Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I read all the time that we cannot be expected to give up something we love, not even for a short period of time. If we do so, they say, the cravings will kill us.
But isn't craving just an outward result of obsession?
I remember breaking up with a guy many decades ago. For months I looked down the street where he lived; I looked at the license plate whenever I saw a car like his. I sought out gossip and information on him. But it was an old two way street that had become hopelessly one way, and without anything in return that obsession FINALLY faded, though it took awhile. If he had said one word to me, it would have extended that obsesssion, but what I thought at the time was cruelty, was actually the best thing that could have happened. The obsession faded then disappeared.
There is nothing hopeless about Reeses. It will ALWAYS return the love. Yet I had to kick the obsession and there was only one way to do it: cold turkey. For months I craved them, and talked about them and agonized over them and fantasized about them. But, miracle of miracles, I finally started to forget how they tasted. Other things and other sensations had moved in and taken up the space that Reeses took up. I am still hyperaware of their presence: I can spot them in an instant in any setting. But I don't eat them, not even one. I had to break up with them.
I'm sure there are people who can eat a Reeses, smack their lips, crumple up the orange wrapper and go about their business. But I will obsess. The next time I see (or smell) one I will too vividly remember that special taste.
If I dip a piece of milk chocolate in peanut butter, it doesn't taste the same. The manufacturer took two delicious but (to me) non-obsessive foods and combined them in a way that I crave. I don't know what the difference is, but I know that if I eat one real, honest to God Reeses, the thought of Reeses will once again take up too much room in my brain.
My life is much more comfortable when I don't have to fight an obsession every minute of every day, and that is what it's like to give up something I love, be it human or food. But give it up I did, and much as I'd like to eat a Reeses like they do on TV, I would end up with the old obsession.
It isn't the Reeses, it's the obsession that I am so grateful to have left behind.