Outside of the In-Crowd – Kicking the habit (no this is not an inappropriate nun joke)

Courtney Enlow

Courtney Enlow

* ahem *

My name is Courtney. And I’m an addict.

This isn’t some bait and switch annoying post where I say “I’m an addict. OMG shoes.” or “… to chocolate! OMG ovaries.” I have a serious problem, and frankly, it’s one that doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it so deserves.

I have a serious addiction to over the counter nasal spray.

Through my research via the Googles, I have found that this is a really common and damaging addiction. My understanding is that one doesn’t get addicted to the spray itself, per se, rather it’s healing properties. Here’s where I get foggy, but I’m pretty sure what happens next is that your nose begins to tighten like a vice-grip and you can no longer breath ever again and your sinuses just fill and fill and your head explodes and you die in a very graphic Scanners kind of scenario.

It started probably a year and a half ago. I’ve always had bad allergies, which combined with asthma equals bad news bears and further proof of what a fucking nerd I am. Needless to say, breathing has always been a bit of a challenge for me. When people say things like “it comes so natural, it’s like breathing” my response is generally BULLSHIT because no it doesn’t.

It all started with a single bottle of Fo … hey Joel, can we get sued for saying name-brands and associating them with badness? … ‘kay. So it all started with a single bottle of Number Direction Nasal Spray. (I almost went with Menage a Quatre nasal spray but decided against it. For the kids.) The leading name-brand nasal spray, the one that if this was Family Feud would ellicit a “survey says?” and the board would show a bazillionty percent, has never worked for me at all. NDNS, however? Holy shitsinuses Batman, it was miraculous. I could breathe through my nose for once. I could smell things. I could close my mouth without risking suffocation. It was beautiful.

Like with any drug, I started out just using here and there. Maybe every other day, daily during allergy season. No big whoop. Then my nose started doing the tighten-closing-Scanners-AHHshit-explosion thing and I had to increase frequency. At my peak, I was using every two hours every day, sometimes more. This includes night, which is why I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in a VERY long time. Almost two years, and I couldn’t breathe for more than 120 minutes without shooting chemicals into my nasal passages.

Not to be graphic, but I’m pretty sure the inside of my nose looks a lot like when Jeff Goldblum turned into BrundleFly.

I don’t tell you this to be all “let’s talk about me” or anything (who am I kidding, of COURSE I am) but rather to drop some damn science on you. No offense, HoTrash readership, but let’s face it – a lot of us probably have asthma and allergies around these here parts, which in our youth were often exacerbated by the big kids dropping your books and stealing your inhaler (like that twunty Casey from grade school. I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE, FUCKER.) So in all probability, you or someone you know has been affected by nasal spray dependence Scanners head explodey disease. Talk to your kids.

Anyway, a week ago, I decided to kick the habit cold turkey, and I’ve done so with only minor withdrawal symptoms. The first few nights were pretty miserable, but I got over it. It’s always the anticipation of not doing something anymore that psychs you out and scares you I think. Which is why I’ve decided to up the ante: I’m also quitting caffeine.

Oh, my friends, I do not intend to do this forever or completely. Eff that tired noise. But here’s the thing: my Starbucks order embarrasses literally everyone in earshot (I get regular black coffee when it’s warm, but as soon as it gets cold I can generally be found ordering things like a quad shot grande skinny hazelnut mocha, no whip, ah screw it, make it five shots.) I pretty much cut out soda after high school, mostly because cases of soda are really hard to carry home from the grocery store when you don’t have a car and live four long blocks from Jewel. But coffee and tea? I’d say I have two cups (and by “cups” I mean grandes or mediums depending on whether or not I want to bow to the Man) and then a cup of tea every night before bed. And then sometimes I’ll have three or four caffeinated mints. And lest we forget my ill-fated affair with Dexatrim back during Comic Con. Caffeine and I have had a long and volatile relationship, but I always come back to the sweet arms of my torrid lover, to be left shaking and jittery in its wake and then fall asleep at 9:30 unable to wake up at 6:30 the next morning.

I’ve never been addicted to “real” drugs. The aforementioned allergies and asthma (a.k.a., Nerd Flu) have precluded me from being a smoker (except for a few inebriato evenings and one week where I decided I was a deep brokenhearted artist), and I really don’t drink all that often (and when I do, I drink wine, a.k.a. Sleepy Juice. I don’t know how anyone has time to become a true wino when they’re sleeping the whole damn time.) I’ve never tried anything narcoticky, that shit sounds scary. So I guess that nasal spray and caffeine are my entire descent down the path of serious addiction.

Dammit I’m boring. Get out of my way, I’m getting some heroin.

Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at courtney@hobotrashcan.com.

  1. Bill October 20, 2008
  2. Ashley October 21, 2008
  3. Casey October 21, 2008
  4. CourtsDad October 22, 2008
  5. Courtney October 22, 2008

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