I myself had two failed attempts at giving up in 2014, but always came back to the same conclusion. I like it too much and need it too much given my sleep situation. I have hardly any vices these days, and it seems ludicrous to deny myself something that makes me as happy as coffee does.
Too much of a good thing
It was becoming increasingly obvious that I was drinking too much though, and needed to cut down. The trouble is that it’s addictive, and ‘just drinking less’ wasn’t going to happen naturally. On day four of our recent eleven day holiday, I had six double espressos throughout the course of the day. I fell asleep fine that night, but woke up with a pounding heart at 3am, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I made a decision in my crazy insomnia driven state that I was going cold turkey tomorrow. I figured that even if I suffered with a banging headache, and felt too tired to put one foot in front of the other, then at least I could do it in blazing sunshine sitting by the pool.
As it happened, my caffeine withdrawal symptoms didn’t seem as bad this time as they had previously, and I coped a lot better overall. I didn’t touch a drop for the rest of the holiday, and found myself feeling quite smug about kicking my habit. I had to check myself though, to ensure I didn’t turn into one of those annoying ex-smoker types, telling everyone else that they should stop polluting their bodies, blah blah blah. Hubby joked that I’d only found it easier this time because I was able to have a G&T whenever I felt like it to take the edge off. In fairness to me I was pretty restrained on that front too, given there were plenty of others on the beers at 10am. Each to their own and all that.
After a month of no coffee, and bearing in mind that I wasn’t substituting for copious amounts of other caffeine laden drinks either, I can honestly say that I didn’t see any of the dramatic (or less dramatic) life altering changes other people talk about. I didn’t lose weight (I gained it), my skin didn’t start glowing. I didn’t seen an improvement in mood, nor was I less emotional around crimson tide time. I guess the one thing I shouldn’t discount is that keeping away from coffee shops does save a few quid here and there.
So what’s this truly incredible thing that happened you might be wondering?
Here’s the thing that I learnt. A coffee free life makes me miserable. I really enjoy it, and should take my pleasures where I can. My world didn’t change in a positive way, and was not enhanced one iota by giving it up, it just made me sad.
There is no denying the fact that I was drinking too much, but completely excluding it was unnecessary. What I needed to do was learn a bit of self-control, and be happy to stop at two a day. So that’s where I’m at. I’ve broken the need to ‘have’ to have a coffee as soon as I wake up, which has been nice. From now on, if I fancy a coffee I’ll have one, and if I don’t then I won’t.
And that is absolutely okay.
If I tell you again that I’m giving up, please give me a stern talking to!
**Disclaimer: This is my personal experience, and should not be taken as prescriptive advice for others.**