When does a habit become an addiction? When does one become delusional using denial as a defence mechanism when it does?
Over the past few months I’ve had some interesting conversations with people surrounding this topic. Covid seems to present us with more than enough time to indulge, or in some cases, overindulge.
A friend remarked the other day that Creme de Menthe is nasty. Apparently she had run out of wine and the only alcohol she had at home was left over from being drizzled over ice cream quite some time before. She doesn’t consider herself an alcoholic. Yet she couldn’t go one day without alcohol. Hmmm. When had her occasional evening glass of wine turned into more than 8 ounces daily? Chalk another one up to Covid?
I love my morning coffee. I also love chocolate. Both are notorious in terms of caffeine content. While I can go days without chocolate, I’ve never gone days without coffee. Is my morning habit of coffee an addiction? I don’t think so. The odd time I’ve missed a morning I’m just a little on the lethargic side, not shakey or headachey. But maybe I am delusional. Maybe I am addicted to caffeine.
Tranks. Now those are drugs that once were my best friends. The drawback was that I couldn’t feel emotions such as anger. I merely floated through life on a cloud. Teetering on the edge of addiction, (according to my then therapist), I somehow managed to leave the pills behind more than a decade ago. I must admit that occasionally I wish I were still floating but I also realize that it is far healthier for me to feel emotions and to learn to control them.
Videogames. Sadly, I believe that I have become addicted to Candy Crush Friends. That Yeti is just so darn cute! I love the way he prances about when I pass a level. I also started playing Candy Crush Saga again after taking a year off. I started that game back in 2013 while recuperating from knee surgery. These games have become more than just a habit.
My ex was a hopeless TV addict. It drove me crazy. Half the time he didn’t even know what he was watching as he’d doze off. But God forbid if I tried to turn the idiot box off. Suddenly he was wide awake. Grrrrr.
There are a myriad of other things from sex to hoarding that can easily evolve from habit into an addiction. There are two choices. The easy one is delusion and denial. The hard one is confronting it and dealing with it.
OK. Call me delusional. I’m not ready to give up coffee, chocolate or candy crush.
I admit it. I’m an addict. I am hopelessly addicted to chocolate.
In another lifetime I had a collection of thirty-five cookbooks loaded with yummy chocolate recipes. And I recall my kids complaining to me, “Can’t you ever bake something without chocolate?” Yet somehow they always attacked the cookies, fudge and cheesecakes with vigor. And I often did humor them and bake items that didn’t contain chocolate.
I suppose that as an addiction chocolate is a relatively harmless one as compared to drugs or alcohol. But nonetheless it has its dangers.
My biggest concern is that chocolate contains caffeine. And I really watch out for caffeine. I drink real coffee only in the mornings and limit myself to a maximum of two cups delay.
Chocolate is not usually a breakfast item. Chocolate is something I crave later in the day.
A candy store near me sells a variety of individually wrapped chocolate items. Perfect! No temptation to eat an entire chocolate bar.
No Bulk Barn here in Mexico so that rules out an overabundance of numerous chocolate items.
Whenever I head to the USA my first purchase is an American Hershey bar. Hershey bars made in Mexico or Canada just don’t taste as good.
However I now have a new favorite here in Mexico. There is a bakery a mere 10 minute walk away that has chocolate truffles the size of a baseball. They cost only 10 pesos, less than 50 cents, and I nibble daily. And it lasts me an entire week!
Doesn’t it look amazing?
May 23, 2020.
This will be an interesting addition to Memoirs For Madeline, a written compilation of memories to share with my granddaughter when she is older. Celebrating my birthday quarantined in a foreign country during a pandemic is not exactly what I had in mind for this year.
I envisioned a leisurely dinner with friends at Visconti’s in Leavenworth. I’m not sure what I’ll be having for dinner this year but it will be some kind of takeout and will be eaten in my room with the TV as company.
My birthday cake this year will probably be a pingüino, Mexico’s version of a Hostess cupcake. And yes it is chocolate, my favorite. Visions of cakes from Eiffel Tower, Jeannie’s and other pastelerías float through my head. Maybe someday again.
I have wonderful memories of celebrating other birthdays in the past in various places with family and friends. And I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays in the future with others. I actually wonder just where I will be next year at this time, as this nomad is just itching to be on the move again. I’ve been in Aguascalientes for seven months now, and in all likelihood I will be here for another two months. That’s the longest stretch I’ve stayed anywhere in years since I’ve retired. Even when I was teaching full-time I traveled on weekends and holidays. But not this year.
In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the culture and the beauty of this country.
Happy Birthday Karen!