Well, I've done it. Three weeks ago I said I wasn't ready to give up my Coca-Cola habit, but last Friday after lunch, by some kind of grace, I decided that that would be my last Coke. I poured the last six cans in my refrigerator down the drain in an ad hoc ritual witnessed by Adonis and the dog. I prayed for help. And I haven't touched the stuff - or even been very tempted - since. I figure that's between 7-10 Cokes that I haven't had. I feel great. Whether it's because of less sugar in my diet, or because I feel a lightness from giving up the drug, I don't know. But I do know that I was feeling enslaved to that stuff, and now I'm free. A recovering Coke-aholic.
I've lowered my risk of diabetes and osteoporosis. I'll probably lose some weight without changing anything else. I'm sticking it to the Man. I'm taking a stand for global justice. But none of these were reason enough for me to quit before now, not because I don't care about all of these things, but because I was hooked. I'm addicted. I used Coke to make me feel better. I had to have it. I'd carry my own stash to parties and friends' houses for dinner. There were certain foods that I could only eat with Coke - no pizza, nachos, fried foods, or burgers without it. It was a rare day when I didn't have at least one can. And sometimes, once I got started, I would have 3-4 cans in a day. Sometimes I would travel with a 24-pack in the trunk of my car. When I was feeling nervous, sad, or tired, Coke would always make me feel better.
I finally decided that I didn't want a substance to have that kind of grip on my psyche and body. It took me a loooong time - years - to come to that decision. I'm just grateful it wasn't a diabetes diagnosis that made me give it up. I didn't hit bottom. I was craving freedom more than I was craving Coke. And fortunately, unlike other drugs, Coke isn't intensely physiologically addictive. (It is addictive, but it's easier to quit than alcohol or hard drugs. I wonder if it's comparable to stopping smoking.)
I think it's important to pray to the Goddess for help, and to have some friends I can call when a craving feels unbearable. A friend recommended that I make this change to my diet, and not attempt any other, for three months. I think that's good advice. I'm proud of myself. It feels like a heavy load has been lifted from my psyche.