Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Powerless Over It

E-mail to my oldest and dearest friend this morning:

This is kind of a hard e-mail to write.

I'm sure you may have noticed over the years that I have a bit of a problem. Even though I knew it was not good for me, I was a slave to my addiction.

It started because I liked the taste. Gradually, a taste was not enough and before I knew it, I'd be adding a healthy splash -- even to my morning coffee. I was one of those "functioning" types --  I'd hide it in my insulated cup and take it to work...and for years, none of my co-workers was the wiser. For chrissakes...I don't even want to think about the number of times I drove under the influence.

It soon became a daily thing, and the shame of my secret was becoming almost unbearable. It got to a point where I'd start hiding bottles when friends came over. (It hurt most when you, my oldest friend, made a comment during your last visit about how unhealthy this was. I knew then that I needed to make a change.)

I considered seeking the help of a professional or 12-step program, but then decided that I could muster the inner strength to fight the demon.

I know that the majority of the battle is ahead of me and I will just have to take it a day at a time, but I think that I am ready to finally tame this beast. The beast that is...artificially flavored coffee creamer.

A (now) proud and loyal organic half and half drinker,
Brutalism

26 comments:

Dilettard07 said...

I can't believe you hid such a disgusting habit from everyone for so long. But good for you for breaking it and seeking help.

To what do you attribute this affliction? Was it all by accident, you tasted it and were hooked? Or do you think that this was secretly filling a void in your life? Perhaps making up for your childhood of poverty and continual hunger?

Ri, the Music Savvy Mom said...

Your courage is inspiring...and, in the spirit of solidarity, I'll admit that I too am ensnared by the creamy devil that is International Delight Dulce de Leche. *sigh*

I've even sunk so low as to provide it to a minor. I'm so ashamed...
http://chasingliam.com/?p=30

Jay Ferris said...

I too wrestled with such an addiction, many years ago. My lowest point found me weeping whilst frantically trying to suck the spilled remnants of my last bottle of Hazelnut Coffeemate from my living room carpet.

Brutalism said...

Well, Tard -- my cache of childhood photos indicates that I was a fat tub of goo (and therefore, not experiencing continual hunger).

I think I started drinking it to look older, be cool and fit in. Plus, the first time one of the cool, older kids gave it to me, it was free...

Ri -- Well, you're Irish, so it kinda makes sense. When he's four, he'll probably be swilling the stuff straight from a sippy cup with his arm around a play mate singing "Danny Boy"

Brutalism said...

Jay -- I'm finding strength in the shared struggles. Hazelnut was my drink of choice, too, and the flavor that took me to rock bottom.

YinMetYang said...

I can't believe you drank that right in front of your kid! What is wrong with you??

Brutalism said...

YMY - I know, I know. What scares me most is that as the child of an addict, she is predisposed to drink the flavored coffee creamer herself. I'll be living with the guilt for the rest of my life.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

You can do it, man, you can do it! :)

This is why I drink black coffee. Then the only addiction I have is the coffee.

I like to splash a drop of Vanilla extract in my coffee sometimes for flavour, maybe you could try something like that? Do they make hazelnut extract? Who knows? Clearly not I. :)

Brutalism said...

VA - Thanks for your kind words. And your methadone-like creamer replacement suggestion. Brilliant.

Sloaney said...

Half and half ain't much better...kinda like trading in Nilla wafers for Snackwells. I know you will eventually reach regular or soy...someday.

ShutUpandRun said...

God it would be so much more admirable if you were putting grain alcohol in your coffee. But Hazelnut creamer? You've got to be kidding.

Christina said...

I thought for a second you were going to give up coffee and then I was going to have to stop reading your blog for good! I don't like a coffee quitter! It makes me feel so wrong for drinking it... and yet so right...

Sheedonist said...

On advice from General Foods International Coffee:Celebrate the moments of your liiife

Johnny Virgil said...

Isn't that stuff basically flavored hydrogenated vegetable oil? Ew.

NoShare said...

Well at least with Half and Half, your Half way to a morning/midday/afternoon/evening Kahlua and Cream!!
Now that's something you should keep in your desk at work!!

Jason the Absurdist said...

Well now what are the petrochemical companies going to do with the toxic sludge they use to make that stuff?

Way to think of the poor little companies out there just trying to make a buck.

In my ass.

Dilettard07 said...

Brutalism said:

"I know, I know. What scares me most is that as the child of an addict, she is predisposed to drink the flavored coffee creamer herself. I'll be living with the guilt for the rest of my life."

Wait just a goddamn minute. Did you DRINK THAT SHIT WHILE YOU WERE PREGNANT?! If so, you are beyond being forgiven.

You better get that child tested NOW! Oh sure, she seems OK now. But first it'll be Kraft cheese singles on the playground. Then snorting Easy Cheese straight from the can after school at the mall. Then melting Velveeta in a bent spoon held over a lighter while Brian Eno plays in the background. Then the big time: snorting lines of Cremora through a rolled-up $100 bill.

And you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

Moooooog35 said...

My name is Moooooog,

..and I'm addicted to French Vanilla.

I'm not proud.

Brutalism said...

Sloaney - See "methadone" comment above. Perhaps not the best thing in the world for me...but better.

SU&R - I haven't touched grain alcohol since prom night. The one where I went to dinner at the Wendy's drive thru with my bisexual Robert Smith lookalike date. (My mom wishes I was making this up.)

Christina - If loving coffee (and bisexual Robert Smith lookalikes) is wrong...I don't wanna be right.

Sheedonist -- "Jean-Luc -- >girlish giggling<"

JV - It is. And I was this close to mainlining it. (Unrelated: the story about you camping with your cat makes me laugh out loud every single time I read it.)

NoShare - Enabler. And I mean that in the best possible way.

JtheA - You're a humanitarian. In my ass.

Tard - It's okay. My dirty martini regimen throughout my pregnancy helped assuage the guilt.

Moooooog - Thought I recognized you from the meetings.

YinMetYang said...

If you ever >girlish giggle< again, I will smack you.

Miss Spoken said...

Ahhh .... the good ol' days of all night coffee creamer parties, then waking up the next morning with your car missing and your panties around your ankles.

Brutalism said...

YMY - I will have deserved it. >hangs head in shame<

Miss Spoken - the creamer bongs, the drinking games where we'd chug the french vanilla followed by a few shots of hazelnut, the generic brand we'd buy because it was the creamer we'd have when we were having more than one...

dilettante07 said...

I admit (or "ig-mit" as my HS boyfriend use to say...why did I let him go?), I have recently resorted to scootin' on the creamer scooter at work due to a lack of any other type of sweetener. That shit's powerful. I nearly scratched a hole in the elbows of my H&M wrap sweater trying to get rid of some imaginary spiders.

Bravo to you for turning your back on the cruel, cruel creamer mistress.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Will you be my sponsor? I grabbed the wrong container at the store last month and...it wasn't my fault, everyone else was doing it...

Brutalism said...

Tante -- how brave of you to ig-mit that (the fact about your boyfriend, less so the hard core creamer usage)

SMUK - Right. "Grabbed the wrong container" -- when you're REALLY ready to admit what's going on I will gladly be your sponsor.

Cornelius Butterfield(aka) said...

Crap is lethal drinking coffee with I cant even pronounce what's in it, but just ask Dr.OZ who I'm sure is on my side, a couple of shots of Cuervo in your coffee, you'll be able to do your daily duty BS w/ much less anxiety. I know I've tried everything, only thing that works, with a lot of tic-tacs, you know, around the Boss. Looking for an addiction, healthy shit - redwine/darkchocolate YES!