What's 'this' you ask?
Kicking the habit...not being an addict...
As I write those words I'm keenly aware of the highly-charged liquid 'heaven' which is coursing through my veins. It's one of my 'allowed' Diet Mountain Dews.
Yes. I'm addicted to Mountain Dew.
Maybe you think I'm tossing 'addicted' around lightly, but I'm not. I can drink 9 of them a day. Now... I may not finish all 9, but I certainly pop that many tops.
Nine. Mountain. Dews.
Yes, I believe this makes me an addict.
No, I'm not a smoker; I'm not an alcoholic; I'm not a binge eater (although I've had my battles with not eating enough, which is a whole other kind of addiction); I'm not a drug user.
I am a socially accepted addict.
I don't know if this is good or bad, I just know it to be true. What I say frequently to people to 'justify' my Dew habit is, "Well, there are worse vices I could have."
And that's true. I'm not going to miss work because of the Dew - heck, half the time I feel like the caffeine helps me get to and through work. Mountain Dew isn't going to make me throw-up from drinking too much of it, nor is it going to affect my weight (I drink diet... If I didn't that would be a whole other story).
There are things that are more unacceptable than my addiction.
But the truth is:
I'm basically drinking formaldehyde.
My insides could probably glow-in-the-dark under a 'black light'.
And... well, you've probably read the same reports I have, the ingredients are linked to: cancer, thyroid dysfunction, liver failure, tooth decay, bone loss....
UGH! I have to stop there. There's more. A list, a multitude, a plethora, an abundance of things 'wrong' with Mountain Dew.
And yet.... I've frequently called it: the nectar of the gods.
I love it.
I crave it.
It calms me down when I need a fix (Yes, it has caffeine, but I've been drinking it for so long I no longer get a caffeine buzz).
It makes the world spin 'right'.
It's my breakfast.
Ok, you get the picture. I am an addict. I'll go to the grocery store at 11pm to get a 12 pack if I'm out, but I won't do the same if we're out of milk.
I vacillate between wanting to quit and not having the stamina to quit.
And, well, I tried seriously to quit once before. And I did.
For two months I quit. Mostly. I was down to one a day and I felt like I could live with that.
And then... life got crazy, the world started spinning fast, and...
I grabbed my fix.
Plus, I'm the 'Mountain Dew' girl.
People give me gifts of Mountain Dew.
People give me T-shirts with Mountain Dew insignias.
People give me chapstick flavored like Mountain Dew.
People wonder why I don't have a can in my hand when I walk into a meeting...
I'm the 'Mountain Dew' girl. It's my identity.
Um, stop right there.
It's my identity?! THAT is precisely what's different this time. It isn't my identity.
See, I've always understood it as part of my identity. Who would I be if I didn't drink the Dew? But I've been thinking about it differently recently.
Mountain Dew is a demon. At least it's my demon.
Now, before you think I'm a total zealot, let me tell you my 'working definition' for a demon.
A demon is anything other than God that tries to tell me/you who I/you are.
Mountain Dew is a demon because it tries to tell me that I am the Mountain Dew girl and Mountain Dew 'owns' me.
A demon, for me, happens to look like a shiny aluminum can adorned with neon green splashes.
And well... it sorta has taken hold of me.
But, (and I am aware of how corny this may sound)... I am trusting that God's got a stronger hold on me than any silly demon. And yeah - God's got bigger things to worry about than Mountain Dew, but knowing that my identity is actually 'Christine Louise' - Child of God...
Helps me to tell that demon in my head to go the hell away.
I'm gonna drink my cold water and like it (Ok - wishful thinking)...
Go away devil.
I don't know where I theologically stand on an external devil (and his legion of demons) raging against the world. But, I know there is darkness in the world and plenty of evil. I've also seen those with mental health problems or those who have made major mistakes in their lives labeled as 'demonic' or 'possessed' and thereby presumably far from God.... And this is a mistake of the church. I don't believe anyone is too far from God...
All I see in the Bible is Jesus doing battle with demons, throwing them out...
So, my official stance on demons is:
Jesus is battling them, however they look. This seems solidly Biblical.