"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Canceling My Dr Pepper Appointments

It has been four weeks since I last had a Dr Pepper, or any type of soda for that matter.  I guess you could say I was addicted.  While being addicted to Dr Pepper won't deplete your savings, land you in jail, or push your family away, constantly losing the battle of will with your addiction takes its toll.  About a year ago I decided to relax my diet a bit.  Not that it was ever good, but I decided that I would be okay with a few Dr Peppers in moderation.  The plan was stop after a week or so.  The "or so" part turned into a year, much of which was spent struggling with trying to stop, and feeling more and more powerless and out of control.  The harder I tried to stop the more I consumed.  The bottle I drank at lunch turned into a bottle at lunch and one with dinner.  Those two bottles were joined by another at break.  Before long the diner bottle was accompanied by an after dinner bottle.  I was consuming 1000calories everyday in Dr Pepper alone!  I always felt bad about it in a self-loathing sort of way.  The days I tried to break the cycle are too numerous to remember.  There were countless times when I would tell myself, "Today at break, no Dr Pepper" only to find myself in the store with one in my hand.  "What the hell is wrong with me?", was my thought on several occasions.  I would immediately begin bargaining with myself.
"Okay, since we're here and all, go ahead and drink it but tonight you have to go for a run."
-"Sounds fair."
"Agreed then, Dr Pepper now, and a run after work."
-"We got this!"

The addict mind is great at telling you what you want to hear.  How many of those runs do you think I actually went on?  If I were to graph it out I bet that as consumption increased we would also see a decrease in running.
Driving home from work was a time to steel myself and gather whatever will I could muster, because soon enough I would be driving by Quick Trip, and I swear that this time I will drive right on by without stopping for the two evening bottles.  I didn't want to stop but the closer I got the more anxious I became.  The thought of not having my Dr Peppers to drink for the evening was overwhelming and I had to stop.    I didn't want to, I had to.  Sometimes I would muster the fortitude to drive by only to call Beth at work and ask her to pick some up for me on her way home.
I went through some really low periods.  It's impossible to go through that everyday only to have the rug pulled out from under you, without feeling lower and lower especially when the person pulling the rug is staring back at you in the mirror.

Here's the weird part.  I don't recall the circumstances that lead to these past four weeks.  There was no Aha! moment, I didn't read a so called inspirational quote someone posted on facebook, I have no idea where I found the strength.  There have been a few times however that I have been tempted by just one.
"I can have just one, right?"
C'mon man be cool, just one, that's all.  Then right back to none again.  It'll be great!"
-"We don't do that anymore remember?"
"Fine, but I've got my eye on you and one day you will give in"
-"Sounds fair."
I'm not saying I'm cured, or that I found the solution to solve anyones problems.  I am deeply flawed so don't look to me for answers.  I will tell you this, I know that "just one" when it comes to Dr Pepper will be the undoing of the last four weeks.  Hopefully I will be able to string together enough days that I won't have to be so vigilant.  The problem is there is no way to know how many days it takes so I will always be on guard.

I've been wanting to write about this for a while but was afraid to before I had a significant amount of success.  It feels good to get it off my chest.  Hopefully I'll never have to write this post again but who knows, all I can do is take it one day at a time.

Like I said I don't have solutions or answers, all I can say is keep trying.  If you struggle with a particular food or drink keep telling your self "no more" and maybe one day you will be able to string together 4weeks worth of good days, which is a pretty good start.


  1. Great post! "C'mon man be cool, just one".....ha, loved that part.

    Good luck continuing to win the fight with that guy!

  2. Everybody's doing it :-).

    Nice job Patrick!