Three months. That is how long its been since I had a coffee. I didn’t have to give it up; but I needed to.
I love coffee. Warm, frothy, aromatic, tasty, comforting, caffeinating… That last part is where my divorce from coffee begins. I used to be able to drink the stuff all day long with no discernible impact. For years, I’ve had two shots in the morning and two shots in the afternoon. But something changed. I got in a rut. If I didn’t have my afternoon coffee, I crashed. No big deal; have an afternoon coffee and all would be well. That worked until the afternoon coffee started making jittery.
I couldn’t focus. I felt like my heart was racing. My energy level was spiky. Clearly, my body/brain’s relationship with coffee had changed; and I didn’t like the way it was making me feel. It took me a while to figure out and admit that the caffeine was the problem. I had to make a change. So I quit drinking the stuff; cold turkey.
Giving up coffee (caffeine) was hard; really hard; harder than I imagined. I went through physical and behavioral with-drawl. I had a splitting headache. My body was re-adjusting to life without caffeine and it wasn’t happy. Apparently, I was really cranky. Three days in, Wendy looked at me and suggested that maybe I should re-consider; she said “maybe you should consider drinking coffee again.” I was beyond cranky; I was apparently unbearable. But I soldiered on.
A few days later the headache lifted. My energy level re-balanced. I didn’t crash in the afternoon. My ability to focus improved. I was free. Sitting here today, I just feel better not drinking the stuff. Who would have known? This isn’t some great triumph on my part. After all, we’re talking about giving up coffee. Caffeine is addictive, but it’s not seriously addictive like heroin per se.
I’m not suggesting you give up coffee. I still love the stuff; it just wasn’t working for me anymore. But, there is a lesson here: Listen to your body. I didn’t feel right. I needed to change something. If you feel like you “need” something that is of questionable benefit to you (I don’t put exercise in the category for an example), try living without it for a while. You might find you feel better without it.