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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm an addict

It began as a light desire for what tasted good.

Yes, I admit that I just "liked" coffee and Diet Coke.



It's not such a problem when you have a regular schedule to keep and you can't have one of those two items on you at all times. You just enjoy it while you can.

That changes, though, when you don't keep a schedule and you are able to have one of those two with you at all times.

It starts off all innocent. Oh, I finished my last one? Better get another.

Then, it became a part of me. It went from being on the table next to me, to my hand, to an attachment on my purse that goes everywhere I do.



When I put it somewhere and I couldn't find it, I got another one out. When I finished that, I got another one out. When I found one I left somewhere and didn't know where it went, I combined it with the one I was currently drinking. (Notice the container size difference?)

It's a big joke when you finally realize just how much you consume. It doesn't affect you personally. And, it's a very socially acceptable addiction. After all, I'm not smoking or doing something really bad for me or anyone else.

It isn't a joke, though, when you realize that Diet Coke has become half of your grocery budget and you only buy it when it's on sale. You say to yourself, I should stop consuming so much of it, right?

So, I bought more coffee. After all, it's cheaper to make yourself.

I was talking with my husband recently. I asked him what I should do. He said, "You should just start weaning yourself off of it." Then, I asked him how I should go about doing that. He said, "You should just limit yourself to, like, one a day."

"Um, Honey, I don't know if you've really been paying attention to what I am telling you. But, when you (I can't believe I'm typing this!) consume a 12-pack a day, only having ONE is like going COLD TURKEY!"

What am I going to drink the rest of the day? I always have something with me. Stitch a seam. Take a drink. Stitch another. Take a drink. Make a blog post. Take a drink after each paragraph. Um, does anyone know how many paragraphs are in my blog posts? A lot. (And all you readers thought I just know that breaking up long posts is easier to read on a computer screen - insert scary, sarcastic laugh here.)

Have you noticed the tension I have in writing about this subject today? It's taken a lot of anxious energy to write this one, LOL! (Just count the number of paragraphs here.) A whole giant cup of coffee has been consumed already in the time I have written this. I am currently out of Diet Coke. Coffee is my back-up caffeine.

Yes, this is a real addiction. It has taken years of habit formation. I have real symptoms when I don't consume any for a few hours - really.

In light of the subject of my last post about eye twitching, I have decided that I need to do something about this addiction. I am starting to wonder if this addiction is part of the cause of my brain not being able to settle down at night to sleep. Although my sleeping issues started last year, for obvious reasons I hope, I can't help but wonder if the caffeine is compounding the problem. Both of these symptoms are causes of eye twitching - fatigue or lack of sleep and the over consumption of caffeine. I can't help but wonder - is this my wake up call?

I do have a doctor's appointment in early November and will be discussing this issue there as well.

Until then, I am asking you lovely readers, what would you do in this situation? How do I go about weaning my caffeine consumption? Do you know anyone who has been in this situation before?

5 comments:

Amy said...

My dear roomie - You have been addicted to caffeine as long as I have known you. The switch from coffee with flavored creamer to Diet Coke (the "normal" addiction of many)was not surprising. That Dr. Pepper, your other favorite from way back, doesn't have enough caffeine in it for you is a scary realization.

I recommend you do something similar that I did with my husband to get him weaned from two pots (POTS!!!!) of espresso per day. I would make one pot of half espresso half medium blend coffee. The second pot was 1/4 espresso, 3/4 medium blend. It took a while to slowly wean out the espresso, and he has some grumpy bear mornings, but now we are down to 1 and half pots of coffee per day, all medium blend. (It took probably 4-6 months to get through.)

Now with the Diet Coke addiction, I recommend you get Diet Coke and Caffeine Free Diet Coke and pour them in the same glass. ALWAYS DRINK FROM A GLASS, NOT THE BOTTLE OR CAN! It makes all the difference.

It comes down to making a small incremental change and not going backwards.

And you are right: Ken is nuts if he thinks you can go to just one Diet Coke! :)

Good luck and keep us updated.

Cap Creations said...

You are too funny Lori. But seriously you must stop! Set a date in the future and on that date stop! Cold turkey! When you struggle and want to get one think about God. He'll be happy with the amount of thought you are giving Him. Ask Him to help you each time you get a craving.

Or if that wont work, Google "Aspartame Side Effects". Which I believe is in Diet Coke. I have a sis in law that is soooo against any product containing aspartame. She swears that a regular soda is way better for you than a diet one because of it.

Amy said...

I suggest a weaning slowly program! Go down by 2 a day for a week and then the next week go down 4 a day! So the first week is 10 a day, the second week is 8 s day, try to go all the way down to allowing yourself only 2 caffeinated drinks a day. I had to do this, I am addicted to Diet Pepsi. I had a huge kidney stone several years ago and had to have surgery to break it up, the doc told me it was because of my caffeine consumption.

I also have found if I drink caffeine any later than 2pm I am awake all night long.

In any case and how you decide to ween yourself, GOOD LUCK because I know it isnt easy to do.

jenna said...

I had a very similiar problem with Dr. Pepper. I failed to be able to wean myself off slowly, always saying "I will start tomorrow". So I ended up just going cold turkey. I bought a pack of bottled water and always kept one with me (like I would have with the Dr.Pepper). I also pre-emptively took Excedrin to ward off the caffiene withdrawl. Haven't touched it since!

Arin said...

I, too, am addicted to Diet Coke (several a day). I haven't yet felt convicted to quit, honestly, BUT when I traveled to Ukraine in August, I was seriously worried about not having Diet Coke at my disposal. Strangely, I didn't miss it nearly as much as I thought I would. (we did have sporadic access to CocaCola Light). That glory goes to God, I never had headaches, I slept well, etc. Anyhow, my point is (finally, right?), if you feel convicted to quit, just quit! Take some ibuprofen and go cold turkey. You can do it!