You think you know how you’ll react in a crisis. You assume you’ll be calm and collected. But then it happens and you’re not. Last week I realized there was no chocolate in my house, and because of a blizzard raging outside, literally no way to get more. (Guys, you may chuckle, but the women understand). It was then I realized the depth of my addiction…
Like many chocolate lovers, I eat a small piece (or several) everyday. It’s so routine that I take it for granted like the sun shining or getting water from my kitchen tap. I simply reach for chocolate and it’s there.
Except for one day last week.
I’d been so busy that I’d forgotten to order my usual (blushing with embarrassment) case of 12 “Strong Dark Chocolove” bars from Amazon. It literally arrives in commercial packaging, like a store counter would display.
Now, having no chocolate is usually no problem. If I happen to run out of stock — a rare occasion — I drive to the nearest store and buy some.
Not when there’s a blizzard outside.
Yes, for the first time in years, I was in a house without chocolate. It was then I realized there are 5 stages to coping with this situation…
Disbelief — I admit, it took a while to come to grips. I kept poking around my candy cabinet for anything cacao-related. I couldn’t believe I was truly out. There had to be something hidden — a petrified Ghirardelli square, a dusty fragment of a Dove bar, a fossilized Hershey Kiss.
But there was nothing. A panic started rising. I took deep breaths to calm down.
Denial – One of the toughest moments came after lunch when I usually have my first bite of Chocolove. Only this time there was nothing. Okay, I thought, I’ll just eat a few graham crackers. They’re sweet. I’ll get the same high as chocolate. Right?
Please. My taste buds weren’t fooled a second. There was no warm creaminess, no delicious cocoa teasing the taste buds. Like a bad date, there was no chemistry. I quickly learned eating anything-but-chocolate after a meal is like giving Yankees tickets to a Mets fan. It doesn’t work.
Bitchiness – I willed myself to calm down, feeling a snark coming on. That’s when I realized another component to chocolate love. Apparently chocolate has chemicals like theobromine and phenlethylamine that act on the dopamine levels of the brain. They help calm us. Maybe that’s why hormonal women, especially, make a crazed lunge for the Snickers and Hersheys with almonds.
Wow, I thought, this explained my personality…a lot. Being naturally “high strung” I need chocolate to level out, chill, and well … be human. How was I going to survive the next 24 hours? More important, how would my family?
Melancholy – That afternoon, I sat looking out the window, watching snow falling and felt forlorn. I contemplated a world without chocolate. I thought of how a mad dictator could actually control people – especially the women — by hoarding the supply of cocoa beans into the country.
I ate my dinner that night and yet another phase of this addiction hit me. How will my taste buds know when this meal has ended? Without that hit of 70% dark to act as a signal, will I keep noshing forever? Will I gain 50 pounds in one day?
Gratitude – The next morning I rose from bed and opened the curtains to a beautiful sunrise. The roads were still icy. Schools were closed. Again, it would probably be another day without chocolate. I steeled myself for the next 24 hours.
Yet as I moved through the morning, a strange feeling came over me. I realized I was thankful.
This world can be scary, dangerous, and crazy making, but I have a secret weapon.
I have this little substance that makes life sweeter, better, tastes good, and even calms me. It costs little and is easy (most of the time) to procure.
I realized then how much chocolate does for me and vowed never to let this happen again.
That afternoon, I sat at my computer and ordered my usual box of 12 Super Dark Chocoloves. To make sure I never went through this crisis again… I was tempted to order two.
Ha ha. Just kidding.
Is anyone else addicted to chocolate to this degree? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share. Thank you!