, but then I binged a little while we were in Italy – a little sorrow and a great selection make for a perfect seductive environment – think you are coming home from work, the lights are dimmed, and you see a naked slender leg waving from the couch around the living room corner, while Marvin Gaye croons softly “Let’s get it on”. You know there won’t be any dinner, but it’ll still be a fun feast. Anyway, I digress, I was bingeing a little and that was the start of my falling of the often cited band-wagon.
The lyrics of “Mr Brownstone” by Guns’N’Roses made so much more sense to me all of a sudden. “I used to do a little, but the little wouldn’t do it. So the little got more and more.” You can imagine, my chocolate consumption increased and I bought quite the “stash” in Italy to bring back home. That was May and I n July I attempted to repeat my 111 day abstinence, only to cave in after 11 days – pathetic.
Now it is September and I have managed 19 days – it is still a challenge, especially when I am hungry or when I have had a tough day at work or simply when the beast in me rants and rages at the stars (yes, this is borrowed from a Johnny Cash song). But I have developed coping mechanisms. Like yesterday evening, I bought myself 3 Rocher pralines (Wafer balls covered in chocolate and ground Hazelnuts – AND best of all – filled with Nutella), which I proceeded to give away, after my demons went to sleep.
I know re-reading this entry, it sounds pretty pathetic, but I thought I’d share it anyway. You see the thing is, if I drank or did actual drugs the way I can go apeshit on chocolate, my friends and family would have had a an intervention already. But with chocolate it’s oh so cute and it is laughed off. Yet, it sort of scares me that there is something so mundane as chocolate (granted it’s the good stuff, from Italy) in my life, that can make my brain obsess, that I even feel compelled to write in my blog about it – that is a sad state of affairs, don’t you think.
Anyway, enough of the rambling. Take her easy for the rest of us sinners (yes, this is a quote from the stranger in The Big Lebowski) and stay sharp.
Sayonara Dudes and Chicas.