We occasionally feature one of the well-written articles by doctor and blogger Jen Gunter. You can visit her blog here.
My name is Dr. Jennifer Gunter and I am a Diet Coke addict. I had my last drink on Sunday, June 17th, around 6 pm. The photo is the Diet Coke that I drank that day. The last addition to the graveyard of my addiction.
Now many of you might think my use of addiction in describing my 30 year love affair with Diet Coke as hyperbole, but allow me to apply the CAGE questionnaire (an addiction screening tool) to my habit:
Have you ever felt you should Cut down on your drinking? Why, yes. Yes I have. For 30 years I sustained a 4-5 can per day (at least that’s what I’m admitting to) habit. You don’t need to have a medical degree to know that’s too much Diet Coke. For the last 5 or so years I’ve really thought that I needed to do something about it (I was in full denial before).
Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Yes, yes they have. My best friend Cara and my partner Jen. They make little comments from time to time. It annoys me because deep down I know they are right, but I still haven’t been able to stop.
Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your drinking? Yes. I feel bad drinking Diet Coke in front of my kids (here I am telling them soda is bad…yes, I am a hypocrite. I walk the walk everywhere else in my life, why not here?). I also feel bad when I get excited that Safeway has a special and I leave the store with 4 cases knowing that will probably get me through the week. Just. I feel bad because I need it.