Addiction is a very serious thing. Whether your vice is cigarettes, alcohol, sex, or if you prefer to really walk on the wild side like me—coffee—it’s, either way, a severe struggle to overcome. I have been around addiction for most of my life. Family members have dealt with drug and alcohol problems and some just grew accustomed to living unhealthy lifestyles. Those behavioral attributes, unfortunately, failed to skip my generation.
I’ve never tried drugs and I only drink alcohol every few months because I know that I most likely foster those hereditary triggers. So, I stay away from the bad stuff, but coffee? Man… listen, I love my coffee and I have to have at least three cups every day.
When I worked in the city, Dunkin Donuts was a must-have during my morning commute. Large, please, 3 sugars, and heavy on the cream. Throughout the day I’d head over to our company breakroom to fire up a few K-cups in varying flavors every few hours. Then, sometimes when I got home at night, I’d weigh the pros and cons of a sugary cup of lemonade or a sugary cup of coffee, and would ultimately choose the latter because it could at least help me power through any leftover assignments.
Coffee had me bad, and it wasn’t up until recently when I realized just how bad it had gotten. For about two weeks straight I had been operating on this high of anxiety without even knowing it. It became my norm. I would frustrate myself for going to bed too early without finishing my to-do list and I’d wake up without the necessary fuel to face the day.
I’d call my mother a few times during the day to vent but not really, I was just on a high and I needed someone to dump on. I’d run my boyfriend (and whoever else was brave enough to call me during the day) up the wall with my frantic energy. In between my lack of sleep, I’d eagerly pick up extra work shifts or someone else’s slack. Depleted, I would carry on and lean on my cup of brown to keep me moving.
There are countless studies that harp on about the benefits of coffee, which include a decreased risk of depression, Parkinson’s Disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and liver cancer, according to NBC. That may be all well and good, but I’m going to drive myself crazy before I ever get to reap those rewards.
Psycom confirmed the scariest part of my fears. The effects of caffeine include agitation (check), sleep problems (check), restlessness (check), increased heart rate (check), and changes in mood (check), among other crazy symptoms.
Last week, I just said enough. Enough. I was going to try to survive one day without any coffee. Spoiler alert: I did it and it made me feel so much better.
The night before my detox, I committed to going to sleep at 9 p.m., which was 3 hours before my usual bedtime. The next day I avoided the coffee pot altogether. I usually grab a filter and my scooper, but this time I wouldn’t even look in coffee’s direction. I replaced my normal cup with hot chocolate. Doing this provided me with that warm, gusty flavor I craved and the color tricked me into believing I was having coffee. I ate my usual meals throughout the day and went to bed early again for the second night in a row. By the third day, I felt like coffee had completely left my system. I did give my coffeemaker the side eye as I walked by it this morning, but I still rejected the urge.
I don’t think I’m going to be the girl who goes completely cold turkey on coffee forever and ever. I just want to have a healthy relationship with it.
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