To put it simply: it’s time to cut coffee out of my diet.
Don’t get me wrong or anything… I’ve been an average user of the stuff. At height of it all, I would consume up to four cups a day. There would be times I would substitute energy drinks to get the required fix (which also included its own set of problems).
Here is my personal take, in regards to the pros and the cons…
- thinking on the fly becomes a daring act — I believe I think faster. I know I talk faster. I can get ideas and I can suddenly spew out a thousand words a second.
- thinking faster results in less of self-criticism, especially in high tension situation that can result in a mild anxiety episode
- caffeine naps; something I haven’t truly mastered but felt the benefits when done right… go away for a few minutes and come back rocking and rolling.
As for the cons…
- the after effects of caffeine is fueling my existing traces of anxiety and leaving me in an antsy state of mind — which results in losing focus.
- it can be an expensive habit if you’re drinking outside your home
- dependency — let’s face it, it’s a drug and when I don’t get my fix I get the tension headaches and I get into a negative, grouchy mood… because of that…
- influencing/affecting my behavior: if I drink it, I’m happy… if I don’t… then I get into a foul mood and leads to me acting negatively to those around me.
So, yeah. It’s time to quit coffee to avoid the caffeine. I know there’s decaf and there are things like “Kaffree” for people who want to retain the taste of the good stuff without feeling those ill effects of caffeine. For me, I know in the end, it won’t be perfect. I’ll probably get a milk tea fix now and then… but it’s specifically that smell and texture and the kick you get in the face that coffee gives me that I need to stop.
I can’t take a chance. And so this is my plan and my grand farewell to the good stuff that I had loved for so many years.
Some of my fondest memories involve coffee. When I was a kid, my mom would let me sip a bit of a canned coffee, Mr. Brown, whenever we would go to a specific grocery store and had to park on the street out front. I can’t remember the store or location but I would always get excited when my mom would share it with me. My sister wasn’t allowed because she was younger and she didn’t like it at all. But for me, it was awesome.
If we jump cut to the university years, I’m sipping on it like mad. There would be points of me downing those overlarge energy drinks daily. There was a time where I would take on the Americano at Starbucks which had them load up four espresso shots into a cup and had me smiling like a fool and bouncing around like a crazed lunatic.
I would buy into the deep belief that it would give me the focus and speed to creatively think of ideas and roll with the crowd around me. Then, there would be times I would sip for no reason but to have something to do. I’ll even feel the urge to drink to “ease” myself before some kind of task or event.
During my blip of a moment stint doing improv classes, I would load myself into a cup before marching in. I was nervous as the person next to me but I just couldn’t handle it because I was moving through a mild depression and was really closed up for all the years of social isolation and anxiety. Yes, improv eventually helped me moved up but I didn’t participate enough to complete the training. But, I knew that coffee helped got me thinking faster on my feet and coming up with ideas and spur of the moment actions that got the right laughs in the right places.
As for presentations, I would drink coffee before. This habit eventually carried over to the teaching days. Why would I do this? Again, the belief that I could speed through without the worry of thinking about my flaws and letting my negative thoughts to creep it. It’s a sad excuse because it’s all a mental thing, and I know that in my heart that my abilities to think fast and overcome my problems has nothing to do with caffeine. For the past two weeks, I’ve managed to lower my dosage into a small mug that I prepare and specifically drink at 10AM.
I don’t let myself drink outside that window and to see how the rest of my day is. And guess what? It’s doing OK. Aside from some sleepiness and tiredness during my time resting, I’m usually highly energetic and able to push out the same efforts as I would if I downed an afternoon/evening dosage.
For me, that means it’s always been in my head. I don’t need it. I believe I don’t need it and I got to keep believing it and buying into it until my brain and body accepts it.
Why do I want to do this? Not only was I addicted to it and believe it would assist in my own avoidance of my mental thoughts, I began to realize the negative effects when I delayed my dosage or accidentally skipped a dosage due to traveling or some unforeseen event. Or, when I drank too much, I would also get some bad effects. A quicker sensation of panic and uneasiness. And there was a problem of tension headaches… something that I’m dreading as I prepare to lower my dosage to zero in the coming days.
The final straw was when I was traveling with Bunny and that’s when I realized that I can be an ass sometimes. I already have some social anxiety issues that come and goes. But with this coffee/caffeine addiction… I’m having this explosion of negativity that comes and goes when the stress builds or when the headaches settle in. I’m already dealing with that social anxiety stuff with my meditation practice and trying to incorporate more exercise into my life… but that issue and side effects of coffee are adding fuel to that fire.
That’s why I’m trying my hardest to quit. If there’s a slight chance that it is affecting my behavior and fucking with my anxiety in any way… then it’s time to stop.
I’ve admitted it and I need to do it.
When life isn’t fun for others around you and it’s specifically making the ones you love to feel the burn of harsh words or actions… it’s time to man up and accept the responsibilities of your actions and find a solution.
My plan tells me in another week I will drop to half the dosage of my brew, but another part of me is dying to go the cold turkey route again. I’ve tried it once “for fun” and it resulted in a mental state of sleeping like crazy and massive headaches for a few days and getting flu-like symptoms by the end of the week. It’s definitely something I don’t want to repeat again but I know that it will be waiting for me at the gate of freedom.
I don’t need it to wake up when I understand how to maximize my sleep based on sleep cycles.
I don’t need it to write when I can just free write for 10 minutes before the little motor of creativity wakes up by itself and lets me go on a rampage.
I don’t need it to entertain people because I found out, in my own twisted heart, I’m good enough to give people the right emotional connection to make them feel motivated and inspired and let out a good laugh.
I don’t need any drink that would supposedly give me wings so I can soar around like a lunatic. I should already realize that all that is a result of myself. I know that in my power, my abilities and skills and personality should not be the result of some kind of drink or chemical compound I need to take. That’s not the way it should be.
It’s finally time to slow things down and enjoy each moment.
Good or bad or ugly.
It’s all my moments to embrace.