If I were in a 12 step program, this is probably what my first meeting would sound like:
“Ladies and gentlemen, can we please quiet down, we’re ready to start our meeting. Tonight, our newest member will introduce herself. Please give a warm welcome to…..Nancy!”
“Ahem. Hello, my name is Nancy and I’m addicted to diet coke.”
Yes, that’s how my first meeting would go. Then, as I moved on to personal therapy, my first session might go something like this:
“Can you tell me what, in your opinion, caused you to be addicted to diet coke”?
“Um, well yes, I think so. A very long time ago I used to have a house mate and she used to buy diet coke at Costco all the time. There was always diet coke in the house. I think I started drinking it because it was there”.
“Ok, go on.”
“Then, when I realized that there weren’t any calories in it, I thought this was a good thing and so I drank as much of it as I wanted.”
“Hmmm, I see. How much were you drinking back then?”
“Well, um, I would say about one or two cans a day.”
“Really? And how about now? How many would you say you drink now?”
“Uh, um, uh, well now, let’s see…..If I have diet coke in the house, I would say that I could easily drink a 2 liter bottle all to myself. Although, I much prefer it from a fountain and it’s easier to get that way as you don’t even have to get out of the car.”
“All to yourself? Wow. Um, have you thought about a detox program, or, have you heard of aspartame?”
“What would a detox program entail?”
“It would entail NOT DRINKING ANY MORE DIET COKE and perhaps putting some PLAIN WATER into your body for a change. It might mean some pretty intense head aches and possibly some irritability, but I think you could handle it.”
“Um, Mr. Therapist, I don’t think I can do it. I mean, plain water??? Are you serious? Isn’t there water actually IN diet coke? Why would I need water?”
And so, this is my dilemma. This seems like such an easy problem to fix, and yet, I really don’t want to.
***Sigh. What’s a girl to do? I need to do something because this diet coke thing is getting out of hand. The truth is, in addition to the diet coke, I drink about two cups of coffee in the mornings and sometimes at night. Clearly there is a caffeine addiction here. Don't tell anyone, but I'm also addicted to FOOD. You know, there are some pretty impressive studies out there that link diet sodas (aspartame) and excess weight to cancer. Sometimes, I wonder, if this is what happened to me.
People always tell me to let go of the past and move forward. That sounds great, but, how do you move forward? When you have used food (and drink...the non alcoholic kind) to comfort and soothe you in times of emotional stress and anxiety, it's very hard to quit "cold turkey". I know I need to put on my big girl panties and just do it. I'm debating about doing the whole Weight Watcher thing again (for the umpteenth time). I don't know. I'm just in a predicament right now and I'm not sure how to get out of it. Sigh***