Bringing back a classic just in time for Easter.
These last few weeks have featured me in a lot of positions 2014 never prepped me I’d be in. Lying propped up on a bed having an ultrasound done on my breasts. Going to the hospital and crying in the waiting room because I thought I was having a heart attack. The heart attack turned out to be an anxiety attack and my ultrasound came back negative - no cancer, but several cysts. For the latter, I’ve been told to cut my caffeine intake down drastically because stress + caffeine leads to the creation of said cysts.
I gave up watching TV from a TV set last June and haven’t been compelled to make a return to it either. So true to my all or nothing form, I’ve decided not to cut back from caffeine but cut away entirely. For the time being. As much as I can. And here we are, a little over a week of no coffee or soda later and I kind of want to murder everyone.
That’s not healthy. Not by a long shot.
I had always heard that caffeine was addictive, but brushed off the thought because pfft, whatever I’m chill enough to handle it. I didn’t start drinking coffee until after college was over. I drank soda pretty much my entire life, but I was never the kind of kid who got “hyper” off of it either. You know the one - you give ‘em half a Pixi Stick and they’re ripping the carpeting out of the living room floor. I considered myself fairly serene when drinking caffeinated beverages, but again, I always had them and never had a motive or desire to cut them free from my life since they weren’t hurting me.
Then came the infamous Red Bull Summer of ‘08. That was a bad summer - when I drank so much Red Bull that I would actually run home from work because I just felt so lightweight and free. Running around the neighborhood at 10 PM and laughing to myself the whole way in a Subway uniform. Truly a CATCH of a lady, I tell ya.
That habit specifically, the Red Bull one, was very hard to break. After that summer, I enrolled at my alma mater in California. One of the first questions I asked my peer advisor was whether or not they sold Red Bull on campus. When he laughed and said no, I smiled testily back and gritted my teeth. Later on that same week, I would see a girl drinking from a can of sugar-free Red Bull and came very close to running up to her and screaming, “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT WHERE CAN I GET ONE???”
Not that this clearly spelled out that I had some sort of co-dependency or anything.
It took a few months, but the Red Bull habit fell away from me. I didn’t feed into it and not having in proximity to me made it a little simpler to give it up. But I still kept drinking soda throughout undergrad and started doing Starbucks/Coffee Bean post-grad. My rule was one cup of coffee. Mondays through Fridays. No venti sizes. Just a little bit to ease into the morning and perk me up for the work day. Somewhere along the way though, I broke that once a day rule here and there. Or what I felt like was here and there.
Being a little over a week without coffee is strange. For one thing, I sound different. I can hear it in how I’m writing this. My friends have noticed. I am more muted now and feel… far. My thoughts are collected but they are scattered to some degree too. I’m present, and I’m paying attention, but I’m moving slower all around. Much of that I think has to do with being so grateful not to have the lumps mean anything life-threatening. I went into a quiet space in my head for the last few weeks where I contemplated life and my general existence and what happens when you die, all that existentialism train of thought. When you sit inside of your head and imagine the possibilities of the world without you in it, you realize that life will keep on going. It did before you arrived and it will after. It doesn’t seem like it will, but it will. One of my personal revelations, outside of considering this, was thinking about where I am presently and why am I rushing with that place. Since that point, I’ve been slowing down all around. I don’t want to “run” anymore in a figurative sense. I don’t want to worry that I’m losing some sort of life race or online relevancy for not doing as much as I think I should be. (By the way… when did it get to the point in my life where online relevancy, tweetability, was a thing I could be worried about?)
More than digging out a space in your head though, being without caffeine physically hurts. Two days in, I thought my skull was going to crack open. I’ve had the shakes, twitches, headaches and some trouble sleeping. I get so angry about small things that should not make me mad at all. And I do feel helpless at times too. Again, not healthy! There’s a part of me that whimpers, “But if you could just have ONE cup. One. It wouldn’t hurt anyone. It would even you out and make this feeling fade away.”
Yes. Yes it would. But the feeling would be temporary until the next cup of coffee was “needed” - my ever-present fix, so to speak.
So I’m trying to stay away from coffee for now. Will I be able to quit it in the long run? It’s probably not necessary, even in the eyes of my doctors who encouraged the decaf coffee if I needed a boost. But for right now, it just can’t be in my life. For all of those great highs came several crashes and burns and now I’m burning and need to be away from it for a moment to regain my strength and see what a caffeine-less version of me could really be like.
Oh maaaaan, she probably spent hundreds of dollars on those wedges too. This is why I only sport the latest in haute Payless couture on the beach - sand explosions in your footwear are so real.
I can see Rihanna wearing this to her wedding. More colorful flowers though.
Turns out I do have a small bridal dress gene buried somewhere in me after all. It’s the sleeves. The flowers. The whole thing. I like, love it all.