15 December 2013

Caffeine-free, what it means to me.

Today was supposed to be my first day off coffee. It wasn't. I woke up, said to myself, 'Yes. Thank God for coffee,' before reveling in excitement at the thought of savoring it as I do each morning. Yesterday, I decided today would be day 1 of the cold turkey quitting period so I would not have to experience withdrawal the first day of a long work week. However, upon awakening, my tune had changed. After consuming my first cup, I then decided to keep it going, to get the most enjoyment out of it, since I resigned myself to stop drinking it starting tomorrow. Ended up going overboard and drinking 2-3 cups. Talk about out-of-control.

We know how this goes. I tried quitting last Monday, yet didn't follow through as it was Monday. Never plan to start something serious Monday. Isn't that how the saying goes? Or, never start a major project on Monday. Quitting coffee is a major freaking project. When I last quit cold turkey, it was November 4th, which happened to be a Monday, so I guess it's possible. However, I remember feeling encouraged by the fact that my crush (who was out on vacation for a week or so at the time) would return to notice how revitalized I was when not jacked on caffeine. Of course, I had other motives as well, but the crush factor was good incentive.

I lasted twenty days. Twenty days. Went through some withdrawal symptoms including headaches and feeling down and emotional. Craved chocolate several times on the way home from work due to emotions running on high, yet persisted. Kept reminding myself of my many reasons for giving up caffeine. Stayed strong in my conviction. Figured I would at least make it to thirty days. Thirty days is nothing, I told myself. Anyone can do thirty days. It was my goal to re-evaluate my plan once I reached that point.  However, there was a plot twist. I discovered one Saturday, through facebook, the fact that my crush was married. The following day, I gave into the fix. What would have marked three weeks caffeine-free was celebrated by a surrendering to the craving. I made excuses to justify having surrendered to the vice. Told myself I deserved it. It's close enough to thirty days. What's ten days short? No one besides you is counting anyway. Who cares? You only live once. I also rationalized that given that I was going to be home a few days during Thanksgiving week and the week thereafter, I might as well make the most of my break by indulging, lest it be devoid of that extra dose of fun. So I have been drinking coffee every day since November 24. Aside from evidencing the fact that I have a soft spot for coffee, this demonstrates the fact that I don't do moderation well, as I didn't just pick up where I left off and discontinue the coffee intake that following day. No, I not only fell off the wagon, but was now being dragged through the dirt. Bad analogy. Oh well, tried my best.

So begins yet another attempt to curtail this habit, which is somewhat of an emotional crutch for me. In looking back at the month of November, I realize now that it was a rather stressful month all around so I am not going to beat myself up for not completing my self-imposed thirty-day challenge. There were the thyrogen injections, the side effects of same, the recovery period, and the stress of what this treatment signified. Of much lesser significance, but still upsetting, was going through withdrawal from my crush and then discovering the disheartening reality that he was not only unavailable but married. It was not an easy month and as a result, I buckled in terms of caffeine pressure. To me, caffeine is a means of release. As much as it triggers anxiety and other adverse symptoms, for a brief bit, it lifts my spirit and makes me feel so alive. It's a symbol of hope and energy. It's that one thing I can look forward to each day, to further brighten my outlook.

Why then am I so emphatic about this cold turkey business? Because aside from the crash effect, heart palps, racing heart, anxiety, panic, and digestive issues, all induced by my consumption of this deliciously splendid drink, I dislike my emotional attachment and addiction to it. I notice when I am stressed or upset about something, I look to caffeine as means of coping. While, of course, I believe there are many benefits to caffeine, for me, the cons outweigh the pros, at least in terms of routine consumption. My goal is to get back to the place where I don't need it to function, to cope, to deal with life's stresses, but rather to simply enjoy it as an occasional treat. This is the goal and why I intend to jump back on the wagon of being caffeine free for the most part.

No comments:

Post a Comment