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The Candy Countdown

Halloween is a holiday that completely freaks me out, especially since becoming a mom with trick-or-treaters. It’s not because of all the ghosts, goblins and monsters. Sure, they’re scary, but there is one thing that will cause my anxiety to go through the roof at the start of this season.....the candy.

What is my plan for the candy?

I know I can’t trust myself around Halloween candy. In years past we would go to my parent’s house. They live in the perfect neighborhood for trick-or-treating, and then I didn’t have to buy any candy. It was a win-win. Sure, I would have to deal with the candy afterwards, but I had a plan for that. We donated most of the candy. The rest was hidden by my husband or locked up in the house at my request. It was a perfect plan. Easy, right? Wrong. Even with all of this planning and strategizing I somehow managed to cave. Only every single time.

I would fight the urge. I would resist the desire. I would try to avoid it, ignore it, and pretend the impulse wasn’t there. I would try to talk myself out of it. I would argue with myself. I would yell at myself. All of this worked, but only temporarily. It was just a matter of time before I would break open the bag and start with one piece. That would quickly escalate to double digits. Before I knew it, I was sitting in a sea of candy wrappers and tears. Foiled again.

So much effort, and every time I was defeated.

As we’re getting ready for our very first Halloween in Georgia, I recognize that my perfect plan of resistance and avoidance will need to change. We live in a large neighborhood. The trick-or-treaters will be out in full force, my kids included. There is nowhere to run, no place to hide. It’s time to face the candy.

Halloween is in one week.The kids have their costumes, we got our pumpkins, and we already have a ton of candy in the house.

I have considered breaking into the bag.

The familiar thoughts start to rush in; “Just take one”, “You can always get more”, “One piece won’t hurt”. HA! Like a detective, I’m on to these thoughts. This time, instead of trying to run from them I let them in.

I tell myself I can have all the candy I want.

I want to open the bag, and I want to eat it all.

I allow the urge. I welcome the desire.

I stop fighting it. I stop judging it. I just let it be. I let me be.

This gives me space.

It gives me room to breathe.

I have time to explore why I think I want the candy.

I can start to see it for what it is. It’s not about the candy. It never was.

This is a habit. It’s a very old pattern of distraction, control, and escape.

This is my brain playing games.

I really don’t want the candy.

I couldn’t see this when I was too busy fighting it.

My mind is blown.

Things are already different this year.

The candy doesn’t have control.

In this moment, I have taken back the wheel.

I am winning.

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