How (Why) I Stopped Drinking Colas

For the last couple of years, I’ve gone on these several week-long spurts of giving up soda. When I say soda, within this blog post, I’m referring mainly to Coca Cola. I’ve always been a huge Coke drinker. We’re talking 4 to 5 a day, on a light day. When I say I drank Coke like it was going out of style, I mean I D R A N K the dang Coke, boys. 20oz. 6 pack was nothing to blow through. I think you get the picture, maybe can even relate.

I’ve proven to myself that I can stop anytime I want. I could give it up cold turkey and go a week or two without my caffeine of choice. I had it all under control, my friends. Now, even though I proved to myself that I could give up these drinks at the drop of a hat, the longest I ever went was a month. Four weeks is the length of time it takes to break through the withdrawal symptoms – in my experience anyways. The first week was tired and laziness. Second week was headaches and concentration issues. Third week, I could kill a person with my bare hands just for breathing near me. Halfway through the 4th week, I woke up and felt … amazing. It was like a boulder had been lifted off my shoulders.

Despite all this, I’d still order a Coke in a restaurant, pop open a 20oz at lunch time at home, and so on because, hey, I was in control here. I was weak, I still wanted to prove that I could control my cravings. That said, I sit here tonight and type that I haven’t drank a cola in about 3 to 4 months. What happened? Well, I’m not sure of all the medical terminology, but here’s what I can explain to you in my best of layman’s terms.

There came a point 4-5 months ago when I experienced severe constipation, horrific pain in my groin and up into my stomach, belly and up into my chest. My acid reflux was out of control and nothing could help it. I didn’t link anything directly to the cola at the time, but I read that constipation could be caused by dehydration. So I drank nothing but water for about a week, and my symptoms let up. As it let up, I began drinking cola again, and the horrible pain flared back up, the constipation came back, etc. It was a see-saw of back and forth pain. It took me about 2 weeks to associate the Coke’s to my issues.

So I quit drinking Coke’s about 4 months ago. I’ve had no more issues. I’m not sure what finally brought on this series of pains and bowel problems, but in the end, it brought about a change for the better. My mom bought my lunch the other day and ordered a Coke with it. I took one sip and nearly gagged it was so nasty. Water is my drink of choice, even in restaurants, but the occasional sweet tea graces my gullet once in awhile. I’m also fond of hot cocoa during these cold winter days. Since being sick the last week or two, I’ve also found out chamomile honey vanilla tea, brewed hot, is awesome for your throat and to ease your cough for a few hours. Just a quick tip 😉

Where was I? Oh yeah!

Turns out, there’s no better way to drop caffeinated beverages like having severe pain wrack your body to the point that you’re curled up in the fetal position and unable to squeeze so much as a rabbit pellet out of your rear. Hopefully, you never have to experience that kind of encouragement, but only if you take the steps now to end those bad habits, whatever they may be.

Have you broken a bad habit? How’d that go for ya? I’m currently working on eliminating several more, but they’re taking a bit longer. We’ll discuss those another day, maybe.


It’s Not a Resolution

Sipping on my nightly mug of chamomile honey vanilla hot tea, I’m thinking of what lies ahead for 2018. I’m hoping to spend more time with my kids, doing things they want to do together and having fun quality time. I’m hoping to spend more time with my wife, treating her to nights out and surprising her with little gifts to brighten her day. I’m hoping to continue working both my jobs for at least a short period of time, before retiring from retail for a while and focusing on some personal time as well as my full-time job for the last 16 years. Most importantly, I’m hoping to dive back into Scripture and reading my Bible, strengthening my spiritual connections. But to do all of this, there’s going to have to be some sacrifices.

Facebook is, by far, the greatest waste of time among the population these days. I spend hours upon hours each year just scrolling through pointless posts of people commenting on sports, pet peeves, reposting memes. Sure, there’s a few inspirational and informative posts on there, but they’re far and few between. I can feel my already low IQ getting lower as the page loads and I start pouring over the daily posts from “liked” pages and “friends” that I don’t have any other connection to aside from the prying eyes of Facebook. So, Facebook, I bid you farewell. I’ll still keep my account, and can be contacted via Messenger, but I won’t be scrolling your pages of lurk-worthy material each day anymore.

Much of my free time, as it is, is taken up by my second job. I’ve been working a retail job seasonally for several months now for the extra money. Before that, I was working through a temp service at a warehouse repacking various computer accessory. So, since about September of 2017, I’ve had part-time employment. Of course, by “part time,” I mean I’ve been working 40+ hours a week at my second job and 40+ hours a week at my “full time” job. The checks have been nice, but the lack of sleep has affected my health several times. My body wears out quickly each week, though my mind has sort of adjusted to the time schedule. I’m just not as young as I once was, right? So, when either my 2nd employer decides my seasonal status is up, or come May of 2018, I plan on retiring. Whichever comes first, I suppose. If possible, I might ask if I can trim my hours back, if nothing else, but I definitely can’t keep up with the additional hours – not with my goals for the new year, especially. Trimming Facebook will only take me so far, trimming 40+ additional hours of work, now that’ll free up some time.

So, without really planning to make this post about “New Year Resolutions,” I guess I’ve actually made this post about a few New Year Resolutions. If it’s all the same to you, I’d prefer not to call them that. I hate “resolutions,” and I’ve attempted to break away from the generic mold of making a list only to toss it in the trash a week later. So take it for what it is. My plans for the 2018 are as I listed above. Basically, be a better man in all aspects of my family life, and trim out the time wasting “fat” of unnecessary clutter.

How will your 2018 unfold? Any plans? Any resolutions?

Well … Okay Then!

It seems that my blog post on closing this blog to move on to new things has actually attracted more followers! To this blog! This left me to consider that maybe I was being foolish in thinking I’d just fire up a new blog from scratch.

That said, I suppose if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ll begin posting back to My Chemical Fawn this week. Thank you for hanging with me, and hello to those new to the blog.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, friends. Welcome to 2018! I hope this year treats you well and finds the majority of life going your way. For me, January marks another year for this blog. January first marks 10 years of blogging for My Chemical Fawn, and I think I’m ready to pack all of this history up and start something new. What, exactly, I’m not sure. Probably just more of the same. But for MCF, I think 10 years is a nice bookend to this volume of my life. So, a week or two ago, I created a new blog. I’ve only made an introductory post, so I haven’t gotten carried away with it, yet, but I believe it will indeed by the beginning of Volume 2 of my life as I feel I’m ready to enter a new season.

Thank you for all the follows, all the feedback, and all the support over the years. I have definitely pushed out some crappy blog posts, but I also think I’ve published a few memorable ones – usually the more personal ones, I think. That’s what I hope to bring more of on the new blog. This blog isn’t going away, though. As long as WordPress doesn’t delete it for any reason, I hope to maintain it here for as long as possible. The Blogging Life of James, Volume One: My Chemical Fawn, or some cool version of a title.

With that, I leave you with three things. First, is a link to my very first blog post from January 1st, 2008. The second, is a link to my new blog, should you want to join me on that new journey. I look forward to hearing from you, and will, of course, continue to follow you on yours. And third, a paraphrased quote from The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) from his final Christmas Special this year.

Good luck, good night, and Godspeed.

My Chemical Fawn (January 1, 2008): New Year, New Blog

Long Days, Late Nights: Musings of a husband, father, and gamer

“Never be cruel, never be cowardly! Remember, hate is always foolish, and love is always wise. Always try to be nice, and never fail to be kind. Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.”

— The 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi), paraphrased from Twice Upon a Time