Saturday, June 21, 2014

Detox

So, I have a lot of vices.  Nothing illegal or consciousness-altering, and I'm about as boring sexually as a concrete block, but I've managed to rack up a few bad habits.  I'm super lazy.  I will nap an entire weekend.  I don't really do any sort of appreciable exercise beyond walking the dog and hiking around work.  I eat out a lot.  When I don't eat out, I have the diet of a college frat boy.  Onion dip is a food group in my house.

I am also addicted to Diet Pepsi.

I am not using the word "addicted" hyperbolically.  Five and six cans a day.  I drink it with breakfast.  I can have it late at night and still be able to sleep.  I get very substantial checks from can recycling.  For a while, I was actually a Diet Pepsi Max devotee, which has more caffeine than the usual stuff.  I managed to get myself back down to the regular stuff, and occasionally the decaf.  I have clutched the can uttering the phrase "from my cold, dead hands."

I know it's awful for me.  My father is a dentist, so I know what it's doing to my teeth.  My pH is distressingly low (I lick pH paper once in a while, it always turns orange or red).  I'm sure my bones are borderline birdlike.  My skin is a wreck.  I imagine the aspartame is doing all sorts of terrible things to my brain and heart and pancreas.

I woke up two weeks ago, and discovered that I was out.  None in the fridge, none at work.  I thought, okay, that's probably a good thing.  If I want it, I have to leave the house.  For a week, I was Queen of the 7-11.

About 6 days ago, I didn't have time to make my morning Super Big Gulp run (yes, I consume soda by the bucketful).  I nearly fell asleep teaching children, and I take prescription meds for ADHD.  You know, the sort of drugs that Hollywood starlets like to snort to get high?  Yes, I can sleep with that in my system.  I needed the caffeine ON TOP of all this in order to stay awake during my job.

I interrupt this narrative to express my disapproval of the misuse of prescription stimulants.  I genuinely require these medications to function in society.  Because of the recreational abuse of these drugs, I have to jump through many more hoops to get them than the average prescription.  The irony is that I cannot focus long enough to jump through the hoops unless I have my medications in my system.  If I run out of meds before I can jump through the hoops, my life just spirals out of control until someone reminds me to call my doctor for a triplicate prescription, go fetch that slip of paper, drive it to the pharmacy, wait a few hours, and drive back to the pharmacy to pick them up.  Unmedicated, each of those steps is a massive accomplishment.  It can take several days.  The ethics of criminalizing recreational drug use is a discussion for a different day.  Today's message:  Stop taking my medications for fun, assholes.  We now return to the Diet Pepsi story.

That day, as I was greedily slurking down an unreasonably large cup of bubbly brown aspartame acid at lunch, I admitted I have a problem.

The next morning, I woke up and decided to go just one day without my liquid crutch.  I can do anything for just one day, right?  Immediately, I became aware of how much fluid I am consuming all the time.  If I am not pouring liquid in my face, I don't know what to do.  I figured tea was a safe caffeine replacement.  I drank about three quarts of unsweetened iced black tea, and I was a little twitchy and fiendy, but I made it to bedtime without straying.  Yeah.  Go me.

The morning after that, I woke up and decided to go another day.  I spent a lot of time white-knuckling my armrests, and lot of time fantasizing about the crackpop-shhhhh noise of a can being opened.  More iced tea was consumed.  I continued to be a little twitchy.  I made it to bedtime again.  Woo, I am an animal.

The morning after that, weird competitive pride set in, and I was mostly determined to not break the streak.

I have been Diet Pepsi free for 5 days.

I have ingested a LOT of unsweetened iced black tea.

I'm still a little fiendy.

16 comments:

  1. WELL DONE!

    Really, though - congratulations. It's hard breaking a streak like that, particularly when your brain is craving a stimulant because of ADHD. I know a few people online with ADHD who use the ECA stack method, with ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin (disclaimer - ephedrine floats in and out of legality across the US, as it's an feedstock for meth production, so never buy it in bulk); tea is the most recommended for the caffeine stimulant, as the dosage is easier to control. Good luck with staying pepsi free!

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    1. I don't have to mess with ephedra, as I do have a rather intricate method of not running out of my prescription. I don't know if I'm as addicted to the caffeine as I am the whole package- the noise of the can, the acidity, the fizz….

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  2. Substitute Coke Zero for Diet Pepsi, and I'm you. Five days is an achievement! Congrats and good luck continuing the streak.

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    1. I can't do any of the Splenda products- they make me smell diabetic!

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  3. Awesome! Congratulations and go get 'em! Grrrrrrrr
    I used to be addicted to tab a long time ago and then diet coke and then it started to make me feel weird. Now I'd just rather take the sugar hit. :-)

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    1. I'm pretty sure I can't do the real stuff either… I would backslide HARD.

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  4. i need to get off the Pepper. i did it when i was preggers, but apparently me, alone is not good enough for my will power to pull through. it's my goal tho. this year. by December, i will be off the Pepper.

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    1. I'm mostly doing it because I got tired of always looking for a fix.

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  5. (also, all my captchas lately have been house numbers. i find that to be astoundingly creepy, google)

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    1. I think it's adorable when Google asks me to log into my account. Awww. Like they aren't watching my every move. YOU KNOW WHO THE HELL I AM, GOOGLE.

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  6. Great. Now I'm worried I smell diabetic. Thanks L.

    Good for you though. Is something in the air? Big changes, and all.

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    1. I've never met anyone else with this particular Splenda problem. I'm the only one I know who becomes Captain Ketone.

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    2. LOL. Captain Ketone. Permission to put that on your gravestone?

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    3. Only if it's followed by "Haunting the local Pepsi bottling facility since >insert date of death here<"

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  7. I like reading about other people's vices and addictions, it makes me feel less alone in the otherwise (nauseatingly) clean, bright and friendly Swedish world.

    That recreational meds thing? I suffer from anxiety. Ask me how easy it is to get something that ACTUALLY helps (benzos) when it is also one of the most addictive things you can take... Hoops, loops, sell-your-grandma-on-the-corner.

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    1. I'm sure Sweden has addicts to all kinds of things- you're just better than Americans at keeping your mouths shut!

      Seriously, recreational-drug-seekers, step off our meds. You're ruining it for the rest of us.

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