Updated: Jan 8, 2019
If you know me, AT ALL, you're probably doing a double-take as you read the title. If you've even MET me, you probably know that coffee is the love of my life. I mean, it even says so in my online dating profile, coupled with a vague threat if deprived...
I've been drinking coffee daily since I was 12, and my very BEST attempt to quit (get ready for this) ended on day 1. At 10 am.
This was all so long ago, and I decided that I was actually fine with drinking coffee, and that I had no real desire to give it up. I just loved coffee too much to imagine life without it. The strange thing is, I actually don't like being caffeinated. Of course, it is reeeeeeeally difficult to roll out of bed at 4am, and the migraine I get if I don't immediately have coffee is usually pretty overwhelming. But really, the thing is, I love the taste of coffee. I love the smell of coffee. I love the ritual, I love being in coffee shops. But for awhile now, coffee has only made me feel kind of gross.
It used to take like 4 or 5 cups of coffee in a day to put my over. And in the last few years, maybe more than 3. In the last year though, I've become so sensitive that anything more than 1 cup just leaves me dizzy and barfing, and I seriously have to stop at 8am or I'm up all night. And then one day, a couple weeks ago
I woke up, and just the thought of drinking coffee made me want to hurl. So I didn't.
For the first time in over TWENTY years, I didn't have a cup of coffee. And to my amazement, I didn't get a headache, I didn't feel tired all day, just nothing. I'm now consuming one cup of decaf coffee a day, and no more. And I'm wondering, how in the world did my body just overcome all the years of this substance addiction overnight? Where is the migraine? How in the f*ck am I awake right now?
And I realized something. For the past few weeks, I've been working pretty intensely on mindfulness, meditation, presence, and listening to my body. And boy, it has yielded some amazing results all across the board (I'll write a post about it soon.)
I decided to drastically cut down my phone and computer usage, stop posting on facebook for awhile, and spend much more time doing "zone" activities. For me, this is stuff like mobility work, body scanning meditation, drawing, reading, taking a bath, etc. Not being constantly distracted, I've been observing the world outside myself--and within myself--and noticing so many things that previously would have been lost in the mental static.
Like--DUH-- every cup of coffee makes me feel like I'm going to pass out. Seriously, how do you not notice that? And A LOT of other things! Big things! Major digestion problems. Intense midday fatigue. Total inability to remember anything for 5 seconds. Blood pressure is as low as a cadaver. Can't turn your head without passing out. Body piercing nighttime muscle cramps! Like how much is your brain spinning in circles for you not to notice things like this? I'm not blaming coffee for all of my malaise, and it's hard to say how much of this is due to quitting it or practicing mindfulness, but my oh my, I am feeling SO much better.
So maybe quitting coffee is not for you, I totally get that. (I only switched to a small cup of decaf.) But, is there something in your life--a food, a habit, an activity--that might be causing you grief but getting lost in the shuffle? Based on my experience, I'd encourage you to pay close attention to how you feel immediately after certain stimuli, especially food. Sometimes a whole world of discomfort is your body telling you something important, and yet so simple. Create the mental capacity to listen!