My name is Stephen Blake and I am an addict.
I first became addicted when I was 6 or 7. It was my mother who got me onto the stuff. In her defence she probably didn’t realize the potency of the substance or my susceptibility to it. At the time “addiction” wasn’t a word that was particularly bandied around regularly at the nation’s breakfast tables so people thought little of my daily cravings.
Now though addiction is an all too common concept. In fact it is almost the norm. We are all addicted to something or so they say.
For me, ladies and gentleman, the vice of choice is chocolate.
Up until now I’ve always made light of it. It is even been a source of humour. When Karen and I go out for a meal (on the rare occasions that we have both the money and the energy) and order an after meal coffee it is always amusing to see the waiters mistakenly assuming that it is Karen who has ordered the hot chocolate and me the coffee. Why guys are deemed less likely to have a sweet-tooth is puzzling.
Anyway, I am sure I have mentioned in the past that I need to have “a chocolate bar every day”.
This is a lie. A falsehood that I have deliberately been bamboozling myself with.
If I was to assess the situation empirically I would have to admit that I must get through at least 4 chocolate bars a day. Sometimes even more.
Is this excessive?
I mean compared to say 25 or 50, 4 hardly seems like a health crisis. And yet a tiny sense of worry is beginning to flower on the herbaceous borders of my mind. Too much sugar. Too much sugar. Diabetes. Diabetes. It is like a mantra of impending doom.
Biologically the human body isn’t really engineered to process sugar. I know this. And yet my craving is such that I just don’t care.
My body shape also works against me. I am a “slim Jim”. Always have been. I can eat as much as I like and be as unhealthy as I like and I never put on any weight. I have the metabolism of an Olympic mouse. Hence there are no outward signs of the damage I might be doing to myself. My veins could be clogging themselves to death and I wouldn’t know a damned thing about it.
It’s a scary thought. But one that can easily be cancelled out by a Cadbury’s Boost or a Caramel Chunky Kit-Kat.
In my favour though, I went and had a blood test / weight ratio test thingie at my local doctors a few weeks ago. I was finally ready to bite the chocolate-free bullet if my health required it. But – gasp! – my blood pressure and weight relationship were on such good terms that the phrase “extended honeymoon” barely covered the depth of their mutual respect and contentment.
I am exceedingly fit. It seems I am not an obvious candidate for a heart attack.
Hence I rewarded myself with a Mars bar.
So where am I now on all of this? Well, my theory is that my natural paranoia and neuroses is counteracting any harmful effects that my chocolate excesses might be inflicting upon my body. My worry is eliminating the build up of sugar based toxins.
So provided I continue to feel guilty about it I can continue to munch my way through the sweet counter of my local newsagents on a daily basis.
Which changes the nature of my habit completely.
It is no longer an addiction. It is a form of Catholicism.
I am a holy man and my rod and my staff are Curly-Wurlys.
Please bring me some chocolate when you next come to confession.