I’ve been having trouble sleeping. Ironically, I think the culprit is my anti-depressant. The medicine that is supposed to make me less depressed is keeping me from sleeping which is making me more depressed.
I decided that I needed to cut back on my caffeine. I like my Diet Coke, though. So, I started chugging Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. The problem is that most restaurants don’t carry that. So, I was thrilled to see that several of my favorite restaurants carry Coke Zero.
Now, I’m not sure what possessed me to think that Coke Zero would be helpful. For some reason, I got the insane idea that the “Zero” meant there would be zero calories, zero caffeine, and zero aspartame. Healthy, right?
I did not connect the fact that I was completely wired at 2:00 AM every night to the fact that I was ingesting Coke Zero like it was water.
One day, I was getting a can from the machine at school, and someone passing said, “Need a caffeine hit for the afternoon?”
“No. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to avoid caffeine,” I said.
“Oh, that doesn’t have caffeine?”
“Of course not. That’s why it’s called Coke Zero.”
That got me thinking…
So, I consulted my friend Google later that afternoon. Here is what I found regarding the comparative caffeine levels:
O.K. Then why the heck is it called “Coke ZERO”?!!!!!!
Because there is zero sugar in it.
Of course, there is zero sugar in Diet Coke as well. Apparently, the difference between the two is that the Coke Zero is supposed to taste more like Regular Coke due to a “different flavor base” from Diet Coke. Hence, the “Zero”. That makes sense, right?
From now on, just call me “Beyonce Zero”. We’re practically the same except for every part of us that’s not the same.
Works for me.
Here’s a little cheat sheet for you just in case you find yourself face-to-face with a person suffering from depression. It’s always hard to know exactly what to say…
Are you okay? This should be said as soon as you lay eyes on the person, with incredible emotion, as though you just witnessed the person barely escape alive from a car accident, and her hair is on fire. Don’t worry; she won’t feel self-conscious at all about her appearance.
Exercise always makes me feel better. These are motivational words for anyone who is overwhelmed by the thought of getting out of bed to take a shower.
Whenever I’m sad, I always try to think about the good things in my life. Depressed people love to be reminded that we are too self-absorbed to realize that we should be grateful there isn’t a telethon named after us.
Maybe, you should stop drinking/eating so much Diet Coke/fill-in-the-blank. You are absolutely right. Depriving ourselves of the less destructive vices in life will definitely make us more cheerful.
Are you mad at me? Of course I’m mad at you. The fact that you feel the need to ask me this question proves that you are feeling guilty about some transgression against me. But, don’t worry, I’m more mad at myself. Partly for being mad at other people.
Do you really think medication is the best option? That’s a great question. I’m not sure. I mean, I haven’t tried anything else. As soon as I cried during my first ASPCA/Sarah McLachlan commercial, I said to myself, “I need to get a handle on this. I better start popping some pills.”
I looked everywhere on the internet, and on my new medication information, and nowhere does it say: Possible Side Effects – Increased Sarcasm. The FDA really needs to look into this…
After months of data collection and very scientific experimentation, I feel that I am finally ready to assure you that our Diet Coke is not being poisoned by terrorists. Last year, when I began experiencing worse than usual intestinal issues, and no doctor could find anything physically wrong with me, I surmised that terrorists are poisoning our food. This was supported by the additional symptom of memory loss. Whenever I mentioned this theory to my husband, he would raise his eyebrow and suggest that I cut back on my Diet Coke. On second thought, I don’t think he raised his eyebrow. I’m the eyebrow raiser. He is the blue-eyed deadpan starer. It’s very disconcerting.
So, I quit drinking Diet Coke.
Well, that did not help at all. And, now, I have the added side-effect of being drowsy all of the time. But, at least I have eliminated the possibility of a Diet Coke Conspiracy – a feat which I think is deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize. Between refusing to
harbor a fugitive immigrant host a foreign exchange student and discovering that Diet Coke is not the cause of my considerable discomfort (thus avoiding an uncomfortable confrontation with suspect enemy nations), I feel that I have done more than my share in promoting peace and goodwill around the world.
Of course, using the process of elimination to root out the precise poison-carrying food in my diet could take a long time. So, I informed my long-suffering husband, Cap’n Firepants, that I was considering quitting eating altogether. He huffed, which is what he does when he thinks I have just hatched a ridiculous plan. He huffs a lot.
Overhearing this one-sided conversation, my daughter chimed in, “You can live quite a long time without food as long as you have water.” (She just read The Hunger Games. And watched a Beanie Baby version of it on YouTube because I won’t take her to see the actual movie. So, I guess this makes her some sort of famine expert.)
Which I already knew of course. But I also knew that starving myself would not have the desired effect of becoming a National Hero who Was the Normal Mother who Uncovered a Terrorist Plot to Poison our Food (or Drink).
So, I will continue this ridiculously slow procedure of removing one item at a time from my meals in order to discover the offending pabulum. And yes, I just used the online thesaurus to learn a new word.
I am a Hero, a Scientist, and a Logophile. This is what they shall proclaim after the Flash Mob performs at my funeral.
Who died from Unnecessary Diet Coke Withdrawal during the Pursuit of Terrorists-Who-Don’t-Kill-But-Just-Irritate-Your-Bowels.
Giving up Diet Coke has not been fun.
In all fairness, I should tell you that I haven’t given it up completely, yet. Since we still had some in the house, and I am the only one who drinks it, I figured I would finish up our current stock. So, I’ve been slowly weaning myself off of it instead of going cold turkey.
I finished up the caffeinated Diet Coke on Thursday. I had reduced it to one a day (from about 4 a day).
Friday was not a pretty day. Headaches, unsympathetic first graders, That Time of the Month, and a cold front did not improve my mood. I know. T.M.I. You don’t care about a cold front.
Saturday was not much better. Despite the fact that there were no first graders (sympathetic or unsympathetic) or headaches, the other factors remained.
I was cranky and depressed. I’ve had to give up salad because it attacks my stomach, and now Diet Coke.
And I know people suffer far worse problems and I am being narcissistic. Which makes me even more depressed.
And I hate drinking water.
We went to my favorite pizza place on Friday and I had to watch Dimples and the Cap’n eat salad while I drank a glass of wine instead. It was small consolation. Two glasses of wine might have changed my outlook on things, but I was driving.
Dimples did ask me if it was okay if they ate the salad. Of course I said that it wouldn’t bother me. Because I never say whatimeant2say.
And I would really like to talk to the people who did the study that concluded that diet drinks were making people gain weight because I’ve gained three pounds since I started reducing them. And no, Smarty Pants, I haven’t replaced every single soda with a glass of wine. The wine replaces the salads, not the sodas.
So, basically, I am not seeing the value in this little experiment. Other than showing my daughter how important it is to me to try to be as healthy as I can for her sake.
But, really, how big is the impact of this lesson going to be on her? Aren’t I really just teaching her that trying to be healthy makes people grumpy?
I think the underlying cause of all of this depression is that I am not walking down a red carpet in a Vera Wang dress at the Academy Awards tonight.
No, actually, it is that, if I were invited to the Academy Awards I would probably pop the zipper on my Vera Wang dress right when I was exiting the limo and I would be on the cover of STAR magazine tomorrow with the headline, “Mrs. Cap’n Firepants Needs a Bigger Size!”
Wow. Even more depressing than the mental image of me embarrassing myself in front of millions of people is the lame headline I just concocted.
I’m turning into “Fun Bobby”, Monica’s boyfriend on Friends, who gave up alcohol and became a complete dud.
On the up side, I heard a story on NPR today in which the speaker stated that clinically depressed people actually see life in a more realistic way than other people.
Yep. That’s my silver lining, right there.
“Everyone’s gotta die sometime.”
This was my mother’s lackadaisical response whenever, after being bombarded at school with pictures of blackened lungs, I would beg her to stop smoking.
As far as I know, she’s still going strong; we haven’t spoken in years. But I’ve always thought if Someone Up There really has a twisted sense of humor, I would probably die first – in some ridiculous manner, like “Being Struck By A Flying Model Lawnmower At A New York Jets Halftime Show” or, probably more likely in my neck of the woods, “Being Crushed In Your Car By A Rolling Bale Of Hay.”
Recently, I have been struggling with IBS (Irritated B—– Screaming because no one can diagnose what’s wrong with her stomach). Cap’n Firepants and many of my friends have cautiously asked me if this could be in any way, shape, or form related to my Diet Coke Addiction.
I won’t tell you my less than polite response to this ridiculous suggestion, but I will say that, in desperation, I have mentioned this possibility to all of my doctors – who have pooh-poohed it immediately.
Of course, these are the same doctors who have no idea what is wrong with me.
Since my doctors have not only been unable to identify the cause of my issues nor to successfully treat the symptoms, I am beginning to have a little less faith in their advice.
I’ve decided to crowd-source my treatment, and the Crowd seems to think I need to give up Diet Coke. The good news is, this treatment will cost me nothing.
The bad news is that I will most likely murder someone during my withdrawal.
I pretty much drink Diet Coke like most people drink water. In fact, when I do drink water, my stomach churns and rebels as though I have just ingested arsenic-laced tea.
I’ve given D.C. up a few times in the last twenty years – most notably when I was pregnant with Dimples. But, to me, it’s always rated as a not-so-horrible-as-snorting-coke Addiction, so I return to it with a vengeance.
When reports started coming out that diet soda drinkers were actually fatter than their counterparts, I dismissed this as another one of those studies that was missing some key data – until my jeans started getting too tight a few weeks ago.
And then there is my own daughter.
When she asked if she could have a sip of my Diet Coke, all of my maternal instincts instantly screamed, “No, don’t let her start down this road of addiction to caffeine and artificial sweeteners!”
However, it’s a little difficult to justify restricting her from the same vile stuff I pour down my own throat on an hourly basis.
So, as a noble sacrifice for the sake of Dimples, I am going to make an attempt to break this vicious cycle.
Of course, I wouldn’t be upset if my jeans started fitting again.
Plus, I want to prove my doctors wrong.
And, quite frankly, although I am fairly certain I will “die sometime,” I really don’t want my obituary to read, “Diet Coke Ate up Her Internal Organs.”
In the meantime, at the risk of getting myself thrown in the slammer for insider trading, I highly recommend you start selling any stock you might have in Diet Coke. Their profits are about to suffer a severe downtick.photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kt/503318641/”>The Rocketeer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
Why I’m Still Depressed (but I Promise it’s the Last Day):
I had my colonoscopy at 7 a.m. I woke up from the anesthesia with absolutely no side effects. I was completely lucid. I had hoped that I would be slightly loopy, and Cap’n Firepants could post me on YouTube so I could become a viral internet sensation like “David After the Dentist”.Vodpod videos no longer available.
No such luck.
After fasting for over 24 hours, I was ready for a great meal, but the Nurse Who Apparently Needs to Have Her Own Colonoscopy kaboshed that by saying all I could have was some eggs and toast. No Starbucks. No breakfast tacos. No Diet Coke. On the way home, I tried to tell Cap’n Firepants that the Nurse Who Apparently Needs to Have Her Own Colonoscopy And I Would Be Happy to Give It To Her was wrong. Every single one of my colonscopied friends has told me that they went to a restaurant afterward and chowed down. Cap’n Firepants said, “Now, if every one of your friends jumped off a bridge -” O.K. He didn’t say that. He just shook his head condescendingly, drove me home, and made me some scrambled eggs. He wouldn’t even put picante sauce on them.
The upshot of this whole adventure is that my colon has nothing wrong with it. Which should be good news. But that means that my symptoms now get the vague diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Which makes my bowel not the only thing that is irritated.
Wonderbutt’s nursing skills are about as empathetic as the Nurse Who Apparently Needs to Have Her Own Colonoscopy And I Would Be Happy to Give It To Her Without the Benefit of Anesthesia. I thought he would cuddle up with me on the couch while I took a nap. And he did. What I did not know was that he would end up snoring with his face a centimeter away from mine and that his 65 pounds of puppy love would make me feel like the marshmallow in a Smore.
After I decided to abandon Wonderbutt for my less affectionate, but less nasally challenged, bed, Wonderbutt apparently felt slighted. Before I left the room, I told him to pretend I was at work, but he seemed to interpret this differently than my intended message.
Cap’n Firepants came home that afternoon, and Wonderbutt happily greeted him with something in his mouth. My glasses.
Ironically, Wonderbutt’s stomach can happily accept my twisted wire frames, and I cannot even eat an apple without experiencing an intestinal Civil War.
Cap’n Firepants seemed to think the glasses incident was amusing. He said we could probably take the lenses in, and just buy some frames.
I pointed out that it might be difficult for me to see through all of the bite impressions. He thought the marks on the glass were just slobber, apparently.
I would like to know why Cap’n Firepants suddenly finds Wonderbutt’s escapades funny.
I may not be loopy, but I find it quite difficult to compose a blog post with a giant Diet Coke withdrawal headache crushing my brain.
I can’t see why no one can figure out what is wrong with me, and I can’t see why I can’t have a big feast to celebrate being a big girl and drinking a gallon of MoviPrep. I especially can’t see why I can’t have a Diet Coke.
And now, as Wonderbutt has communicated quite clearly, I just really can’t see.