I have been wrestling with caffeine addiction for at least fifteen years. I remember, when I was working on a computer at many moons ago, thinking to myself while I slurped a cup o’ Joe cut with amazake "Mmm… this stuff is good" … and…
"this stuff is EVIL".
I really don’t understand how it is that we’re all jacked up on caffeine (87% of all Americans have a caffeinated beverage every day) and there aren’t corpses laying in the street every ten feet. I am such a JERK when I’m on caffeine, although I’m too Canadian to let you know that. I just seethe, while you spew your gobbledygook… I seethe and I endure you .
It. Is. Awful.
But I’m not here to convince you to stop drinking it. I promise. Whenever I talk about my struggle with caffeine, it’s gets everyone all defensive and they start telling me how they only have half a cup a day… that it really doesn’t bother them… that Ambien works just great for sleep. Frankly–and please don’t take this the wrong way–I don’t care. I am just glad to have crawled recently out of my own personal hell .
Life is weird; one person’s hell is another person’s productive afternoon ! I know what my demons are and my personal constellation is unique; sugar, caffeine and a certain herb that is now available "medicinally" on nearly every strip mall in Southern California. These are my three witches; they cast evil spells over my life. I have danced with all three and each one has stuck her long, warty nose near my ear and said "You’re so screwed" .
The other two I manage to stay away from easily; Sugar, the drug that goes back the furthest, took a few years to kick, but once I did, my body really got the message. Now, in a store, when I pick up a product and scan the ingredients, if even the word "cane" appears before my eyes, my hand automatically replaces the item on the shelf. My body rejects it even before my mind can make a clear decision. The suffering it lead me to was too dark and my surrender too deep.
The aforementioned herb… well, that never had the grip on me that sugar did, but at one point in college, it did beat me into submission like a purple bunny jumping on my chest a thousand times yelling "LOSER, LOSER, LOSER!" Now I smell it on the street sometimes and think "Done".
Caffeine has been the wiliest witch. She peers from on high , on every corner, in every mall , on every cup going by . It seems like everyone in the world… black, white, man, woman, cool, nerdy, rich, poor … lines up for her every morning. Worshipers at her shrine.
It’s not so easy to go against that grain .
Not to mention that some sort of invisible coffee lobby keeps putting out material saying that it’s not bad for us. That they’re are no side effects. Oh yeah? How about TOTAL PERSONALITY TRANSFORMATION? On top of: cardiac stress, weakening of the immune system, messing with fertility, anxiety, insomnia, adrenal fatigue, mineral loss (leading to osteoporosis), and paranoia?
I’m well acquainted with all of these conditions because I’ve never been a daily user. WHAT? Oh no. I go on coffee benders, like a pathetic business man on an out-of-town spree. I can go for weeks without the Joe, getting back to my "normal" existence, only to have the cravings pull me back. So I know the damage it’s doing and the vast difference between my personal .
But this time I’ve quit differently. I’ll tell you how next week… Stay tuned.