Liminal Luminous

a wandering, wondering space of devotion, creativity and freedom.
Living well

The non-superficiality of giving up chocolate for Lent

Giving up chocolate is often derided as being a small thing to give up for Lent, a triviality best left to children. And maybe it is, but this year I have found it a deep practice. 

I quit drinking and smoking many years ago, but they were both coping mechanisms for dealing with the world. I suspect I have been using chocolate in the same way. For the most part I only eat good quality dark, ethical chocolate, however my new job has chocolate biscuits available all the time and I have been eating them at a rate of about four per day. 

I am struggling in my new role, both in terms of commuting into London, but also the sheer pressure of supporting customers. To be fair most of the pressure comes from me (perfectionist that I am), but there is a lot of work to do. I would normally get home and self medicate with chocolate, but this has been unavailable to me. There are also times when I have been sorely tempted to stop and buy chocoalte on the way home from work too, but again I have stopped myself. 

Not eating chocolate, for the reason of Lent, rather than for dieting issues, has been eye opening. I have been depending on chocolate far too much. There is a part of myself saying I shouldn’t share this, that is is petty and makes me sound like a small child. But, there is a reason that people say that overeating is the woman’s drug habit of choice -we can eat and carry on with things in a way that we couldn’t if took a load of cocaine or heroin. 

I have been trying, when I go to reach for a chocolate biscuit to turn my heart to God instead, to hear Her. To offer Her my pain and to ask for help, to remind myself that I am weak, but God is strong and much better than chocolate.

4 Comment

  1. I think we’re all of us (women responsibly self-medicating) also allowed to have a moment now and then and say ‘yes, but at least I’m not off my face’. I had a powerful moment a few weeks ago when I heard about someone who was taking ketamine to deal with similar physical issues to mine. In just reaching for chocolate, rather than things that stop us functioning, we carry on being useful to others not a challenge to them – sometimes it helps to be reminded that this is an achievement of note, some days.

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