One thing that continually surprises me through this process is the effect some simple word, thought, or object can have on me. With the new anxiety medication, I began tracking my diet, medications and a whole list of other things. I began to notice a correlation between my love for caffeinated pepsi and coffee and panic/anxiety. My doctor suggested I cut out caffeine and I laughed. No way. I've given up an awful lot because of panic, but I will not give up my caffeine.
When the panic kept getting worse, I decided that perhaps I could cut down to one soda/coffee a day. However, with cutting down, the pattern became even more clear. Drink my coffee - anxiety goes up. Have an afternoon Pepsi.....along with a panic attack.
With my jaw surgery, I was off of everything, including coffee and soda. The pain meds masked a caffeine headache - if I had one. The logical side of me decided I needed to try to make the break now. I had no problems ordering decaf coffee drinks over the weekend or even picking up the decaf pot this morning. But when I came home and was confronted with a choice between regular and caffeine free pepsi, I found myself overly irritated. Of course, being me, I had to "analyze it" LOL
When we were younger, soda was off-limits for my sister and I. We could run free in the streets, drink alcohol, cut school, and have boyfriends spend the night. But do not touch the Pepsi in the fridge. It had to be Pepsi - not Coke and not a knock off brand. We could be scraping pennies everywhere and Mom would find a way to buy her Pepsi. I remember one especially tight month, when money was really tight. I suggested buying a no-name soda instead of Pepsi, and mom about knocked my block off. We were never given an explanation about why we couldn't have Pepsi. Mom would mumble something about "not buying that for kids." We drank water or kool-aid.
On rare occasions and as a huge treat, we were allowed to have 1/2 glass of Pepsi on a Friday night. When I went to college, the soda fountain had Pepsi in it. What a huge treat to have Pepsi whenever I wanted. When I came home to visit, I hesitantly tested the boundaries. Nope - no pepsi -- unless I wanted to buy it myself. "Too expensive to be drinking that all the time."
My husband and I have had our own disagreements about soda. I insist on Pepsi. He doesn't care and thinks I should drink what is on sale. But it's not about the Pepsi, or the coffee, or any other caffeinated drink. It's about being able to have it -- the right to drink it -- the fact that no one can tell me No anymore. So when the doctor and well-meaning friends suggested I drop caffeine, the stubborn part of me resisted. But now that I've thought it through.....well, I didn't really want to be like mom anyway! So I'll proudly lift my caffeine-free Pepsi for a toast, admiring the gold letters that signify that my body is caffeine free.