Where have I gone wrong? What brought me to this place? I'm going to examine my relationship with coffee. I don't know when I began incorporating it into my daily life after a few years' hiatus, but it's been at least several months, if not nearly a year. Heck, it might even be over a year since I started drinking it regularly again. All I know, is I have tried to give it up for quite some time to no avail, most recently succeeding for three weeks last month, before succumbing at the end of November.
What I noticed when I gave it up is that I felt less anxious, yet more tearful on the whole, and my energy level had not returned to baseline by the end of that three weeks. It was a slow process. I gave in on November 24 (just 1 day shy of a full 3 weeks cold turkey) because... well, I couldn't contain myself, having awakened to an insanely deliciously smelling brew in my friend's house in Philly, and then coming home with the hangover effect of having realized the guy I was crushing on was married.
Maybe that was a test I needed to push beyond, but I figured maybe I would be able to resume my coffee-free challenge the day or so after. Ha, like it would be that easy. However, then I made the excuse that given that I would have off the following week from work, I would be doing myself a disservice by depriving myself of the daily morning ritual of coffee, especially given the warmth and inspiration it would provide when it came time to press forward with my novel writing efforts.
So the week of November 24th and the week after, I had coffee, and some chocolate, to cap off the good feelings that the caffeine provides. I kept in mind my intent to reduce my consumption, sooner rather than later. There was a week or so this month (December) where I did cut down to less than a cup for a few days, to try to slowly wean myself off it before going cold turkey again. However, I have not been able to resist the temptation since that fateful November day.
In fact, these past two weeks, I have been on a downward spiral. I have been treating myself not just to one, but two, and even three cups of coffee a day. One and a half in the morning and another cup and a half in the afternoon as a pick me up. I swore I was going to cut back, particularly before my company's Christmas luncheon (which took place last Fri), because I was already stressing majorly about it and knew if I were to cut back, it might help with the mounting anxiety. However, despite my convictions and my vow to give it up each successive day, Thursday creeped up on me and I was still hankering for that mid afternoon Wawa 12 oz, and obliging that hankering to the utmost.
I ended up taking 2 magnesium pills and cutting out caffeine the following morning (the day of the luncheon), but still felt anxious. However, I presume that my anxiety was far less intense than had I indulged the morning of the event. However, I did relent that afternoon upon getting back to the office and had a cup, which revved me up like no other. I suck at moderation, so since then, my consumption as been steadily climbing.
This week, nearly every day I had three cups of coffee, in addition to an entire bar of chocolate last night and the night before (The dark salted caramel kind from TJ's -- My absolute fav). It's a bit out of control. It may have to do with the TOM approaching, as well as some anxieties I have been having just in general, about work... and life... and relationships, or the lack thereof in terms of romance in my life. All I know is my gut is telling me to quit, but I keep ignoring it.
While at night I have plans to not have it the following day, I make excuses upon awakening. Furthermore, while I could reduce my consumption little by little, I seem to fail and enacting this plan of action and end up going overboard, having triple the amount I intend to have, for one reason or another. It's really making me an anxious mess and my tolerance level for stressful situations and noise is at an all time low. Furthermore, my salivary glands are suffering. Also, I can tell it's taxing my digestive system and my adrenals, and my body needs a break. However, at this point, I actually feel a bit fearful of the impending withdrawal symptoms, because I know it will be worse than ever since I have never consumed this much caffeine ever on a daily basis.
I anticipate headaches for starters, low energy for a few weeks if not months, as well. Also, I notice my teeth have been really sensitive lately and they're yellowing, so that's an unpleasant side effect of this caffeine habit. What I have realized is that weaning off the stuff little by little doesn't work for me. Not my style. I either go full board or nothing. Give me a little and I'm hooked to the extreme and take it to the next level and beyond, making excuses every step of the way to compensate for my love for it, and before I realize, I'm in over my head and upon closer inspection, realize my body needs a break. It's screaming from the inside out to give it a rest.
So with that, I bid adieu to my beloved caffeine. At least, in the hopes I am able to resist temptation. I need to be strong and do this for the right reasons. My friend relayed to me a great analogy the other night. He said Jillian Michael's said something like: 'If you're on the highway and a tire goes flat, do you just sit there and stall, do you get out and slash all four tires out of frustration? No, you replace the damn tire.' So that's what I'm doing. I'm moving forward despite my past indiscretions. So I have been overindulging in the coffee and chocolate department. Am I going to let it hold me down? Am I going to let it eat at me and suck me dry? No pun intended. Am I going to just continue to cave in day by day, thereby theoretically slashing each last one of my good tires? No. I'm going to drink more water. Exercise. Eat well. Essentially, make the change by cutting it out, until I feel better, or at least, okay without it. One day at a time. Better yet, one moment at a time. Moving forward. Over and out.