Sunday, August 24, 2008

28 Days

So, I am an addict, for those of you who didn't know that. It started out with a drinking problem when I was 21. I would drink to get drunk so I could escape the raw pain I felt in my relationship. I realized, after going back to college with a buzz after a lunch break, that I had a serious problem. I ended up quitting without a formal treatment program, but it was still difficult and I had to learn to deal with my issues in other ways.

So, I turned to eating. I would eat to placate any bad feelings I had. I was OK for a short time, and I got married. I was married about 6 weeks when my mother-in-law came and told us that she was leaving my father in law, and that they were divorcing. My husband was devastated, and things were never the same. About six weeks later, I was thinking I'd made a huge mistake by marrying him, and while contemplating and praying about that, I discovered I was pregnant. About halfway into the pregnancy I started drinking Pepsi. I'd been SO sick, and had to have IVs several times, and someone suggested I drink cola to settle my stomach. Well, it got to the point where I craved it. And then I couldn't quit after he was born.

When I quit drinking, I'd had a nasty soda habit and it was when I quit drinking alcohol and Dr. Pepper, I got a horrible migraine. I never equated it to quitting my half gallon a day soda habit. So for three weeks, I was miserable. I finally went and saw my doctor, who went and grabbed me a Dr. Pepper out of his fridge and said, "DRINK that, and every time you start getting a headache, drink part of one. You can't just quit caffeine cold turkey."

So, I've been hooked on Coke off and on (but mostly on) for the last 11 years. I'd start to taper off and try to quit, and then I'd get really stressed and just think, "never mind, I can't do this. After this stress is over, then I will quit"

Well, it's gone on and on like that for years. And I finally figured out the critical thing... The stress is not going to stop. But I had to. So, I'd been thinking about it and trying to figure out how to do it, and not sure if I wanted to for real. But when I was talking to a couple in our church, the husband told me about how he was told to stay away from Coke when he was on his mission, and it was several times in the course of his mission that he heard this. And I just had this impression that it was time to stop for good.

I gave myself a day to gear up, and I decided to quit cold turkey after that. So, armed with Excedrin and a resolve to do it, I quit. It was so difficult to not drink Coke for the several days that followed. I was in the habit of going every morning and buying one from McDonald's. They have the best mix, ya know? And I wanted to leave the house and go get one every day. I was a huge witch. I was very short tempered, and downright mean sometimes.

I don't think there was a single day that went by in that first almost three weeks that I didn't want to just forget it and go have a Coke. Then, on the 20th day, something happened. My husband brought a coke home from McDonald's. And, I mean a BIG one. He was sitting there eating his lunch, and quick as a fox, I grabbed that coke, and had the straw to my mouth. But he was faster. He took it away before I could even close my lips around that straw.

I was instantly infuriated. I told him I hated him. And I went into my office and closed the door. Near tears. I was so upset. And then my son came in and told me that he hoped I got over this addiction to caffeine soon. And I began to feel better. And then something else happened. I'd been praying for three weeks to have the desire for Coke leave me, and it wasn't happening. I was beginning to feel desperate. I didn't wonder if God would help me, but I did start to wonder WHEN He'd help me. But in that few moments after my son came in and patted my shoulder, I felt it. The desire for coke was gone.

Could it be? I dared not hope. But the next morning came, and I still didn't care to have one. I was encouraged. Then the next morning, I still was OK! I was amazed. It had taken 3 weeks, but then suddenly, there it was! The answer I'd been praying for. Now, I won't tell you that I've gone a whole week without wanting one. Lef T was out of town last week, and the desire was strong a couple times, because of stress. But I was able to get through the week without any Coke. Which I think is probably a first. I am really thankful that he got that Coke from me before I had it. He's so awesome and supportive.

And I am glad that I can trust God's promises to answer prayers. He truly does hear us and answer our prayers. It doesn't necessarily mean it will be the answer we want or when we want. But He does answer us. I am appreciative of my mom who quit with me so I wouldn't feel like I was alone. That one act is what kept me from the McDonald's drive through on more than one occasion.

My point of this is that I can honestly sit and be grateful for the difficulty that this was. I never thought I'd be able to quit. And I couldn't have done it without my family and my Father in Heaven. I have several friends who don't believe in God. But I know He's there. I've felt His presence in my life and have felt that presence especially in the last few weeks. I look at this beautiful, diverse nation I live in, and have gratitude of that knowledge, because it keeps me focused on what I should be doing that is important. And I know that I am trying to do those things. Raising my kids, improving as a mom, being a better wife... Those are the things that matter to me. And those are the things that matter to my family too.


sara :) said...

Good for you, W! I am super proud of you.

Jolley's said...

Very good! I have thought about doing the same but can't quite get a handle on it. Maybe Excedrin would help. Looks like you have a great family.

Candice said...

Hugs! Good job girl! Love ya!

Frisbies Forever said...

I am so happy for you! I too struggled really hard with that quite a few years ago and I remember quite clearly in a blessing being admonished to stay away from caffeine. Everyone else thinks I am a little loopey, (probably so) but I have been so much healthier since then. I don't get the migraines as often either. Right now I have other issues, but I digress. I am so proud of you!!! I hope you know that.

Mom of 5 Gents said...

Woo-hoo! This is awesome! It's been one more week since you posted this. How are you doing?

ma said...

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