Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Red Bull-Caffeine Addiction

On a retreat during my junior year of high school, I took the “Alertness Aid” NoDoz to keep myself from sleeping for the weekend. You see, those who slept had pranks pulled on them. You know, obscene items drawn with Sharpie permanent markers on the face, and the like. By the end of the weekend, I was throwing up foam.

Haven't tried it yet, but got a
back-up of Sonic Speed
 Energy Drink in my
home-office when
I really need it!
That experience turned me off caffeine for more than 10 years. I went through college and grad school without a Coke or coffee. Crazy to imagine now with my Red Bull addition. Yes … addiction. I need it. And, I know I need it.

The caffeine doesn’t simply keep me awake. It makes me feel more alert. I can focus. My brain reacts more quickly.

So what changed? Ah, children. After having my first child, I slid into having a Coke a day, and then the tolerance built up … and at some point I tried Red Bull. My friend Sam calls energy drinks + allergy pills (with recurrent sinus infections, my doctor has suggested I regularly take Claritin-D) = “Momma’s little helper.”

I start the day off with one at breakfast. Ask my writing-friends such as Tara Lain. After seeing me at OCC/RWA meetings and conferences with my friendly can, it's now a regular teasing point.

My mom, worried about my health, sat me down for an intervention. When I asked her how much coffee she drank as a secretary, she confessed to 11-12 cups a day. I explained that one can was the equivalent to a cup of coffee. Now, she stocks it for me in her fridge.

The one Red Bull-a-day-habit has turned into two, and I know how/why they can sell those extra-LARGE size cans.

Every year, especially around New Year’s resolutions and Lent, I see people give up caffeine. They suffer headaches and withdrawal symptoms and I think they’re *crazy*

And people wonder how I have two master's degrees, teach at three colleges, freelance edit, write books, and still manage to pick my kids up after school most days and make dinner ... BTW, have you seen my Upcoming Releases page?

So tell me, anyone else share in the caffeine addiction? And, what started the slide? Was it children? The “aging” process? Come on ... help me feel, normal.


  1. Here i am. Your Red Bull heckler! I have my own addiction to Starbucks chai lattes. It's the sugar i think more than the caffeine but it may be both. For a person who eats VERY healthily (Louisa can attest i think) this is an embarrassing addiction but still very FUN! I have one every day i can get to Starbucks which works out to maybe 4 or 5 days a week. I'm hooked! LOL: )

  2. Oooh, I knew you'd find me out somehow! Yes, I do like the Chai Lattes myself. Except I have to order mine with soy milk but they don't even hesitate with that. ((hugs))

  3. Oh my god.... I could have written this myself!!! Mother of two here, work full time.. house duties 90% up to me... i drink 2 to 3 cans a day.........I'm actually SCARED to stop... how ridiculous is that? Redbull is my "present" I gift myself with it for breakfast and I make myself wait for my second one when I get to work, someday's I've had two before I get to work at 8.30am.....so people at work think the 1 I have left is my "first" for the day.....Gas stations (we call them petrol stations) anyway, they have deals... 3 for $7 or 2 for $5 sometimes....I scope out those places... I'm finally considering quitting....Even my husband tells me i'm going to die from this .......

  4. Totally understand you, and I'm glad for you to know that you are not alone with your "presents." I try to space out the drinking, and then balance it with water. You know ... "If you want another can, you have to have a full glass of water." I tell myself that it's more "healthy." Anyway, know yourself and your body. In general, I think it's fine. I have a friend who works for fire department, too, and every now and then, they have a case where someone has a problem but they've had like three or four back-to-back.