Sweet surrender

I’ve hit bottom.

I started with a pack a day, which turned into two packs a day. Within weeks, I was inhaling up to four or five. For so recent an addiction, this one has taken hold with quite a grip. Today I did something of which I am not proud.

It started last October, about a month after I had given up alcohol, coffee and chocolate. At Halloween, when there were pounds of candy in the house, I turned away from chocolate and turned on to SweeTarts–and the powder form, Pixy Stix. We had such a large supply that I was able to make it last until Christmas, when I became distracted by other forms of sugar. The loneliness of January turned to the darkness of February and I missed my old pastel-hued habit. For Valentine’s Day I asked my husband to substitute my traditional box of chocolates with SweeTarts. He gave me a big bag of individually packaged heart-shaped ‘Tarts, five to eight to a pack. When they ran out about three weeks ago, I got the shakes.

It turns out that no grocery or drug store in my area carries them. The ones my husband found were available for a limited time for the holiday. I started making special trips out to find them and with each failure to score came worsening withdrawal. A friend gave me a tip that they’re available at the movies, which was going to be my next tactic.

This afternoon I went to the mall to drop off some watches for repair. The clerk said the repairs would take 20 minutes. My first thought was to check to see if Target stocked my substance. Sure enough, my newly expanded Target had two boxes. I grabbed both of them and resisted opening one while I waited in the checkout line.

I had 15 minutes left to kill. Ordinarily at the mall, I’m tempted to try on clothes or shoes or costume jewelry. Those didn’t interest me one iota. All I wanted was to break into the SweeTarts.

I found a bench where I pretended to check my e-mail. I pulled out a box and began to tear at the corner. I imagined what I would look like, a desperate 51-year-old woman, sitting alone on a bench at the mall on a Saturday afternoon eating Willy Wonka SweeTarts. Sheepishly, I placed the unopened box back in the bag. I picked up my watches from the repair store.

Slowly, I walked to my car. My pace quickened. I ran the rest of the way, got in the car, ripped open a box and devoured half of it. That’s more than five servings. I was fulfilled.

I know I have an addiction. I’d like to break it, truly I would. Dr. Andrew Weil, whom I follow on Twitter, just within the last day or two, tweeted advice about breaking the sugar addiction. I had considered that divine intervention and pledged to myself to confront it like an adult. But today I caved.

The remaining SweeTarts are now in a covered candy dish in the dining room, with the spare box tucked away in a drawer. I’ll try to make them last, maybe I’ll even have the courage to give the spare box to a deserving child. Maybe I’ll overcome the habit and get to where I no longer feel like a herion addict without them. Or will I just be back on the street the next day, trying to score Pixy Stix?


Filed under Foibles and Faux Pas, Food, Health, Holidays

12 responses to “Sweet surrender

  1. Ha ha. Is it okay to laugh? Your writing just made this so humorous. I used to be addicted to Sweet Tarts too. My mom and I had a tradition at Easter and Valentines to always get a bag of the seasonally shaped ones. My husband and I cut most sugar out of our lives a few years ago and I can say I have not thought about them but maybe once or twice since then. There is hope!

    • Yes, it’s more than okay to laugh. I do hope I can break the cycle. I’ve done it before but this time it has been all consuming. And, you know, I might be crazy but the heart-shaped ones taste better than the regular ones.

  2. Gina

    I’d much rather have sweet tarts then chocolate. I also love lick n aid (not sure how it is spelled) which is hard to find. Bill always gets me sweet tarts for my Christmas stocking. We have the same addiction, haha.

    • Ah, I never knew that. We’ll have to get together and party some time. Do you remember when you used to be able to buy a giant SweeTart?

      • Sweetntart

        They still sell them a t gas stations. That should tell you how bad my addiction to any kind of sweet tart is… Bottlecaps, Lik ‘m Aid, ‘Smarties’, Sweet tarts’, even grapefruit!

  3. Polly

    This is the best post yet. I loved the vivid imagery! I fondly recall the big ones, back when I was young. They had chewy ones a few years ago, but they weren’t the same, although larger. They also have those cheap suckers that are sweet tart, with two flavors. But if you bite into one, don’t inhale at the same time. (I almost asphyxiated myself one day doing that!)

    • Polly, do you remember Charms Pops? They too were large lollipops that were very sour. In seventh grade, we used to get our bus driver to stop at 7-Eleven on the way to school so we could buy those and the big SweeTarts. Mmm.

  4. Jo

    We’re shocked at the news, but we’re all here for you.
    (So where is the Betty Ford for SweeTarts?)

  5. Margie

    I’d go back to the chocolate. Dark chocolate. Apparently it has some health benefits. I can’t think of anything I’d rather be addicted to!

  6. EB

    You had recently mentioned in passing that you couldn’t find SweeTarts. Just this past week I went to two candy stores that sell retro contraband like candy cigarettes, neither one had SweeTarts! Good thing or when they raided your house it could have led them to me as a supplier! They might have come and taken all the jelly beans I’m hoarding!

  7. I grew up with sugar. sooooooo much sugar. I have been spending the past year trying to curve my need (yes its a need – not a desire) for sugar. At age 25, I offer 4 things that have helped me

    1 – shakeology for breakfast (its like a healthy chocolate milk shake) – I can send you a sample if interested
    2 – frozen berries – i like blueberries best but strawberries and rasberries are easy to find
    3 – 25 calorie made with real fruit popsickles
    4 – pomegranate infused craisens and/or yogurt covered raisens.

    maybe any combination of these can help you?

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