I have never used an illegal drug in my life. I don't smoke. I have a beer or a glass of wine here and there, but it's become pretty rare lately. Every once in a great while, I have one mixed drink: my favorite, a vanilla Stoli and Frangelico on the rocks (with a splash of Godiva if I'm feeling really crazy!) on the rocks. And I'll drink a good Sangria whenever I can find one, but that's not often either so it hardly counts. I don't gamble. I rarely swear. My life is, when it comes to vices, pretty vanilla. My one problem has been pop. Or soda, for my friends on the east coast.
For a long time I drank mostly Coca-Cola. Not Pepsi. Not generic cola. It had to be Coke. While D. was in Iraq in 2005, I drank 2 20 oz. bottles of Coke every single day. I was addicted. And then the caffeine started doing things to my stomach and I ended up in the ER late one evening with what I thought could be appendicitis. Turned out my stomach was just rebelling against all that caffeine. (I won't even tell you what my teeth were doing with all that sugar!)
I'd been talking about giving up pop for quite a while. I knew it was bad for me, and the calories! Sheesh! But every time I tried, I would make it a day or so and I would need a hit. It was pathetic. After the ER visit, though, I decided to wean myself from Coke. I replaced it with Sprite, something caffeine-free and a drink I didn't love, thinking it would be easy that way. It worked. Sort of.
I stopped drinking Coke and in fact I tried it once a few weeks ago and couldn't stand it. It tasted like pure syrup to me. I haven't had it in over a year and I can't see myself going back. But I've been drinking just as much Sprite, or occasionally some Mountain Dew, as I had been Coke. So all I did was replace one addiction for another.
Now I know that the Sprite addiction doesn't make much sense. There's not even caffeine in it. It was purely a psychological addiction. If D. was away and I was finally settling down for the night with some me-time, I couldn't wait to pour myself an icy glass of Sprite. If I was stressed at work, I needed some Sprite to help. There was something about the sugar rush and the carbonation that just made me feel better. But again, I knew how bad it was for me. And I don't really want to be ADDICTED to anything.
Just before Christmas last year I got a bad case of strep throat. And I couldn't drink pop at all. The bubbles really hurt my throat. It was 3 days before my throat felt well enough to try it, but I thought...ok, I'm 3 days in without any. This is a start. So I stopped drinking pop. No pop. At all.
As of today, it's been three weeks. And I'm actually doing okay. It hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I've been drinking a lot more water, which is good for me as well. I'm setting a good example for my kids on how to live a healthier lifestyle. And it feels good that pop doesn't have the hold on me that it used to. I'm glad I did it, and I know that this something I can keep doing.
But truthfully, I'm a little resentful. It was my one vice, and I'll miss it. Maybe I should think of a new one....any suggestions? :)