I barely lasted two days.
The second-biggest thing I was worried about when preparing to get Invisaligned was the fact that I would have to basically stop eating candy. See, the thing with Invisalign is that you have to take them out to eat. And when you’re done eating, you brush your teeth and then put the aligner trays back on. For most people, the candy-cessation would not have to occur. They wouldn’t have to worry about cutting back, because they didn’t eat that much candy. Normal people could just pop a piece after their lunch, go brush, and then be happy.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve developed an addiction to candy. It started out, as most addictions do, through boredom and availability, I suppose. I was working at CVS (Revco, when I began there in 1997), surrounded by aisles and aisles of snacks. I’d always had a sweet tooth, but CVS made me, quite literally, a kid in a candy store. My habit grew as I moved on to my next jobs—desk jobs, making it easy to sit and munch all day. I never gained enough weight from it to grow concerned (I’ve probably only gained about 15 pounds in the last 10 years, really. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much all gone to my ass and middle. Not cool.), so I never felt guilty or wrong about my habit.
Before this week, I probably spent about $5-$10 a week on candy. That doesn’t sound like much, but you can buy a lot of candy with that. I love what a co-worker once referred to as “retro candy”: Pez, Sour Patch Kids, gumballs… pretty much the fun candy that kids eat. I like chocolate, but find it too filling. My favorite thing was to bring in Tootsie Rolls or assorted mint candies–mint Mike and Ikes were my latest obsession–because they were cheap and plentiful. And I didn’t eat all my candy myself. I shared generously with my co-workers (even when they shit-talked my choice for the day.)
It was a habit. I was an addict. I guess I still am.
Like a dope addict trying to kick, I was faced with my first wave of withdrawal today after lunch. I’ve only been clean since Monday, but it’s hit me hard.
I ate a banana this morning before brushing and putting my aligners in, and for lunch I had a turkey and swiss cheese sandwich. Many days I don’t even eat breakfast, so I figured I was doing well, eating a little more than usual to help cope with the lack of candy.
My body didn’t appreciate the trickery.
After I finished my sandwich, I felt a little shaky. “Maybe I waited too long to eat,” I thought, remembering seeing 11:45 a.m. on my computer screen as I ate, knowing I was eating almost a full hour before usual. I brushed and put my aligners on, hoping the feeling would subside as soon as the turkey could work its magic.
Well, the only magic it worked was making me fucking sleepy (they don’t lie, turkey is some tryptophan-voodoo shit for real). An hour passed, and I was starting to feel like passing out. I was really shaking now. I had a headache. I was lightheaded. Nauseated.
“Fuck,” I thought, “I’ve already brushed and put my aligners back in!” But passing out at work was not an option. I knew what I had to do.
I slunk up front to the candy bowl at the front desk and grabbed three pieces of smack: One tootsie roll and two strawberry chews. Back at my desk, I removed the aligners and proceeded to slowly eat the three candies.
A few minutes later I stopped shaking and wasn’t afraid of hitting the floor anymore. My headache had lessened, and I became more sure that I wasn’t going to see my lunch appear in the garbage can next to my desk.
So, the moral of the story is that this isn’t going to be easy. I didn’t think it would be, but I didn’t exactly envision physical withdrawals, either. I figured the mental addiction would be harder to break, but apparently my mind is a little more held together than I thought. HA!
I guess I’m going to have to take it slow, maybe eat a piece or two of candy after lunch before I put the aligners back in, until I feel stabilized enough to go completely without.
You know, I’m glad I never took up cigarettes. Or crack.
Tags: Invisalign, addiction