Friday, 26 April 2013

Going cold turkey

Yes that is a completely sincere, unironic and expositional title. For once. I really am going cold turkey.

Back in 2011 I wrote a post about my unintentional break from Coke. No, no one slept with the Xerox girl, it was just one of those things. Evidently, despite all my moxy, it didn't stick, because here I am yet again two years later in the same predicament. (Actually, that's kind of freaky; the original post was written on the 27th April 2011, which is ... tomorrow... *X-Files music*)

See, I got scared off Coke (as well as all other fizzy juice, duh) for a while because my mother kept going DIABETES. Then paranoia took me to Google where I discovered I didn't have any of the symptoms and that fizzy juice leads to diabetes is a myth (which is itself, in fact, a myth) (because it totally totally can give you diabetes). Thing is, exam season was coming around, final essays were due in, I had driving tests and applications and life purposes to find, all in the space of about 3 seconds. So I was Stressed. And when I am Stressed, I turn to Coke. Also, Vanilla Coke has been reintroduced to the wild, so obviously I had to go remind myself what that was like with a 1.5 litre bottle. My point is, when the Stress rolled into town and I thought I wasn't in danger of becoming diabetic, my intake of fizzy juice increased. By quite a lot. To the point where I might go for 3 days without drinking anything else.

Today followed the same pattern. I had a horrible Lit Theory exam and rewarded myself by indulging in the 2-for-1 deal on 1.5 litre Coke in the shop. Then my dad came in with a congratulatory / conciliatory 2 litre 50% extra bottle. My eyes lit up. My pupils turned into little mini Coke bottles. All I had to do to get the gift was listen to my dad tell me that scientists have just discovered that yadda yadda something something basically Coke = Diabetes.

I looked it up; apparently they've found that people who drink diet fizzy juice are 60% more likely to develop diabetes than those who drink 'full fat', as I do, because diet is ew. While on my little internet jaunt, I also discovered that in fact fizzy juice definitely can lead to diabetes, and then there were some horrible statistics that I've already repressed. After this, I wasn't so happy about the present.

Now, apparently I'm still at low risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, the symptoms of which manifest gradually over a period of years. Low risk = 1 in 200 chance of having it now, and a 1 in 20 chance of getting it in ten years. Or something. And knowing my luck, I'd be that one in 200. Also, apparently the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes can come on really suddenly, over a period of just a few weeks.

So, I'm kind of flipped out.

I'm probably a little more flipped out than I would be otherwise, because of the way I found out I have epilepsy. When I was about 12 or 13, I started playing the Sims, and I always remember that at the start of the installation manuals there was a warning for people with epilepsy, and at that time I didn't know what that was, and for some reason, I didn't care enough to ask. But every time I got a new expansion pack or had to uninstall and reinstall that damn game, I was weirdly drawn to that section at the front about epilepsy. And then, when I was fourteen, I found out I had it. And it was like KABLAM - in retrospect it seemed totally signposted.

Call me irrational or superstitious or whatever, I probably am, but I feel like the same thing might be happening with the Coke / diabetes thing. Except this time I'm aware of the signs. So I should like heed them, and whatnot.

Which means that, after I've drunk this 1.5 litre bottle hiding behind my bed where I have been hiding bottles from my mother for months, like a true addict, I am going to stop drinking Coke and all its cousins, like, forever. Because my sight, and my limbs, and my life, are waaaaaaay more precious to me than a glass of Coke at the end of a stressful day.

And okay, that takes care of the drinking Coke part, but the damage might already have been done. That freaks me out. But even kind of more than that is why I feel I need the Coke in the first place. That's why I'm reluctant to stop drinking it, because it stands in for something I feel I'm lacking, and that lack is going to be even more obvious when the Coke ain't there to fill it up. And, although I am very fond of peppermint tea, I really can't see it replacing Coke, which is already a replacement for something else.

Substitutes for Coke I've come up with so far are: water, soda water, soda water and lemon / lime, tea, and um... soya milk? I guess? The last time I attempted to kick the habit I started drinking flavoured water, but I reckon that's probably almost as bad as Coke, so I'm going to stay away from anything processed. If anyone has any tips for beating the cravings, I would be extremely grateful!

Also, I know not that many people will read this, and I haven't been posting much lately at all, but I think it will help me to stay focused and motivated if I do regular check-in posts about this. It'll be like a visual measurement of my success (or failure).

Oh, and I'm going to keep that 3 litre beast in the kitchen cupboard because I feel much less antsy and more able to resist when I can see the thing I am resisting. Does Coke ever go off?

Wish me luck!