By Diana Deregnier
| April 17th 2008 06:43 PM | Print
Despite Deepak Chopra's and Andrew Weil's approval, some still think chocolate is sinful. But, in my theology, sin is when there is no chocolate.
"When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all. I'm on your side when times get rough and friends just can't be found," have a bite of chocolate. It will lay thee down.
Thank goodness chocolate isn't illegal, immoral or fattening. Okay, the third is a potential if eaten in large quantities on a regular basis. Okay, so I could weigh 10, maybe 15 pounds less if I gave up chocolate -- perhaps! It depends on the replacement. There are worse things in which I might indulge.
My drug of choice is 70%, barely sweet, even sugarfree. I eat chocolate when I'm down, when I'm confused, frustrated, angry, lonely, happy, excited or proud. I reward myself, comfort myself, calm myself, and energize myself with chocolate. I am a chocoholic. And, I am not doing well with recovery.
Does it affect my life? Only if I don't have any – chocolate, that is. I have not been chocolate-less since that dreadful day in 1993. Okay, I don't remember the year; it was a long time ago. I had been in bed for two days with the flu: I ached, I shook, I had a migraine, I barely had energy to feel irritable.
Moaning and muttering, I slithered out of bed and ransacked the house for emergency change: silver dollars, Kennedy half dollars, dollar bills with Santa's picture pasted over George Washington's, and even (gasp!) the uncirculated Susan B. Anthony dollars I bought in support of recognition of important women in history. As I searched, I contemplated how much it could possibly cost to send a taxi to the market for a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips. I was too weak and unfocused to shower, dress and drive.
I made it through the night, wrapped in extra blankets, staring at the lion's head in the wood grain on the closet door – it was a cloudless night, no Rorschach there.
Some months after the dark day of chocolatelessness a pharmacy consultant prescribed magnesium to prevent migraines. Unexpectedly, I found myself not dipping into the bittersweet chips as often as usual. Now, I'm never magnesium-less either though I haven't attempted larger doses to completely eliminate the craving because, frankly, I don't want to be rid of my addiction.
Chocolate, anywhere, is like a night on the town. The occasion and my wallet dictate how richly I indulge: Straight from the oven, flourless, dark chocolate soufflé with a molten hot center oozing like lava from a volcano for the ultimate experience; bite-size candy bars for "ah, break time" and "let me get through one more hour" incidents.
Maybe, though, chocolate invites an occasional dip into immorality. In the week I visited my sister in Des Moines, Jan and I went to the original Baker’s Square, the nationally renowned pie restaurant, three times. On our last stop before the airport, the manager treated me to a piece of their newest creation to eat on the plane. They describe the European Truffle pie as “Sinfully rich, with a dark chocolate cookie crumb crust, a layer of chocolate ganache, our dark chocolate silk filling and topped with chocolate whipped cream and chocolate curls.” With guilty pleasure, ignoring 167 scowling passengers, I stuffed myself silly, and even decadently enjoyed the flight attendant’s expression of envy as I licked the last morsel from the corner of my mouth.
I redeem myself in chocolate's numerous benefits:
It entices me to read and educate myself on its nutritional merits. Dark chocolate is in fact good for you – in moderation. Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra say so, and I believe most everything they say!
It induces gratitude for its wondrous fragrance, delectable taste and the Zen-like loving state of euphoria that follows consumption.
Sometimes, it even rouses me to acceptance of life as it is.
And, it inspires the rare prayer, "Thank God, I'm not allergic!"