The Daily Prompt: Vice


I once heard a story about a monkey who decided to give up eating bananas. Even though the monkey was  committed to his goal, when he saw a banana in a tree far away, he decided to sit closer to it. That way he could at least enjoy looking at it. Nothing wrong with that!

Soon, he decided to move even closer to the banana. And then closer. And then closer yet. Before long he was sitting right next to it. At that point, the monkey reached over and grabbed, peeled and ate the banana, telling himself that he would give up bananas “tomorrow.”

I often use that story when talking to my psychotherapy clients about breaking their addictive patterns. If you have the addictive substance, such as drugs, alcohol, a particular type of food, porn, etc., in close proximity to you, it is unlikely you will be able to keep your commitment to abstain.

That is the way I am about chocolate. Dark chocolate to be specific. A little dark chocolate can be healthy, but if I have some, I usually want more. If it is in the house, and it comes to my mind, it won’t be long before I go looking for it. Once it is in plain sight, forget about abstaining, I will do that “tomorrow.”

I don’t intend to ever give up dark chocolate completely, but when I am serious about stopping my over-indulgence, I know to not have it in the house and before I leave the house to recommit to myself not seek it out.

(Note: At the moment, I’m congratulating myself for choosing to use a photo of a monkey eating a banana for this post rather than a photo of a piece of dark chocolate. That way, every time I see this post in the future, I won’t be tempted to go buy some!)


Written for The Daily Prompt: Vice

Photo Credit: By Mouli kundu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

16 thoughts on “The Daily Prompt: Vice

  1. Good post Karuna. Addiction is really a serious problem. Slowly it has crept into almost everyones’ lives in the form of porn, masturbation, sex, mobile phones, TV, consuming junk food, nail biting, etc. This is definitely a good reminder to all who are trying to quit some bad habit. I am trying to quit more than one myself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, that reminds me of a “Coffee and Cigarettes” vignette with Tom and Iggy and the one says, “You know the beauty of quitting is now that I’ve I can have one…you know, since I’m quit”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. See, this is why you are such a good therapist!! I would, however, change one word in your narrative. Instead of “unlikely”, I would put
    “less likely”, but then, that’s just me, aiming for being less absolute in my life…
    Great story for “vice”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a recovering addict myself, I like the idea that it’s so simple. But particularly with addictions like alcohol, it is impossible to be completely distant from it. Most stores here in the UK have alcohol stacked in visible locations to attract impulse buyers. It’s on TV constantly and a big part of social norms and dialogues. With the best intentions, I keep it out of my house, but regardless of that it is always around me everywhere else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think it is at all simple, and didn’t mean to imply that it was. Today when I went out after writing the post, I saw some dark chocolate almond bark and bought it, and then ate more of it than I should have. No addiction is easy to break but I think substance addictions such as drugs, alcohol and nicotine are particularly hard.

      I believe not having the items we are addicted to in the house is important but you are right, we are surrounded by enticements.

      Liked by 1 person

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