Coke Zero Rehab

I quit Coke Zero last week (and with it, abuse of caffeine and artificial sweeteners), but I’m checking in to let you know how my journey to soda-less living is going. Overall, the detox has been a success and, while I’ve certainly drunk more alcohol in the past week than normal, my body feels like it’s adjusting quite nicely to no longer riding the constant nerves-coaster of caffeine addiction. Below, a brief diary of my day-to-day experiences:

Monday (otherwise known as Day 1 of without my carbonated security blanket)

I had no caffeine whatsoever today. Nearly caved and bought a drink at the movie theater, then nearly caved again while getting groceries, then had to bar myself from the corner gas station by muttering “Fountain drinks are always flat; fountain drinks are always flat.” Felt very sluggish and unmotivated all day, but it was a Monday, after all.

Tuesday (otherwise known as the day I made a poor choice)

I felt crappy again this morning and only managed to hold out sans caffeine until noon, when I decided I just had to brew some coffee. Within an hour and a half, I’d polished off an entire French press worth of regular coffee, which is what, 24 ounces? At least? Felt like my skin was about to jitter off my body. Spontaneously squealed a few times. Jiggled my leg for approximately two hour after finishing all the coffee–does that count as exercise?

Wednesday (otherwise known as the day that nothing interesting happened, really)

Uneventful day overall. Based on my readings, this morning should have been the worst in terms of withdrawal symptoms, but I felt relaxed. Maybe that was all the sleep I got. Anyway, I started feeling drowsy around 7:00 p.m. and made myself just one cup of coffee (I really thought I could handle it!) but then I couldn’t sleep fall asleep until after midnight.

Thursday (otherwise known as the day I ate hot wings and had no Coke to wash them down)

I ordered a 12-oz. chai tea latte at a bookstore around 2 p.m. I have no idea what the caffeine content was, but it probably wasn’t too bad. I went out with Mr. Meghan (ok, that’s not his real name) for wings and my plan of action was to inquire about mineral water or just suck it up and get regular water, but my husband said I should order a mixed drink (something I seriously never do at restaurants), so I got a Jameson & ginger ale (the equivalent of which, a Seven and Seven, was made fun of on Community this week. The more you know). It was delicious and since ginger ale is caffeine-free, I didn’t feel too bad about it. Then I stayed up late writing and wound up drinking two mugs of decaf with a hint of St. Brendan’s Irish Liqueur (the poor man’s Bailey’s).

Friday (otherwise known as the day when I substituted alcohol for caffeine)

I spent most of the morning in an office building and was sorely tempted to search out a Coke machine, but I told myself to get a grip and refrained. Today was my husband’s only day off work for the next week, so we celebrated by making a press of regular coffee and finishing off the entire bottle of St. Brendan’s, then falling asleep (not passing out! There’s a difference!) for, oh I don’t know, 4 hours. Felt kind of queasy when I woke up, but not craving caffeine anymore.

Saturday (otherwise known as my grandparents are winos)

They aren’t really. Anyway, this was another uneventful day, spent drinking only water until I went to a parade and chose hot chocolate over coffee (for which I pat myself on the back). Then my grandparents took me and my husband out to an Italian restaurant and I was already pondering how I hate going out to eat without ordering a soda, when they bought a bottle of red wine to share, and that smoothed things over considerably.

Sunday (otherwise known as total Snoozeville).

I can remember basically nothing about this day, which worries me. But drink-wise, I think I had water all day until I picked up a take-and-bake pizza at Safeway and also bought a Sprite, rationalizing that, though it does have sugar, at least it’s caffeine-free. It was a short-lived joy, however, because I felt bad about caving. Then I drank a couple beers and somehow felt better about it.

Monday (otherwise known as Screw-Up-Fest 2010)

Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself, but a Diet Seven up and a Sierra Mist Natural, Meghan? Really? You couldn’t make it through the day with one bottle of soda; you had to get two? Sidenote: I really like Sierra Mist Natural–I drank a lot of Sierra Mist in college and it always had this tinny taste, maybe because it was so fakey, but the SMN tastes really sweet and delicious. Ahhhh. Anyway, now I’m drinking some red wine and contemplating how/if I can stop craving sweet, fizzy beverages forever.

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