I stopped by Starbucks this morning for a treat. Sometimes I can go without a coffee for up to three weeks. I never drank much coffee when I was in college. I remember only a handful of times when I had some mochas to help with the all-nighters. I usually wake up happy and energized, even with just five hours of sleep.
When I started my first job after college, I spent most of the day just reading technical material. Technical reading is not like leisure reading. It is boring work. There is no magic in it, no living happily ever after, and definitely no dragons.
Flavored shots and creamy foam started my coffee addiction
At first it was just a Starbucks here and there. Then it was Starbucks every morning. Once I started calculating how much this was costing me, I switched to regular coffee with the flavored creamers.
I started worrying about my coffee addiction when I started drinking two cups of plain black coffee every day. I would feel sluggish the entire day without it. At first I just thought it was because I was not getting enough sleep.
Nine hours each night and three weeks later, my lethargic mornings could not be explain by lack of sleep. It was coffee addiction at its worst because my sluggishness would not disappear until after my first cup of morning coffee.
Trying to tame my coffee addiction with tea
Trying to tame my coffee addiction with tea resulted in drinking at least 4 teabags within a two hour period. The four teabags probably gave me the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. So I started this cycle of on again and off again coffee drinking habit for the next two years.
The withdrawal symptoms each time I try to quit were so agonizing that within a few days I would reach for that coffee pot again. Such an insignificant thing, yet I obsessed over when I would finally be able to throw out that coffee pot. While some women start a new diet every Monday morning, I start a new plan to quit my coffee addiction.
When I was able to quit drinking coffee for good
I was able to quit my coffee addiction for good when I had a two month break from work while I was in the process of switching jobs. But it was a miserable two months, waking up with a headache and lethargic all day. No matter how much sleep I was getting, I was still tired and cranky. Then one day (the 56th day to be exact), the symptoms disappeared. I am my former energetic self again in the morning.
Why is coffee a necessity for so many people?
People talk about drugs, drinking, and smoking with their kids. But caffeine is also an addictive substance that is acceptable and often encouraged with the numerous coffee shops and energy drinks found everywhere. It really saddens me to hear about my co-worker’s teenage daughter loading up on coffee and energy drinks throughout the day to get through all her activities. Isn’t it better to just slow down and get more sleep? Do we really need to fit everything in?
Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.
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