When I finish this post I am going to climb into bed with a book and a bar of Valrhona Jivara 40% milk chocolate. I will eat and read and eat and read until the chocolate is finished and my eyelids are heavy and I'm ready for sleep. I'm not hungry and although the chocolate is delicious I'm sure I will have had more than enough after a few squares.
So why am I doing this?
I am doing this because I can't think of a better way to sooth away a very distressing day and I just don't want to lay there with the feelings, or share them, or contain them or explore them. In fact, I don't want to think about why I am feeling sad, terrified and furious all at once at all. There's nothing I can do to make things better and I know I'll be feeling like this for a while yet.
So I resort to the one trick that I know will work: mediocre, easy to read fiction and very good chocolate. (Funny that, years ago it would have been award winning, challenging fiction and bad chocolate but that's age and experience for you). And it will work like a charm - for a brief moment I will be transported to some exotic, improbable place, lulled by the meltingly sweet sensation in my mouth. I will turn pages, bite into another square and for a while, just for a little while, everything that is bothering me will fade to nothing. Success.
I won't feel guilty, I won't feel out of control, I won't beat myself up. In fact, I might just give myself a couple of brownie points. I am looking after myself in the best way I know. I am not taking pills, I am not buying myself shoes or handbags I can't afford, I'm not getting drunk and I'm not taking it out on someone else. I'm dealing with pain and I feel fine about it. Neither will I carry on eating chocolate for breakfast lunch and dinner tomorrow. Tomorrow I will continue to eat when I am hungry, stop when I am satisfied and generally put the food on a plate and eat it sitting down.
But not tonight. Tonight there is nothing Beyond Chocolate.