Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Have to Admit I'm an Addict to Legalized Addictive Stimulants!

I can't remember why, but a few days back something prompted me to stop drinking coffee. (I wish I remembered the reason!) I normally drink about 6-8 cups every day, and I stopped suddenly. I was going to quit sugar too, but I'm glad I didn't yet. The first two days, I felt horrible. At first I didn't attribute it to the coffee, but I'm pretty sure that was the main problem. A nasty lingering headache, sore eyes, and a general sense of horribleness. Each morning now, I look around for a substitute. One morning I had Dr. Pepper. Not much, but it was strange to drink it in the morning. Then another morning Katie caught me--sneaking into the coffee ice cream. I used to do that as a kid whenever I could get away with it, more or less, but now I hardly ever eat it if someone else isn't having it too. Though when our friend Jay was over, I told him I could just keep eating and eating coffee ice cream. He looked surprised. I said, "It has all the best things about coffee, with sugar and fat! Who could not want that?"
So it hasn't been a cold-turkey no-caffeine thing. But it's having some effect on me. I guess I was more addicted than I thought. And now, instead of feeling horrible, it seems that I'm feeling better. Yesterday before Tim and I went out to do errands, I took some aspirin. Whereas those horrible days I took Excedrin (which has caffeine), normally I'll take aspirin because I have some aches and pains. As I took it, I thought, "I don't feel too bad, but I hurt a little here and there." I felt a little better than usual. In the morning I normally have to flex my right ankle around a lot before I get up, and then limp for about 5 minutes; this morning the pain there was noticeably less. Still there but not so bad. I was trying to connect what I might have been doing differently, and suddenly remembered quitting coffee. I'm hoping the effect will be as wheat was--the longer I leave it alone the better I feel.
With wheat, I think it's an allergy. With coffee, if it's not an allergy, I have to admit, it's a dependence. In either case, I'm glad I don't make coffee as well as my mom; hers is to die for and would be hard to quit drinking it. Whether it's allergy or dependence, I am thinking I'm better off without it, and not having it reduces my sugar intake as well. As of yesterday, our carafe is broken; it was in the sink too long and was bound to break there. Maybe it's a sign. (Sigh.) I do want to be living a life more fully dependent on God; if I'm dependent on caffeine, I don't want the crutch anyway. Who wants a crutch that causes a limp?

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