Admitting the problem.
It’s said that’s the first step to resolution.
So here I am.
Yes, I have a problem.
Yes, I have a problem.
And I know what you think. You think this is about my bead addiction. But you’d be wrong. Oh, there’s no denying I have that as well, but the problem I’m about to admit to is much more significant, of longer duration, and more likely to have a lasting impact on my overall health.
It all started innocently enough back in college. In fact, innocence may have been part of the problem. I grew up in a family where there was no alcohol or smoking…heck, no one even drank coffee. I made it all the way through high school without partying or experiencing alcohol so what did I know about chemical substances or the abuse thereof? I didn’t even have my first taste of a beer until I was a freshman in college riding on a “beer bus” to the Rose Bowl for a football game. I still remember thinking “this is what rat piss tastes like.”
I think that first taste was what allowed me to avoid any kind of a drinking problem during college. Oh, I was in a sorority and did my fair share of partying, but I was a serious lightweight compared to almost everyone around me and I pretty much gave up alcohol entirely after college. And, even though it was L.A. in the 80’s, I managed to avoid any entanglements with certain other substances that were prevalent on campus during that timeframe – you can only imagine all the insanity that was going on back then.
No, my actual problem was so much subtler than alcohol or illegal drugs.
I still remember the sorority sister who sent me down to the basement to get my first taste of what would become a life-long (so far) addiction. At first it was just a little bit here and there when I was thirsty for it. Then, it was at mealtimes and sometimes even took the place of a meal (all the better to fit into that cocktail dress for the next party, right?) Eventually, I had to have it all day long.
Oh, I made all the usual excuses. It helped me stay awake and alert so I could study. It cured headaches and hangovers so really, it was “medicinal” when you think about it. It helped with weight loss – and considering that the girl in the bunk to my right was the reigning Miss USA (literally) and the girl in the bunk on the left was the reigning Miss Los Angeles (literally), the competition to look good was FIERCE! Besides, everyone else was doing it, too, so how bad could it really be?
Now, here I am almost 30 years later and I find myself having to not only admit that I have a problem, but also facing the real possibility that I FINALLY HAVE TO STOP if I want to preserve my health. Heart palpitations, weight gain, potential issues with blood pressure and blood sugar levels are all things I don’t want to be dealing with…especially with the big 5-0 birthday looming on the horizon in a couple of years.
So, here I go.
Yes, it’s true, I am addicted…
…to Diet Coke.
Help me. I can't stop...