August 21, 2009

Do You Have A Monkey, Too?

Do you have a monkey on your back? You know, something that just won't leave you, something you are constantly battling with, something that makes you feel defeated? Truth be told, if you're human, then most likely you do. Well, I have had a monkey on my back for years, and for years I've just been letting him just sit there. As a matter of fact, I felt so defeated that I figured he would be sitting there for the rest of my life, until......................

For the last twenty years or so, if you would come to visit me, chances are pretty good that you'd find me with a diet Coke in my hand. The first thing in the morning, I mean the very first thing, I would go to the refrigerator and get one. I even had a little routine involved with it. I always had to use the same glass and I always had to drink it with a straw. Not just any kind of straw either, it had to be just the right kind, (cause don't y'all know it always tastes better with a straw;) Once I had taken a sip of the liquid gold, I felt like all was right with my world. Ahhh, how I loved my diet Coke. Throughout the course of my day I would repeat this process over and over and over. And heaven forbid, if on the rare occasion that I would run out of it I would be almost in a panic because I needed my "fix." I can't even begin to imagine the amount of money I have wasted buying it all these years.

What started out as something I thought I was using as a "tool" to help me lose weight quickly turned into a full blown-out addiction. Sure, I read the articles warning of the dangers. Sure, I knew ordering a Big Mac and a diet Coke wasn't really going to help me lose weight. Sure, I knew that drinking five or six diet Cokes a day probably wasn't too good for me. Another big thing I knew was that diet Coke can never replace the water that my body desperately needed. That's the funny thing about addictions. You see, my head knew all of this, but my body was saying something else. It got to the point I really didn't care about the dangers, I wanted my "fix" no matter what. Addictions are a terrible thing and they can really take over your life.

Last month I felt like God was really convicting me in this area. At first, I pretended like he really wasn't saying anything to me. Why did I do this? Because I felt like it would be impossible to give it up, and I didn't want to. It was then that He made me realize that I wasn't trusting in Him enough to help me overcome this addiction. As a matter of fact, I was placing my so called "need" for the diet Coke, over my trust in Him. Well, when that reality hit me, it hit me really hard, let me tell you. I felt such a sense of shame because of my lack of faith. Hasn't He told me that I can do all things through Him? Why had I forgetten that?

That very next morning I woke up and with God's help I made it through the morning without one. Lunch time came and I made it through again. By the time my head hit the pillow that night, I had gone one whole day without it! Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that it was easy. In the beginning it was HARD. But, as hard as it was, I knew I had God on my side and that I could do it. After a few days it began to get easier and easier. Fast forward to one month later, and I still haven't had one!!!!!! You know what the funny thing is? I don't miss it one bit! As a matter of fact, I crave another drink now. You know what it is? Water!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, in closing, let me encourage you that if you have a monkey on your back, you CAN GET HIM OFF!!!!! Put your trust in God and he will be with you every step of the way. He will never fail you!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13


Mrs. U said...

HOORAY, SUSAN!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know all too well the addiction of diet Coke!!!! I had been drinking it since it came out (oh dear!! Now you can figure out I am old!!! haha!!) and, with the Lord's help, stopped drinking it almost 1 1/2 years ago. WOOOHOOO!!! It is all God because I could never do it on my own!!

I will pray for you, friend!!! May you never go down that path again!!

Mrs. U

Anonymous said...

There is an epidemic of MS, Lupus,
and other maladies associated with
aspartame! They know it but go
ahead and let you buy it anyway!

NHizName said...

I'm working on is very difficult. I started drinking Diet Coke many years ago and drink at least a 2 liter bottle a day...I know...not good! I'd be thrilled if I could just get down to a couple of glasses a day...trying to drink more water and less Diet Coke right now.
So glad to see you blogging again. I've always enjoyed reading ...

A Loved Wife said...

Good for you for making such a difficult change! As a Diet Coke enthusiast, I commend you for giving it up. I couldn't imagine how hard it had to have been. I have yet to it up myself as I am working on getting rid of a couple other monkeys that are on my back. It will be a sad, sad day for me when I get to the Diet Coke monkey.

It's a joke in my family that they call it my "Diet Crack" because I love it THAT much.

Senkyoshi said...

I just discovered that you are back!!! I'm so glad. Thanks for this post. I needed it today. I do have a monkey on my back and I know that with God's grace, I can get it off!