Well, I’ve finally done it – built up such a toxicity in my body that I’ve officially ODed. A box of thin mints, a Chocolate Raspberry Fool, some vanilla pudding and a grande chai tea over the course of three days and I’m floored with a headache so bad I can’t even stand outside The Moonstruck Cafe without wanting to vomit. I thought I would have everything processed and out of my system by the next day, but a slice of pumpkin pie and some vanilla ice cream sent the knife back through my eye. Which is weird because neither pumpkin pie, nor vanilla ice cream have caffeine in them. So I call my toxicology class-taking, recently-granolified mother to ask her opinion. But first, a little history: We used to think that I had a slight chocolate allergy, because if I had too much chocolate (i.e. five Hershey’s kisses), I would get a headache and sometimes feel nauseous. But when we noticed that the same thing happened if I had too much coffee (i.e. one tall chai), Sam suggested a sensitivity, if not an allergy to caffeine (since chocolate also has caffeine in it). But with this pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream development, I’m panicking that it might not be caffeine and that maybe it’s processed sugar or something strange like that. This could lead to the end of my love affair with cheesecake, mochi ice cream and, god forbid, cookies. And quitting these things now with six weeks before graduation, less than spectacular grades, two demanding jobs and everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) breathing down my neck to know what my plans are starting May 6, is simply just out of the question. Anyway, my mom suggests that since I’ve never had a problem with pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream before, that there’s probably a build up of caffeine in my system that is slowly trying to work its way out and that as it does, it reminds me with a brain-searing headache never to consume that much caffeine again. Ever. Then she recommends that I lay off the sweets and drink a lot of water over the next couple of weeks to reboot my system. Then she launches into a monologue about how great my “homeostasis” is and that I’ll actually probably be fine in a few days because my body, along with my moods and emotions, are usually very good about keeping in balance. She starts talking about the four-inch beam that I was born on and how I’ve never really been able to let myself fall off. All metaphors and double entendres intended. And AB is supposed to be the Libra.

After about a week of this caffeine detox, as I’m sneaking one of the leftover Reese’s hearts from Valentine’s Day, I realize that lately my life has taken on this theme of “detoxifying.” It started with Bikram’s Yoga – the yoga where you spend an hour and a half in a 100 F room sweating our your worries, tension and other general nastiness clogging your mind and body. Then I finally completely severed ties with my emotional roller coaster of a quasi-ex-boyfriend, with a surprisingly little amount of bitterness. Then I stopped my OCP’s and lately have started thinking about what else I can cut out of my life. During our talk, my mom was telling me about this book she read that said that health is not about what you add to your diet/life; it’s about what you take out. It got me thinking about how much better my life would be if I didn’t have to worry about how awkward graduation is going to be with my entire family there, or by how much a B in Physics will ruin my GPA, or whether or not I made it into JET, or my plans for after May 7, or if I addressed the envelopes using the correct salutations, or if some unsupervised brat stole a walking stick egg…

Okay, so clearly it’s unrealistic to cut everything that causes me stress out of my life, but in this particularly chaotic time, the idea of simplifying things a little greatly appeals to me. When I was talking to Nancy, our school gynecologist, about going off the pills, she was all for it. She told me how wonderful it would be to see that my body was functioning normally without the pills and how refreshing it would be to have everything be “all me” again. And she’s right – there’s something empowering about clearing out all the stuff that’s been clogging up my life lately and just being myself again. That being said, I think one of those detoxifying mud wraps would be freakin’ awesome. Graduation gift, anyone?

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