Queen of Swords (qos) wrote,
Queen of Swords

Breaking Addiction

I've had a fairly serious addiction to Diet Coke -- caffeinated in the morning, decaf after 3pm -- for a number of years now. It's pretty much all I've been drinking, aside from a very small bit of water. Not healthy, I know, but I told myself that it was a minor vice, hitting my wallet more than anything. I was vaguely aware of reports about how unhealthy it was, but with the degree of grief and stress in my life I didn't care. What I was aware of was the psychological and oral comfort I got from consuming it, and I embraced it, given how little pleasure and comfort there's been in my life overall.

Then, sometime earlier this week, lovetakesyouin posted a link on Facebook to an article about the evils of aspartame.

Since then, my consumption of Diet Coke has gone from "way too much" to less than a can in the morning and less than one mini bottle during the course of the work day, and I'm working my way to "none at all." I'd already quadrupled (at least) my water intake, and that's been helping minimize the withdrawal symptoms. Actually, I've been surprised by how mild they've been.

I've picked up a case of Diet Rite, which I don't like nearly as well (too sweet for me) but it provides the bubbly sensation I like. (I have yet to meet a sparkling water that I like.)

It's been interesting to observe my own process with this. I'd certainly been aware of the dangers of aspartame previously -- and Wolfling, armed with her health class knowledge had been gently pestering me about it during the school year -- but I simply wasn't ready to release this crutch before. I'm taking it as a mark of the quiet but real improvement in the rest of my life: employed again in a non-stressful workplace, major progress on my big writing project, my grief pretty much over (I realized the other night that I no longer feel achingly aware of uncrowned_king's absence in bed next to me every night), and my not-as-frequent-as-they-should-be-but-overall-consistent qabalistic meditations which have been focusing on Malkuth (the Sphere of physical life) for the past couple of months.

It's not something I've done by suddenly developing stronger willpower, it's something that's become possible as I've healed emotionally and found healthier ways of making myself feel good. As I think about it, it's a very potent sign of how far I've come in the past few months. There's still a lot I want to change in my life, but I am much more stable and rooted than I have been.
Tags: grieving, health, job, spiritual path, wolfling
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