One of the things I've been most proud of in my life is that I've lived it relatively vice-free. I don't smoke, I rarely imbibe alcohol, and I never drink to excess1. Save for a few periods of my life where I had a mental and physical dependency on NyQuil2, I've lived relatively drug-free.
That said, I'm ashamed to admit that I'm now hopelessly addicted to another green substance. That substance is Coca-Cola's Vault, a rehash/relaunch of their popular yet discontinued Surge beverage.
I was never very excited by Surge, but I've discovered that Vault has immense power over me. Since its release, I've been drinking unhealthy amounts of it, finding myself unable to turn it down. If I'm not drinking it, I'm thinking about it; every half-filled yellow-green bottle lying on the side of the freeway enrages me at the thought of someone wasting a single drop of that glorious elixr. "Just say no," indeed.
Three weeks ago I decided not to buy any more. Yet every Monday morning since, I've stopped and picked up copious amounts of my cruelly delicious master on my way to work. I've even found myself eager to get to work most mornings, thinking of the dwindling stash of Vault in my... achem... vault. Then comes the consumption; whether I'm the consumer or the consumee is still up for debate.
If only I didn't have a moral opposition to 12-step programs3, I might be able to kick this stuff. Seeing as I do, however, I think I'll just "crack open another Vault" instead.
1: Whether or not I swear in front of my mother when I lose on a porn bet is another story. (Thanks, Will!)
2: I've found myself still taking the NyQuil after the last traces of my illness were gone, justifying it by treating it as a "preventative measure."
3: I may post about this in the future, but the short version is that 12-step programs require you to not only acknowledge a belief in a higher power, but also admit that you need said higher power to solve your problems for you. They're careful to not say just which higher power you have to pick, but you do have to pick. If you happen to believe that there's no such thing as a higher power, you have to recant your beliefs in order to complete your program.
The state routinely forces people to enroll in 12-step programs as a mandatory part of a DUI sentence. Thusly, it's a government establishment of religion -- which is not only unconstitutional, but wrong too. If you don't see how that's wrong, just imagine for a second how you'd feel if you were a deist and were forced by the state to admit that God doesn't exist.
I have to say that I am not quite as vice-free as you, being currently in the midst of quitting smoking, and having had what some might call a "wayward" youth.
I will second the addiction to sweet, sweet, carbonated/caffeinated beverages, as one who previously had a $10/day Red Bull habit. I still get little shudders when I smell its chewable-tylenol scent upon opening.
I will, alos, however, second your thoughts on 12 step programs. It is completely preposterous that our State can impose it as a "treatment" method, when they don't approve of any other non-"high power" using methods. I was actually a member for a while, but as a militant atheist, I could never get into it. Some people try and claim that your "higher power" can be anything bigger than yourself, or that "God" can stand for "Good Orderly Direction." It's bullshit. They are talking about God (Big G). AA was a splinter group from the Oxford Group, a cult in the 20's, when Smith and Dr. Bob left to form their own cult. (I don't use that term lightly, either. It really is.)
The author lives in Vancouver, Washington, USA with his girlfriend and a menagerie of cats, rats, fish, birds, guinea pigs and robots.
Among other inanities, he strives to use investigative techniques to work young starlet breasts into every aspect of rational discourse -- focusing on the discourse, thus making it not perverted. Also, has recently begun a career as "Internet hairstylist."
He can be contacted via email and Jabber IM at 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. He likes to be contacted.
(All press inquiries, however, ought be directed towards the author's agent, Alistair Hoel, via email to email@example.com.)