Today’s Deep-Fried Friday has a very personal tone. You see, I have an addiction and need help. Ever since my college years, I have fondly clutched one form of Coca-Cola or another in my hands and sipped with sweet satisfaction.
Okay, fine – I gulp it. Like an NFL linebacker after a big tackle with his Gatorade on the sidelines, I slam down as much sugary, caffeinated nectar of the gods as my body can possibly handle.
I have always liked Coca-Cola. Everything about it. From its lovely script logo to the “I’d like to teach the world to sing” commercial to those cute polar bears at Christmas. I have collected a few unusual bottles and cans – including two from other countries. I carry a bottle opener in my car for when I can find the best Coke – pure sugar cane Coca-Cola in a glass bottle “hecho in Mexico” (made in Mexico). I love its sweetness and bubbliness and even that sensation of the fizz trickling down my throat.
“I’d like to buy the world a Coke.”
But the worst of it started one summer when I was a breakfast waitress at a beachfront hotel in Corpus Christi. The whole experience ruined me. I was a terrible waitress, forgetting everything and spilling everywhere. I had to leave my house at 5:30 a.m. to get to the restaurant to set up, and the only way I could make it through the mornings was to start drinking soda when I got there. Before that summer, I drank Coke, but not until lunch or so. By the end of that August, I could hold all of my tips in a baby food jar and I was addicted to Coke.
Fast forward a few years later, I realized that I was sucking down 4-6 cans of Coke a day. The only person I knew doing worse in the soda scene drank a six-pack of Mountain Dew daily, and his hands literally shook from the caffeine intake.
Since then, I have cut down to 2-3 Cokes per day, but despite many efforts to quit, my only success was during my first pregnancy. I was very well behaved as I only had one Coke for the entire nine months. But as I lay in my hospital bed, happily eyeing the precious bundle I had carefully grown in my womb, I was asked if I wanted anything. My response, “A Coke would be nice.”
And it was back. The addiction.
Seriously, how can you resist them?
When it comes down to it, I am weak. I am like a cigarette smoker who knows deep down that the habit is polluting his lungs and causing his breath to smell like his grandmother’s ashtray. He swears that he wants to quit for the sake of his health. But when you ask whether he wants to put that cigarette down, the one that is in his hands at the moment, that he presses to his lips and inhales with pleasure, the answer is no. “I’ll quit after this one.” That’s me.
I need to quit my Coke addiction. (Clarification: Coca-Cola.) It is correlated with bone loss, Diabetes II, and fatigue (through sugar up and downs). I even saw a report that too much caffeine decreases blood flow in the brain. For the sake of my health, I need to put down the dang brown sugary liquid . . . that tastes like ambrosia, that I dream of swimming in a fountain of, that I want to lick off the lips of my hunky husband . . .
You see? I’m hopeless.
This classic commercial does not help.
So I am asking for help in any form you wish to give it. Think I need encouragement? Cheer me on! Think I need to hear more about the dangers of soda consumption? Pipe up and tell me what they are! Think you have a withdrawal program that will work for me? Tell me what your secret is! Think I need to be yelled at for my irresponsible behavior? Turn on your caps lock and let me have it!
Comment with your tips, lecture, or whatever. Also, what’s your addiction? What habit do you know you should quit, but you just can’t seem to do it? What do you think stops you from making a better choice?
And in case you’re wondering, I was sipping a large Coke from McDonald’s the whole time I wrote this post. That place is not helping me with its $1.00 for any size drinks.