I wish I could say that eating an entire block of chocolate is something I’ve never done; that I was above backing up an emotional breakdown with an inhalation of as much sugar as I could find. But that would be an enormous lie. On more occasions than I can count, I’ve searched down the best sale on a block of chocolate, bought it from the self-check out and finished it in the car before I got home. Maybe it’s a girl thing, or maybe it’s an insane thing. Maybe it’s a mix of both. But for the confused partners, and the people looking for someone who gets it, I thought it was time to share the emotional process of buying and eating a block of Cadbury chocolate in one sitting – being freshly off the back of an inhalation session, and in the deep spiral of self-hatred. It’s a beautiful thing.
Step one: Unexpected spiralling of emotion commences. Usually triggered by a completely unexpected event like shoelace coming untied without noticing or not being able to find an irrelevant ballpoint pen.
Step two: Look helplessly around for a half an hour.
Step three: Rummage through every drawer (including the laundry) for emergency chocolate.
Step four: Remember you ate it all last time. Feel lost.
Step five: Get in the car under the pretense of doing the grocery shopping. Tell yourself you’re staying strong and you don’t need to sugar to cure your emotions. Take some deep breaths and think of kale / favourite bikini.
Step six: Get a trolley. Look at all the vegetables so that you aren’t too obvious about only going straight to the confectionery aisle. That would be mortifying. Feel blood pressure weirdly rise at a scary rate.
Step seven: Feel desperation set in as you pretend to care about broccolini and kale. Start to ponder where the f*** are the brightly coloured packaged things.
Step eight: Drop all pretenses. Go immediately to the confectionery aisle (number 2, I obviously know this off by heart). Feel blood cease boiling immediately.
Step nine: Tell yourself you’ll just get one of those fun-size Mars bars to satiate the craving, not a full block.
Step ten: Pick two full blocks of chocolate instead. But different flavours to last time, because tragically you only did this last weekend.
Step eleven: Pay and not make eye contact with the cashier.
Step twelve: Get in the car. Set the goal to eat as much of that block as you can before getting home so you don’t realise it, because you’re driving.
Step thirteen: Eat one row. Tell yourself you feel fine. Life makes sense again. Be calm. Put the resealable package to good use! Save the rest of the block for the next inevitable emotional meltdown.
Step fourteen: Reach into the packaging and feel dismayed that without even realising there is nothing left.
Step fifteen: Look down and see melted crumbs of chocolate covering your yoga pants. Feel ashamed at this mortifying oxymoron. Promise yourself it will never happen again and hide the chocolate wrapper so no one sees it. Feel queasy for the rest of the day.
And that, folks, is how we cope with emotions.