I watched The Secret Garden with my kids this evening. Later, I read some inspiring and insightful articles online, as my family all went to sleep before I did. It got me thinking about how I am still struggling with caffeine. Here are the facts:
I have been a soda fiend since before I can remember, with my grandparents and father handing me baby bottles full as a toddler.
I have tried before to quit soda, and have even succeeded in the past (several times, for months, and once for over a year).
However, in recent times, I’ve made the unpleasant connection that a sustained lack of caffeine creates the presence of “cranky-bitch mommy”, whom I do not like AT ALL and actively strive to avoid.
This year, I finally caved to my husband’s occasional desire for home-brewed coffee, and allowed a coffeemaker to enter our home. As predicted, this thing has become the bane of my existence, since I now crave a cup’o coffee every morning just to gain coherence, let alone productivity of any sort throughout the day. It may usually be only one cup of coffee, but sometimes it’s two. I don’t drink the cheap stuff either–and it’s got to have special creamer, too. This is only spiraling out of control as the years go on.
Years. I’ve struggled with caffeine for years, and it’s getting worse and worse for me. The last time I quit, I quit for nearly six months, but I experienced really debilitating mental and physical effects of withdrawal for what felt like two weeks. Prior to that purge, however, I was downing a 12-pack of soda every day or so, with energy drinks and cups of coffee thrown in for variety. It’s so embarrassing to admit that, as someone who is supposedly concerned with their health, both physically and spiritually. Addiction at that level is simply gross, no matter the substance–and while I’m thankfully not that deep into it anymore, I also know that it would be disturbingly easy for me to regress back into such awful habits, under the wrong circumstances.
But back to my insightful readings. I know that any new habit can be relatively well-incorporated after 30 days of sustained, no-nonsense effort. I also know that my habits must support my goals if I intend to take them seriously.
So why do I keep the coffeepot? Why do I allow myself to imagine how delicious a soda would be, poured into a frosty glass with ice, along with my dinner?
I think the fear of such drastic withdrawal symptoms–most of all my appalling mood shift–is what’s keeping me caffeinated most of all. However, according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, caffeine withdrawal is a matter of getting over the hump–which normally doesn’t last more than 4-5 days. If I can’t hack it for that long, then I have bigger problems than caffeine addiction!
I need to find a way to keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay, which mainly includes being able to not become a horrible, cranky burden on my family. This will take active concentration and attention to “ward off at the pass”, so to speak. But it’s not insurmountable. People can and do get over addictions to much, much worse things then caffeine all the time.
Barring this, I need to take some very salient advice that I just keep coming back to, as if the Universe continually causes it to cross my path: Just Do It. The only barrier between the achievement of my goals and dreams, and my current reality…is me.