Me and My Mountain Dew

When I read Jo-Anne’s post on giving up her affair with coffee, it resonated with me. The funny thing is, I am not a coffee drinker. Never have been.

But I can relate to everything she said about her relationship with caffeine. For me, my relationship with caffeine started five years ago. I was in graduate school at the time, taking twelve units in one semester while raising three kids.

It was a crazy time. I stayed up late every night writing papers. And even though I loved the schoolwork, I didn’t have the bandwidth to juggle my job as a graduate student and my job as a mom. I needed more hours in the day.

Then one night, while staring at a text by Plato, I did the unthinkable. I asked my husband to go to 7-Eleven and buy some soda – even though I had given up soda years earlier.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with a can of soda. Just like there is nothing wrong with a cup of coffee. In moderation, these drinks are enjoyable.

But late that night, while writing a rhetorical analysis on Plato’s Phaedrus, I consumed a can of Mountain Dew. Or was it two? I don’t remember. But I do remember that it did the trick! I was awake and alert. And I powered through several hours of homework.

I got about three hours of sleep that night. When I woke up the next morning, I felt tired from the lack of sleep, but I felt exhilarated at how much I had accomplished!

From then on, I had a new nightly routine. After putting the family to bed, I sat down with my 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew and settled in for another night of productivity.

I love feeling productive. And I had discovered a secret means to ultra-production.

However, the Law of Diminishing Returns is as true as the Mt. Dew is green. After a while, it takes more consumption to achieve the same results. Then more. And more.

I was hooked. Not on the soda. But on the caffeine high.

No longer could I look down my nose at coffee-holics. At least they had cool cafes to hang out and drink in. I was just hooked on ugly-green caffeine.

Me and my Mountain Dew.

It became a love-hate relationship. An on-again/off-again affair. I gave it up for Lent. Every year. Then, as soon as the annual celebration of our Lord’s resurrection was over, my favorite drink was back in my arms.

After fasting from soda several different times, and for lengthy periods each time, I noticed a trend. Whenever I gave it up, the first few days of “detox” were replete with headaches and fatigue. And I would crave the smallest sip of soda. Then, I would get past a “hump,” where the cravings lessened. More than anything, though, I noticed how rested I felt in the morning.

These fasts taught me a lot. The data was clear. My level of caffeine consumption was not good for me. I was hooked.

After each period of abstinence, I tried to resume a more moderate level of consumption. And I was successful – for a while. But it never lasted. That ole’ Law of Diminishing Returns was always at work. Within a few months, I would be back on a roller coaster of late nights, groggy mornings, and foggy afternoons.

This remained true even after I finished my graduate program. This past fall, when I was teaching five courses of college composition, I was staying up late to grade papers almost every night – with the help of my green liquid friend.

I had come to depend on a fizzy green drink as the source of my strength rather than the One who offers living water and is the Source of my true strength.

So, in 2012, my desire to live well, and at a much slower pace, means – for me – saying good-bye to a friend who hasn’t been good for me. Without the artificial stimulant flushing my adrenals, perhaps a more genuine pace of life awaits.

I’m not much for resolutions, but I am interested in eliminating a bad habit. And I am ever-thankful that His mercies are new every morning. With each day He gives, we get to begin anew.

Is there something you look to, other than the One who made you, to provide you with an extra boost of strength?

9 thoughts on “Me and My Mountain Dew

  1. Pingback: A Sacrifice of Words | Denise J. Hughes

  2. A wonderful post. Thank you for your candor. I found your link at a holy experience, and I’m glad I followed it. I drink a moderate amount of coffee. Prayer, eating healthier than I used to, and supplements have helped me a lot.

  3. Mountain Dew was always my grandmas favorite. 🙂
    Ah, here I am in bed next to my husband asleep, reading blogs on my phone in the dark! Lol. I don’t rely on anything for a boost of energy, but have always relied on supplements to help me sleep. Getting rest naturally has been my battle.

  4. I will be checking in to see how this goes. I get terrible headaches whenever I try to give up caffeine. I’m going to give it a try again and let you know the results.
    Good luck!

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