Even as I write those words images, thoughts and feelings flood my body and mind. Like a lot of relationships I’ve had this one also falls into the “it’s complicated” status. I love chocolate. I love milk chocolate particularly. My favourite for a while now has been Green & Black’s 37% cocoa milk chocolate bar (other brands are available).

I’m not addicted to chocolate. I can happily not eat chocolate. I cannot however allow chocolate to remain in the house uneaten. If there is chocolate then I will eat chocolate. I have a solution of course – I don’t keep chocolate in the house. So what does that say about my relationship to it?
And here is another thing – if there is a 100g bar of chocolate available then I will sit down and eat a 100g bar of chocolate. Not half a bar, not a little bit – the whole bar. Why? Where does that come from?

I decided not so long ago that perhaps it was time to reeducate my palette and move from milk chocolate to dark chocolate. I’m an adult after all. I started with 70% and then went to 85%. I found that I no longer wanted to eat it all in one sitting and that one 100g bar would last one week, sometimes longer. I had cracked it! Except….I don’t like dark chocolate. I can eat it, but I don’t enjoy it. And what’s the point of eating something you don’t enjoy? This is a treat after all.

And that’s the word that got me interested. Treat. What is it about chocolate that I get so much pleasure from? So I allowed myself to drift back with my eyes closed to all those early moments I associate with chocolate, the early days of our ‘relationship’. The first thing that comes to mind is that when I was young I was always told that chocolate was bad for me and I wasn’t allowed to have it. Hmm. Surely that has nothing to do with why I eat it all in one sitting and would happily eat a second bar if one was available?

I also have a strong memory of the occasion when I asked for chocolate and when I’d had that piece, asking for more. I was then given the whole bar and told I could eat as much as I liked there and then. I would imagine it would have been Cadbury’s Dairy Milk or Galaxy back then and a large bar would have been huge for a little boy of about five. I think I ate it all, in one sitting and I believe I felt pretty sick afterwards, which I’m sure was the intention. Did it put me off chocolate? Clearly not.

What’s interesting is that I have developed a specific relationship to chocolate as a result, which is what we do with all events. I know I could delve deeper to find out what chocolate represented in my relationship to my Mum. I don’t think you’d need to be a Cognitive Hypnotherapist to see it. I could then use that information to change my relationship to chocolate if I deemed it unhelpful to my life.

The truth is I am happy to consume a 100g bar of milk chocolate a week. But what if it’s not one bar, but three? And what if it’s not chocolate but something else, and that something else is having a negative impact on your life. That’s where therapy can help. Together we can discover what it is that underpins that unhelpful relationship and change it, to see it in a new way, so that you can truly enjoy it or perhaps choose not to do it any longer.

If you’re struggling with your ’chocolate` then contact me and have a chat. I don’t want you to have to eat dark chocolate instead*

*If you love dark chocolate in the way that I love milk chocolate then you might still benefit from a discussion.