I am an addict. Yes, I am aware that one should not disclose their addiction. However, I am not addicted to cocaine or heroin. Rather, I am addicted to caffeine. In my own words, addiction is defined as “something that I can’t imagine my life without.” Caffeine is one of those things. Using this broad definition, I can honestly say that if I did not have some type of caffeine in my life, people would not be able to be around me. If I do not have caffeine I become very irritable. My head starts to ache. These are symptoms of an addiction that has taken a toll upon my body throughout the years.

My addiction to caffeine started over thirty years ago. As a young boy, my brother and I would cut grass throughout our neighborhood. We would push our lawnmower to the nearest trailer park, and we would cut grass for ten dollars per yard. After busting our humps for several hours, we would then walk down to Barrontown Grocery and buy ourselves a cold soda for a reward of our demanding work. We did this every few days. Of course, we would also buy ourselves potato chips, but I usually bought myself a pack or two of Topps Baseball Cards and I would sit outside and admire the players that I got in each pack.

Through the years, my addiction grew through the systematic use of caffeine. I would drink coffee when I first got up in the morning to help me shake off the dreams of the night. Then I would head to work, and I would need a little something to help me prepare for the challenges that would arise at work. Lunch would consist of the greasiest food I could find and a cold soda to wash it down with. Then I would reward myself for my work with more caffeine thus my addiction continued. Drinking water seemed hypocritical since it did not provide the edge that I needed to be at my best.

At the ripe age of 28, I joined the US Army. About the same time companies such as Coca-Cola, and Pepsi came out with energy drinks, not to mention Rockstar, and Red Bull. Monster is one of my favorites. My addiction surged throughout my days in the military. Even deployments to hostile countries did not curb my addiction. While I was deployed to Iraq, I would pound Rip-Its. These small containers of bottled energy would get me amped up to do what was necessary for me to survive. Between the sugar content and the amount of caffeine packed into each container, it was a miracle that I did not have a heart attack in Iraq. Two deployments later, my addiction to caffeine was solidified. There would be no backing down. I lifted weights to stay in shape, and the supplements I would take to provide an edge to help me maintain my weight was also packed with caffeine. Thus, there was no escaping my addiction.

Some people say that you can have your cake and eat it to. “Drink a diet soda” is the popular response to people who say they can’t break the cycle. Why? Diet sodas are packed with sugar, and therefore it is equally as bad for your health as a regular drink. I was at Wal-Mart a few days ago and noticed some company is making diet green tea. As we become more health conscious as a society it seems that we become dumber. The key to living a healthy life is moderation and self-control. We need to be more active as a society, and exercise moderation when eating, and then obesity will not be an issue. Rant complete, ya’ll have a great day!

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