Editor’s Note: Julie, the CEO and founder of Aerys Sports, wrote this on Monday night. I’ve been keeping up with her Twitter timeline to make sure she maintains some level of sanity while suffering from the withdrawal symptoms.
Tonight I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed, watching the Chicago Blackhawks, weeping softly into what may very well be my last glass of diet soda. For a while, anyway.
I didn’t grow up drinking pop. Being raised on the Illinois/Wisconsin border, there was nothing better growing up than an ice-cold glass of 2% milk (still can’t believe I ever drank that stuff) or well water, which we mostly drank due to my mom yelling “Stop drinking all the milk! Have a glass of water!”
But my freshman year of college (back when my metabolism still let me consume as many calories as I wanted), I got hooked on Mello Yello. The machine was right down the hall from my dorm room, and dispensed 12 ounces of heaven into a cup with those tiny little cubes of ice. I was in love. Then came law school, the bar exam, marriage, children, and, last but not least, working from home with children, usually late at night after they had gone to bed. In an effort to a) wake up, and b) stay awake, I coped by turning not to alcohol, drugs, or coffee, but to (wait for it) liters and liters of Diet Coke.
At my worst, I was running through the drive-through at fast food joints 2-3 times a day for the biggest containers of Diet Coke I could find. I knew where every fast food place was in a 10-mile radius, as well as which ones served Coke, which ones served the far-inferior Diet Pepsi, and which ones served the even more-coveted Diet Mountain Dew (which I fondly nicknamed “The Nectar of The Gods.”) Other than the disturbing rumor about Diet Coke being able to take rust off a car (has this ever been verified?), I didn’t care how much I drank. After all, it had no calories, right?
I was a full-on addict.