A good friend is someone who comforts you during difficult times and offers strength to sustain you through them – so it is not a surprise that an old friend of mine has snuggled its way back into my life. I have a love-hate relationship with my dear friend “caffeine” but over the years we’ve been able to part ways at the times that I deemed it inappropriate to hang out together. The first time we said our goodbyes was when I found of I was pregnant with Jacob and I can recall that goodbye as though it just happened yesterday – I drank my last diet coke at McDonalds the day I found out that I was expecting him and we never hung out again until just after the babe was born.
Caffeine, just like addictions to other substances (food, alcohol, drugs, bad polystester clothing) has an ability to sneak back into your life when times start to get difficult – so it is no surprise that I cracked open my first diet coke during Jacob’s say in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I remember being so exhausted from the long emotional delivery I had endured and devastated that I wasn’t going to be bringing my wee man home from the hospital when I left. There was a plan put in place where I would stay in a parent room at the hospital that would allow me to stay nearby and care for my son when I could – and I have a distinct memory of me sitting in the room listening to a nurse tell me all about my son, everything they would do, when they’d call me to feed him, that they’d knock on my door every 2 hours so I could feed him through the night…..then I remember going back to my parent room with my mother and That Daddy Guy, taking a deep breath in and sobbing. I was exhausted physically and emotionally….i was recovering from a c-section and a labor that lasted 4 days in hospital and my baby, the one I had been waiting to meet for 8 very long months, the one that we might have lost if not for my instinct that something was wrong….that baby was sitting in a room being cared for and monitored by people that were not me. It’s common knowledge that in human nature we chose to either fight or flight when stress arises and this time, unlike me in every way, I chose to fly…I needed to get out of the hospital where I’d been for 10 days already, I needed familiarity, my shower, my bed and so I looked at my mom with tears in my eyes and said…”Mom, I feel horrible but I need to get out of here, I need to go home” and I remember her reassuring me that it was okay to go home, and that it would probably make me feel good to have a nice sleep and shower in my own home….she was right. That night I ran away from the stress of it all, to the comfort of my home and into the arms of my old friend – caffeine, in the form of a diet coke. Mike and I ordered pizza, kicked up our feet and I remember cracking open that can like it was going to save my life….and that night, it tasted the best it had ever tasted – it only took one and I was hooked…just 10 hours after I had left him, and after several calls to the N.I.C.U to make sure he was doing well, I returned to the hospital to care for my son, feeling very refreshed and ready to stay in the parent room and take care of him – I was lucky to have that room, most people do have to go home every single day.
After we brought Jacob home from the hospital, I continued to welcome my dear friend to comfort me during sleepless nights and like a good friend she helped me feel regenerated after those early long nights but eventually the long nights went away but my friend stayed….I was hooked on her companionship as I had been in the years past. It should have come as no surprise to any of you that I was able to get off the “juice” the moment I got pregnant with Violet ( I had already drastically reduced when we decided to try and conceive) and much to my surprise I stayed off the diet coke (my own personal form of heroin) for some time after she was born….sadly, not too long after – the weather was cold, the days were long and I cracked open my first can and never looked back again. I wouldn’t say that the habit has gotten incredibly out of control as it has previously, but it is easily headed that way and so it’s time for me to take steps to kick this old friend to the curb once and for all.
I was watching the Oprah show yesterday and saw a clip where her buddy Dr. Oz was talking to a woman who drinks 9 litres of diet soda a day!!! 9 litres! If I ever thought my problem was at a maximum out of control level,I was certainly proven that there are addicts more addicted then I. I can’t recall exactly what Dr. Oz said but it was enough to invite me to start reducing and eventually eliminating the diet coke from my daily regimen so I’m starting with cutting back in the amount this week and then hopefully in the future my goal would be to only have diet coke when we go out to a restaurant or when we order pizza – I think that sounds like a fair deal right?
Heh. Look at me…..already making deals! It’s like making a deal with the devil really.