Let me tell you a little story about that oh so chewy minty substance.
First of all, I’ll let you know that this morning started out with a bliss 2 mile swim and yesterday I had my first 8 mile run as a 27 year old. The morning cold running through my lungs had my mood on a whole new level of elation. There’s something about the combination of the fresh misty mornings and running that makes me happier than anything else in the world.
Anyway, onwards with the tale of chewing gum. I used to use chewing gum as a stress reliever and had done for many many years. Whilst in school I would chew it in moments where I was likely to get a panic attack. A problem being that it was not allowed in school which meant if a teacher did pick up on it, then the likely hood was that I would have a panic attack. Joke was always on the teacher though as they then went from dealing with a relatively minor chewing gum situation to a student hyperventilating in fear that he was going to pass out.
Into my adult life and anxiety attacks got easier to deal with but I would still use chewing gum as a tactical way to stay focused in times of heightened stress. The act of chewing is great for a high functioning mind as it keeps me moving at all times, a bit like people who cannot help but bob there leg up and down uncontrollably. However, chewing gum started to become something I craved in moments I didn’t have it, it felt like an unhealthy relationship. In the same manor a smoker needs a cigarette, I would need my chewing gum and get stressed without it. The habit became unhealthy when I realised I was going through 3/4 packets a day and would often go through the individual pieces in quick succession due to craving the sweet taste of the shell. My car would be full of old bits, stuck between receipts and wrappers, disgusting really… I would stop by Aldi on my way home from work and chomp through an entire packet in the 15 minutes it takes to get home.
I told my girlfriend and she challenged me to give it up. Cold turkey. So, that’s what I’ve done and today marks a week since I last chewed any. My jaw is feeling good for it and I’m not craving it at all, in fact it’s starting to repulse me a little. The full challenge is to go a complete year without it, the whole of my 27th is the aim. No chewing gum at least until my 28th birthday and even then, if I’ve made it, I will most likely not.