We have a running gag in our family. It's usually no laughing matter to make light of addictions, but we just can't help it.
My mother is known for her wit, her warmth and her strength. She's also known for her Diet Coke. Every day, at least once, if she spots you with an open container, she'll ask, "Is that my Diet Coke?" Nine times out of ten, it is. She'll open one before bedtime, take a sip and set it aside for morning. You, being that amazing homemaker that you are (ahem) will think it's rubbish and head for the kitchen. Mom will stop you before you hit the sink. It's still good, she'll say. "I just need a hit of Diet Coke."
At dinners, in shops, whenever we spot a can of the good stuff anywhere, "Is that my Diet Coke?"
I wish I could say I don't also lay hold of this addiction.
Like my mother before me, I love Diet Coke. It is the best. Probably once a day I find myself thinking, "This would be so much tastier with an iced cold Diet Coke." That is fact. And if you disagree you are lying. Because it's wonderful. And as of today, I'm three weeks off it.
This all happened against my will. People (formerly known as friends) kept posting terrible lies on Facebook. About how it's bad for you. About how you're slowly killing yourself with an internationally banned substance. About how all this time you thought you were being healthy and giving yourself an amazingly tasty zero calorie treat when you were instead slowly filling your veins with toxic chemicals. Whatever. Fear-mongers.
So why was I forced to did we give it up? Well, we weren't really sleeping well. And sometimes I'd feel all crampy and my joints hurt. And maybe I was dehydrated. And the frequent migraines were a bit worrisome. And Matt stopped buying it.
So... yeah. We gave up diet soda. And despite a couple-day detox where I was jonesin' hardcore for the good stuff (irritability, shakiness, headaches), it's been mostly good. I haven't really missed it (except when we have pizza, or Mexican food, or popcorn) and instead of having 4-5 migraines a week, I've only had one in the last month. I'm sleeping better, drinking more water and surprisingly drinking less coffee (I still need my caffeine, people!). The only obvious downside? My sweet tooth isn't getting its usual fix. I may be indulging in one too many biscuits (cookies) throughout the day. Not exactly a zero-cal treat. So I obviously still have some work to do.
But mostly, I'm happy. Pathetic, but happy. Diet Coke sadly reminded me of home, of going out for Mexican with my sisters, of my mom in a haze in the mornings.
I'm loving saving €10/week, but I'm uncovering latent emotional needs my habit seemingly met. Custard Cremes are decidedly cheaper than a Diet Coke but ruining my waistline does nothing for my homesickness.
And fine, so maybe there's real full-calorie Classic Coke in my fridge. So sue me! Last night was pizza, ok? Sugar is better than aspartame, right?
Actually, don't sue me, DC. I love you. And my mom is drinking enough of you for the both of us.