“My name is Sheldon, and I’m an addict.” I never thought I’d ever say those words, but it’s true. Recovering addict actually, but addict just the same. I don’t attend AA or NA meetings, I don’t wear a patch to help curb the cravings. Nope, just cold turkey for me. As of writing this post, I am 7 days, 8 hours and 21 minutes clean.
My drug of choice: Soda pop. Laugh if you must, but I’m convinced that this is just as real an affliction as a compulsive gambler, or a pack a day smoker. According to information obtained from the Mayo Clinic, signs of addiction include:
- Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day CHECK
- Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug CHECK
- Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug CHECK
- Spending money on the drug even though you can’t afford it CHECK (I don’t know about the can’t afford it part, but I certainly spend a LOT of money on pop)
- Doing things to obtain the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing – Thankfully, no
- Feeling that you need the drug to deal with your problems – No
- Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug – I drive and drink pop all the time
The article I read states that if you exhibit at least three of these signs, you suffer from a real life addiction. Unfortunately, I’m not alone. It’s estimated that there are several million North Americans who are afflicted with soda pop addiction. What’s worse , most are unaware they have this problem, and are completely in the dark about the ongoing health effects. My wife and I had dinner with friends last week, when the subject came up. My wife has been bugging me for years about the amount of the stuff I drink, and I never gave it much thought. “Yeah, I know it’s bad for me, but it can’t be that bad.” Our friend, more health conscious than I am, started listing off some of the negative effects. So, I spent a little time doing some basic Internet research to see what else I could dig up. Boy, was I wrong!
Robert Lamberton a Canadian biologist has done extensive research in this area, documenting the health problems that arise through long-term exposure to aspartame, other artificial sweeteners and dyes that make up most of the commercially available soft drinks. You can read much of this information on his site, including testimonials from others who have developed this problem. In a nutshell, those who consume high volumes of soda suffer from higher instances of: diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, joint pain and a host of other problems.
So no more afternoon pop for me. I still get the 2 p.m. craving, but I’ve managed to fight it so far. I think I’ll just drink beer instead….~SS
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