Caution: Undergoing Caffeine Withdrawals

I am trying to cut caffeine out of my life again. If I drank coffee or tea I would probably continue getting my daily dose, but although I like the smell of coffee, I’m reminded of eating bitter dirt whenever someone talks me into trying it again. Yes, I’ve even had those sugar-blasted pumpkin lattes at Starbucks that everyone raves about. Still didn’t like it.

My mom used to tell me I wouldn’t be a grown up until I drank coffee, so I guess I’m going to have to continue on as the female Peter Pan of my town, because my caffeine vehicle of choice is diet Dr. Pepper.

I don’t remember when it became a habit. I can recall drinking the regular, high fructose corn syrup kind in college. I probably switched to diet after I graduated and worked to lose the 20 pounds I’d gained junior and senior year. Possibly, in part, because of the regular Dr. Pepper.

Anyway, the taste of caloric soda is way too much for me, I have to drink the diet stuff. And by “have to,” I mean I really need it. I am addicted. Hopelessly.

I’ve given it up before. Yes, when I was pregnant with Miles I’d only drink it in the third trimester when I was worried the baby wasn’t moving as much as he should be, and the nurses calmly advised me to do the “Dr. Pepper test.” I’m not making this up – they really called it that. I was to drink something sugary, caffeinated and cold to wake that baby up. Worked like a charm. Miracle worker, that Dr. Pepper.

So now I’m trying to lose weight again and it seems like drinking diet soda would be a good alternative to regular soda, but since I don’t drink regular soda, anyway, my diet Dr. Pepper habit really just means I drink less water. And I’ve read that artificial sweeteners can cause you to crave sweets. Happy to have a scapegoat for my love of dark chocolate.

Today was day 1 of no caffeine. I woke up with a raging headache and I swear my eyes would barely focus. I needed to take a nap mid-afternoon (I wasn’t successful at napping, but I did need one.) Zachary, ever so helpful, offered me three Excedrin to kill the pain, but since the magic of Excedrin is in its caffeine, I had to turn it down. Besides, the last time Zachary gave me three Excedrin I was jittery for about two days.

I made it through the day, but I’ve been cranky and sluggish. There are 10 Coke Zeros in my garage, leftover from having guests over on Halloween. I even opened the door to look and them but managed to resist. But I know that they’re there, tempting me with their caffeinated goodness.

I may have to have Zachary take them to work. Just like I made him take our leftover Halloween candy. Of course, the kids still have their Halloween candy.

And chocolate has caffeine.

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