A few posts ago, I mentioned Frederick Douglass, who inspired me to quit smoking of all things. He did this by showing me that slavery takes your humanity away. I wanted to be human again. I knew from other sources that addiction is a form of slavery. Well, I suffer from another form of slavery. I am addicted to caffeine. This must end.
I remember the first time I had Mountain Dew.I saw it at a soda fountain and asked my mother what it was like. She simply suggested that I try it, so I did. I immediately loved it and would drink as much of it as possible. My mother did what she could to curtail this. She even tried getting me caffeine free Mountain Dew for a while, but I have always had a lot of determination in everything I do so I managed to get the real stuff.
Later on, I began taking medications that made me very tired. I struggled very deeply to get out of bed. I asked my mother to provide me with Mountain Dew to help me get out of bed. I don’t actually remember if she agreed to this, but either way, I was drinking Mountain Dew in the morning pretty soon thereafter. Soon, I was never to be found without a Mountain Dew nearby.
The brand started branching out into other flavors and I found that my favorite was Code Red, the first alternate flavor that ever came out. I drank it like water. In fact, I later noted that I could hardly taste Mountain Dew anymore. It really was kind of like drinking water. I’ve mentioned before that I struggle a bit with my weight, and this probably contributes to it as much as the medications do. It’s a good thing I walk as much as I do.
Caffeine has affected my life pretty badly in other ways. Sometimes I need to get blood tests or other tests that require a bit of fasting. It’s not too hard to do this for most people. Just get the test done first thing in the morning, and skip breakfast until afterward. I needed my morning Mountain Dew like I used to need my morning cigarette. I’d usually have my first Mountain Dew of the day before even remembering that I had a test that needed to be done. The result was that years would go by without the tests being done.
But like I said before, the main motivation to quit is the slavery. I don’t like being a slave, and I certainly don’t want to be less than fully human as Douglass says is a requirement of slavery. So the caffeine must go. I’ve been tapering off of caffeine the last couple of weeks. Before I started quitting, I was on at least a couple of liters of Mountain Dew a day, probably more like three liters. To quit cold turkey can be beyond painful, maybe even dangerous, though I’m not certain of that. Either way, I decided to start by drinking two 20oz bottles of Mountain Dew per day for a week. The following week I had only one per day. Now I have none.
I’ve been tired. The day I wrote this, I had woken up after over 18 hours of sleep. The previous day was similar to that. On top of the fatigue is, of course, the depression. As depression causes one to feel very tired, I find that in my case, it works the other way around sometimes as well. The day was a hard one.
The fatigue will not last forever, though. I’ve heard from others who have quit caffeine that they actually feel more energized off of caffeine than they ever did whilst on it. I look forward to that. My life will improve by quite a bit thanks to this move.
To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to write this before I feel that I have fully shaken the caffeine addiction. With smoking, I identify as a nonsmoker. With caffeine, I identify as someone in the process of quitting it. I am not too worried about this, though. Even if I relapse into drinking Mountain Dew, I will simply quit again. I will not be a slave. If I can quit cigarettes, I can quit caffeine and Mountain Dew.
I look forward to having more energy and less slavery. I look forward to perhaps losing some weight as my addiction to all the Mountain Dew is conquered. To be sure, I still allow myself to drink soda, but I will quit all soda the same way I am quitting caffeinated soda now. Then it will be all water. After that, who knows? I will find the different ways that I am a slave and root them out. I want to be a slave nothing other than God Himself.