This week’s Daily Post Writing Challenge is Image vs. Text. Link to the Challenge here. This is my contribution.
Sometimes our love is misplaced. We love what is bad for us, but makes us feel good. We love what hurts us, but also gives us pleasure. We love with our hearts, not our heads. We don’t think straight when it comes to this love. This love is irrational, irresponsible, and all-consuming. I’ve been there. I’ve been in love with It. You may be in love with It too.
I know how addicting It can be. The taste of the sweet, cold liquid sliding down your throat on a hot afternoon . . . the rush of caffeine that will get you through your work day . . . the way the can feels in your hand as you pop the top. You can’t be near It and not want It.
It has been your go-to drink since college, when you’d bike over to the 7-11 at midnight and fill up a Super Big Gulp in anticipation of the all-night study session. You’ve been in love ever since. Nothing makes you happier than the four-twelve-packs-for-ten-bucks sale at Shoprite. On special occasions, you can almost smell the scent of It, dressed up with Cherry, Lemon, or Lime. There are days when you can actually hear It calling you. You rely on It. You need It.
But It is going to kill you. You know this deep down in your heart of hearts. As much as you need It, It is slowly eating you from the inside out. Your dependency. Your addiction. The bloating. The aspartame. As good as It feels going down, It is not healthy for you once It’s inside.
You have to break up with It before It kills you.
You’ve tried many times to break away but your attempts have been disastrous, and you always drag your tired self back to your true love. It owns you. It completes you.
But don’t give in. You can break the habit and save yourself. Here’s how.
1. Decide to End the Affair.
This is the most difficult step. You’ll hear yourself say the words, “I can stop,” but you won’t feel the words in your heart. You’ll know that the first time things get crazy at work and you need a break, you will find yourself walking, head down, right back to that vending machine. You’ll get tired and you’ll hear It calling you: “I can help you. Come back to me.” You’ll have to fight urges and withdrawal symptoms throughout the day.
When you decide, once and for all, to end the relationship, you have to be strong. It will try to get you back. But remember, you are in control of you. It does not control you. The best way to counteract the urge is to repeat to yourself over and over: “I have to do what’s best for me. I have to take care of me. I can do this.” Take deep breaths. Remember your reasons for breaking up and be confident that you can succeed. Remember:
2. Find a sponsor.
Enlist the help of a friend when you can’t resist on your own accord. Someone you can call and say, “I can’t do this. I need It. I want It.” And the friend will say, “No you don’t. It is trash. Do not go to It. Dig deep and power through!”
Hanging out with friends is a great way to stay away from It. A friend’s words can clear out the fog that inhabits your mind when It tries to get you back.
3. Get yourself out there.
You’ve made the decision to end the affair, and you have support in your mission to break off. Now is the time to get out there and see what else the world has to offer. After all, It is not the only drink in the vending machine. There are so many more natural options!
Go rebounding with a hot cup of coffee- the shot of caffeine and the warm, rich smell will grant you a reprieve from your cravings. You can try the Juice Family, too: Vitamin Water, Gatorade, Sunny D. The sugar alone will help you smile. You can experiment in the Water Family: bottled water, seltzer water, mineral water, lemon water. Whatever you need to do. It is not the only thing for you! There are so many healthier options.
Don’t get me wrong. You’ll always love It. And you’ll miss It, mostly on special occasions like the family barbecue, or late-night at the diner. You will mourn your loss and you will sigh at the memories. You’ll see other people with It and be instantly envious that you aren’t the one pouring the delicious, bubbly liquid into that frosted glass. But if you don’t break your habit, and let It go, you’ll never discover the other wonderful, healthier things that the world has to offer.
Using these steps, I’ve ended my affair with It. You can too. Good luck!
[Sources: NO DIET COKE pic: http://ultimatecityfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/no-diet-coke.jpg, Plain can pic: http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/08/09/Diet-Coke-Heart-Truth.jpg, COFFEE pic: https://waitingonaword.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/53-decaf-coffee.jpg?w=300, Vitamin water pic: http://www.selectdrink.com/95010-108-thickbox/vitamin-water-spark-grape-blueberry.jpg, Seltzer pic: http://skinnyoffice.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/vintage_seltzer_custom.jpg, Article: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/diet-soda-bad-you. Drawings by Jess, with “Draw” App by Erica Sadun (Free app, if anyone is interested!)].