Yes I have made it to 5 weeks and 4 days without eating chocolate. Still, along way to go and I can break it down into 326 days left until March the 14th 2022. Oh boy that’s going to be a Red Letter day!! I am sure that people are expecting me to cave, you know the sort of thing, “oh well, I made it 3 months”, or the patronising comments from others who might say, “you did really well to get to your birthday”. That’s just not going to happen.
I don’t want to tell you a story of feeling sorry for myself, but instead, how this chocolate challenge is empowering me. As an MS warrior of many years, the ravages that have been done to me are leaving me with little control over my daily life. Whilst giving up chocolate might eventually help me to lose a little bit of weight, not seeing it yet though and may help me be healthier, the reason that I decided to do this is more fundamental.
My life is almost always dictated by being dependant on others. From the moment I wake up to the moment I return to my bed at night I have to ask for support. If I am thirsty I ask for a cup of tea, if I am hungry I can only eat what I can reach which is usually not very healthy, like sweets at the bottom of my drawer. I can’t take myself to bed and I can’t go for a walk on my own. That’s not to say that life is horrid, far from it, I love my life, but stopping eating chocolate is my decision and is the one that makes me feel just a little bit in control. I have always been a very determined or in other words ‘bloody minded’ as my mum always called me and it’s made me stronger when I am facing what is called a debilitating illness. If I wasn’t as strong as I am, and I’m not blowing my own trumpet here, but I would never have been able to cope with the disability and indignity that I have experienced.
Going back to my bloody mindedness. From the age where I was able to dress myself and make some decisions for myself I was usually determined to go against anything that anyone told me. If I was advised to wear a vest I wouldn’t and when I was told it was in my best interests to wear sensible shoes, then on principle I wouldn’t even if I had blisters on the backs of my heels or a shoe full of blood, I wouldn’t. I have a very telling photograph of a walk through the woods with my family when I was 14 years old and shod in a pair of red platform heels which I thought were so cool, nobody else did. I am also wearing a skirt which was inappropriate for the situation but I thought I looked the bees knees. Perish the thought that I would put on a coat despite it being perishingly cold! I would rather get hyperthermia than be uncool. Today I live in black trousers, always wear socks even in June and have to have at least three layers to stay warm. Oh how time has changed me.
Today is St George’s Day and William Shakespeare’s birthday, however more importantly my Dad’s birthday. Happy birthday Dad!