Beating an Addiction (except at baseball games)

September 14, 2010

in Mixed Bag

My name is Kelly and I am an addict. A coke addict. Not the snorting addiction, the sipping one. I am powerless over Diet Coke. And I need an intervention.

The only time I had control over this addiction is when I stopped drinking all caffeinated drinks. I was able to remain caffeine free for thirteen years, but then the stress of my marriage ending brought me back into the grips of this nasty addiction. I was not able to sleep more than 4 hours a night for many months. Caffeine became a necessity as a result. It was a gradual slide towards Diet Coke. It first started with Starbucks for my daily caffeine fix. Eventually morning caffeine was not enough so I had to add Diet Coke in the afternoon.

I tell myself I am buying the last twelve pack and then I am finished. This time will be different. When I run out I do have the resolve to not replenish, but find myself racing to McDonalds by 2 p.m. Ever the voice of reason for me, AC told me how silly it is to pay $2 a day for a Diet Coke. She is right, but as I explained to her, it is a form of punishment; I am hoping the cost of my addiction will help me curb the daily consumption. I am also making it more difficult by not having it in the house. This works for awhile, but then I buy another twelve pack.

What makes this addiction worse is that I am someone who worries about the type of food my family consumes. We eat meat only a few times a week for dinner and the meat we do eat is organic. Actually, almost everything I buy is organic. I don’t consume or allow my children to consume products with artificial flavors, food coloring, high-fructose corn syrup, or partially hydrogenated oils. As an athlete in need of electrolyte replacement, I refuse to consume Gatorade.

But I drink Diet Coke.

Now that I am again restricting myself to buying Diet Coke out, I have added an additional level of shame; I am now carrying around McDonalds cups. I have thought about wearing a sign around my neck that explains I am a Diet Coke addict, but would never think of actually eating at McDonalds.

The low point in my addiction was this summer when I was walking toward Whole Foods to shop and realized I was carrying a Diet Coke from McDonalds. I needed a small brown bag to wrap around my cup. I didn’t want anyone to know this health-conscious woman about to buy organic produce and grass-fed beef was walking in with a contraband from–the horror–McDonalds. Surely an alarm would sound when I walked through the sliding doors. Or worse, security cameras would be monitoring my every move. People would avoid eye contact with me or shake their heads in pity as I made my way down the aisles sucking poison from a giant McDonalds cup.

I need to break this addiction, not just for me, but for my friends and loved ones too. AC has been repeatedly tortured by me in an over-caffeniated state as have others in my life.

Maybe I am not fully admitting to my addiction, but I don’t plan to completely give up Diet Coke. I can’t. It is impossible for me to go to a baseball game without eating peanuts and drinking Diet Coke. Not allowing myself this treat would actually take away from the game experience.

I am a Diet Coke addict.

And I am powerless to my addiction.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

JP September 14, 2010 at 10:38 am

I’m addicted to coffee. I’ve had my doctor advise me to cut back on it… but you know… it makes me happy and there’s a hell of a lot worse things I could be taking so screw it.

That’s my theory at least.

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Naked Girl in a Dress September 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

JP~ I think you are an enabler. I don’t want you leading my intervention because I think you will slip me a Diet Coke whenever I ask for one!

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NCTRNL September 14, 2010 at 10:40 am

You’re not the only one believe me. I’m amazed at the rate 12-packs disappear from refrigerator and at the empty cans laying around in the morning. Only a true addict can understand…

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Naked Girl in a Dress September 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

If you find a way to break this habit, please come back to share your tips!

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Janet DeVito September 14, 2010 at 11:05 am

I too am addicted…but to Diet Pepsi!

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T September 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Funny, as I was reading this, I was thinking… “Doesn’t she KNOW what’s in Diet Coke? The fake sugar alone is bad enough!”

Ahhh but then you spouted off all that I know about me… and now you… as a health conscious athlete and mommy.

Allow yourself a treat too, ok! We all deserve treats.

In moderation.

:)
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Naked Girl in a Dress September 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm

T~ If I could just get this habit down to drinking at baseball games I would be so happy. I am working on it!

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Beth September 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm

My boyfriend and I both share this addiction. I self-limit by only bringing one can to work with me. He, however, works from home and will sometimes go on a bender. When I come home he has what I call “Willy Wonka Eyes”.

When I try to quit I drink iced tea instead. Not as good, but it keeps me from getting stabby. But diet coke and I both know that eventually I will come crawling back, McDonald’s cup in hand….

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Naked Girl in a Dress September 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Beth,

I have also tried to switch to iced tea, but it doesn’t last more than a week. My neighbor has a ton on fresh mint in her yard and I thought the addition of the mint might make a difference. Maybe for an extra day, but it didn’t keep me away.

At least I am not alone in my addiction. There is comfort in numbers.

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beth hoffman ruzanic September 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm

what about caffeine free diet coke? that is my addiction since I have been caffiene free since before I was 20! it is full of bad stuff – but sometimes I really think I need it…sigh.

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Naked Girl in a Dress September 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Beth,

In my 13 year break from caffeine I had no interest in sodas. So it is all about the caffeine. Unfortunately for me.

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Ethan September 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Three words for you (well actually a number, two words and an attempt at addiction humor)

5-hour ENERGY

I am either on the caffiene equivalent of the patch or freebasing… You be the judge.

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Naked Girl in a Dress September 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Ohhh, tough call Ethan! I don’t think I can go there: 5 -hour energy drinks might be too much. I can’t get into the hard stuff.

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Ethan September 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm

As for your title – Beating an Addiction (except at baseball games) – let me just say, sports are passions not addictions. …and I am not in denial.

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Jenni September 14, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I am a caffeine junkie. I drink 1 – 2 cups of coffee a day. I use to be a HORRIBLE soda drinker. I’m talking 2 – 3 sodas a day. It was awful.

When my marriage ended, I gave up soda for a few months. I believe it’s what helped me go from a size 16 to 12 easily.

Now I drink one soda a day. I buy it by the 6 pack.. that way I run out when I’m due to go to the grocery store again. I usually drink it around 1pm, and that lasts me through the rest of the day for my caffeine fix.

Love you’re eating style! I feed my family the same way. Only I do let them indulge occasionally (like once a month) in a place like McD’s. But no more.. and it’s usually as a suprise treat, or if we’ve had a long busy day and they’ve behaved really well. But they’ll even tell me that my cooking is 100x’s better than eating at a fast food place.
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Canadian Bald Guy September 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I’m totally a Dr. Pepper addict. I can freely admit it and there’s just no way I’ll ever give it up.

Unless…y’know…my dentist tells me my teeth will all fall out if I don’t.
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Naked Girl in a Dress September 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm

It is tough, isn’t it? Gatorade is worse than soda so just stay away from Gatorade.

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Momma Sunshine September 15, 2010 at 5:58 am

Way back in the day I was a Coke addict. I eventually switched to diet Coke but then couldn’t keep drinking it because all that aspartame just didn’t jive with my personal health beliefs.

These days when I do have a soda, I allow myself a full-sugar Coke. Which means that I don’t have one very often at all. A treat now and then is a good thing. :-)

But, you know, cut yourself a LITTLE slack…we all need a vice. :-p
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Naked Girl in a Dress September 15, 2010 at 7:20 am

Thanks Momma Sunshine! I would like to keep the vice, but limit it. That would make me feel better about my health. And I do need to be reminded to cut myself some slack from time to time as I am very hard on myself. So thanks for reminding me!

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Frank September 15, 2010 at 8:58 am

I too, suffered from an addiction at one point in my life, though slightly different from yours, an addiction is an addiction. The one thing to keep in mind is that it really is not a problem unless it starts to interfere with your everyday life. Taking you away from family. Removing you from work. Being unable to communicate with the world around you. Or just making you feel like you should not be doing it.
I don’t know if there are Diet Coke Anonymous groups, but if you truly want to quit, there is always someone out there to help.
I suffered from a serious, hard core addiction, to the other coke. Back in the days before “crack”, we all called it “free basing” Yep, I would just buy an ounce or so of cocaine and “free base” till my hearts content. I resorted to dealing because my addiction took me from work. I lost a lot of weight and became a skinny, pasty grey skinned skeleton of myself.
My wife new something was seriously wrong and gave me one option, get help or she was leaving. Well I guess my love for her outweighed my love for cocaine. That was 20 years ago and I have not touched the stuff since that day. Re-hab, narcotics anonymous for several years, and still on ocassion, but I am a free man. I am very cautious about prescription drugs and stay away from the people who are indulging in that sort of thing.
If you want it bad enough, you can do it.

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Naked Girl in a Dress September 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

Frank,

Thank you for sharing this challenge you had in your life. I hope you were not offended by what I hope was just a comical post on my love of Diet Coke. I didn’t mean to demean people with more serious addictions. From your comment, I think you know that already, but wanted to clarify just in case.

I do hope to stop drinking Diet Coke simply because it is bad for me. Today I am going to have an iced coffee in the afternoon, but with just 1/4 cup coffee and the rest soy milk. I am hoping that gives me the pick up without all the chemicals. We will see.

Thanks for stopping by today.

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Opinionated C September 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Wow! We’ve been in the same boat. I’ve been separated for almost 2 years, and I will tell most people that my only vice is Coke / Pepsi. I’m/was/am a pop-o-holic

I’d drink pop up until 11-12 at night and then go to sleep. I crave pop more than I ever would any other drink including alcohol. Biggie size me? Yes please!

When I split from my ex and moved in on my own, I started trying to live heathier and it has included significantly replacing my pop intake and it was going good until this past May when I had an incident with my ex that caused me to finally start grieving the end of my marriage and leaving her. Since then sleep deprivation has followed and since I try not to drink much coffee or tea, like you, I’ve gravitated back towards the pop since I’m not getting much sleep.

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Naked Girl in a Dress September 16, 2010 at 6:54 am

Opinionated C~

Sleepless nights will lead you back to the caffeine, as you have figured out. It is tough when you can’t sleep, but need to function the next day so you are forced to resort to caffeine.

Get through this tough period and then try to stop drinking it. Now isn’t the time though; you need it.

I didn’t have a soda yesterday–day 1–and I am so happy about this.

Good luck with your own soda battle!

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♥ Vicki ♥ September 16, 2010 at 10:26 am

I read somewhere that if you drink one glass of water for every soda you consume, it’s not so bad. So, drink your diet coke once in a while! You only live once.
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Matty September 20, 2010 at 5:34 am

Just the fact that you go to baseball games is good enough for me to overlook the addiction.
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Naked Girl in a Dress September 20, 2010 at 7:14 am

Matty~

It isn’t that terrible of an addiction. Yesterday I was at my son’s baseball game and was confronted by one of the other parents. He and his wife read my blog and he of course teased me for showing up with a super-size diet coke. But I was at a baseball game. With peanuts!

Today is a new day and I will try to remain diet coke-free this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Grace September 27, 2010 at 8:33 pm

I love the image of you wrapping the cup in a paper bag to carry it into Whole Foods. I have a friend who was embarrassed one time when he went into WF with a woman who pitched a fit because they didn’t sell Coke products.

I feel ya. I once had a serious Diet Coke addiction. I broke it by replacing it with unsweetened tea. It’s hard, but you’re strong. You can do it!
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Naked Girl in a Dress October 2, 2010 at 8:33 am

Grace~

With my busy schedule, Diet Coke seems to be winning this battle right now. I won’t let it get the best of me though; I know I can beat this. On my successful days I have been having an iced coffee in the afternoon.

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Tonya February 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I am so with you, girl. In fact I am enjoying one right now! I only have one a day but I couldn’t function without it.

By the way, I wrote DC a love letter last week, if you are interested: http://www.lettersforlucas.com/2011/01/xoxo.html

Found you through RDC and now following. :)

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Tonya,

I can’t wait to read your letter to DC!! Thanks for visiting and following. I have been to your site before…it’s great.

I have had 2 Diet Cokes today so I am not doing well with this addiction.

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Andrea February 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I was you. Years ago. I gave up Diet Coke, despite wanting one daily at 3/3:30pm. I would hit the vending machine at work, and that was that. I weaned myself off by having a Sprite or Ginger Ale, but then gave it up totally. The soda. And now I only have some regular Coke when I need the caffeine (headaches) or Ginger Ale for belly issues, but that’s it. No need for soda unnecessarily. You can do it! You can give it up! You don’t need it!!! GO YOU!! I’m here to cheer you on!!!
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Muffy Morgan February 6, 2011 at 8:47 am

“The low point in my addiction was this summer when I was walking toward Whole Foods to shop and realized I was carrying a Diet Coke from McDonalds. I needed a small brown bag to wrap around my cup.”
SOOO FUNNY!!! I could picture this and it just cracked me up! I wish you the best of luck in kicking your addiction, but until then, thanks so much for entertaining us with it! =)
Stopping by from TRDC. Can’t wait to read more of your blog!

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 6, 2011 at 9:11 am

As of February 5, 2001 I am still drinking diet cokes. Not sure I can beat the addiction, but I plan to try again by giving them up for Lent this year. I am hoping that will help.

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Amy February 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

I get it. Totally. I recently have restricted my Dt. Coke consumption too and have been doing pretty well, aside from yesterday whne I think I had a Dt. Coke IV, but thats a different story.

Visiting from TRDC

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Law Momma February 6, 2011 at 11:54 am

I am so with you. Sometimes? I wake up thinking about Diet Coke.

I should be embarrassed to write that, but actually? It just makes me want another one.

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Too funny Law Momma! I have had way too many Diet Cokes this weekend. Am failing miserably with this soda problem.

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Ixy April 9, 2011 at 7:33 am

My university roommate had this addiction and it’s a powerful one. She wasn’t very health-conscious though, which is the amusing twist in your story. You just need to find the right motivation! I see this post was written last year – any luck so far?

Visiting from the red dress club :)

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Naked Girl in a Dress April 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm

No Ixy, I am still consuming way too many DC’s each day.

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Jessica April 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I used to be the same way, somehow I gave it up when I got pregnant and haven’t had another since. I also had no caffeine for ages but I have my coffee addiction back just as it was before. Oh well, we could have worse addictions right?
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Naked Girl in a Dress April 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm

That is great you were able to kick the habit! Maybe I should get pregnant again to stop drinking DC. Okay, maybe not. Bad idea.

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MamaRobinJ April 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Have you kicked it now? I shamefully admit I’m back to my Coke addiction. I didn’t drink any while pregnant or nursing and then very little for a long time after. But I’ve started again.

I think they put something in it ;)
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Naked Girl in a Dress April 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

No, I am still consuming. It’s a terrible habit and I am powerless over it.

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Theresa April 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

I could never give it up. I don’t know what they put in it, but I LOVE IT. Especially if its from McDonalds…

If anyone does know of a DCA group, please let me know.
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Naked Girl in a Dress April 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Theresa,

If you find a DCA group, let me know. I will do the same for you. Maybe we could even attend a meeting together.

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yvonne@attractedtoshinythings April 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Admitting you are powerless over your addiction is the first step.

That being said, I laughed at your description of wrapping your diet coke in a brown bag, you wino. I’m that way with coffee, especially iced coffee, but I’m adhd and coffee puts me in “the zone”. What if you made yourself drink twice the volume in water that you drink in diet coke? Then at least you’d be diluting the stuff in it.

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Naked Girl in a Dress April 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Yvonne,

That’s a great idea to drink twice the volume in water as Diet Coke. It might help curb the addiction too. The thought of chugging tons of water after the soda doesn’t appeal to me so it might make me think twice before popping open a can.

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Lindsay Dianne August 3, 2011 at 12:17 am

There is not an easy way out of addiction. Obviously you know how horribly awful the stuff is. The only advice I have for you, as someone who has quit a number of heavy, toxic addictions, is to take it a day at a time.
Just know that right now you’re choosing not to drink it.
Yesterday isn’t important. Tomorrow is an idea. Focus on right now.
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