I don’t feel saintly after abstaining from coffee and alcohol for a mere two weeks. Really, it’s not much time. But it was enough time to give me a sense of freedom from dependency. I went through caffeine withdrawal, and then I got over it. I woke up in the morning with no expectation of a jolt. I looked forward to a nice cup of tea, more relaxing than stimulating. I went to bed knowing I was responsible for getting myself rested, for there was no boost waiting to save me for bad decisions of staying out too late the night before.
I went through my days at a pace that my body could handle, and sustain, without stimulants or depressants. But I wasn’t working. I wasn’t out partying. I was hanging low, practicing yoga, baking, going to the beach, planning for my fall….nothing all too demanding. And emotionally, I felt calm and settled, for the most part. All these factors helped to make my experiment manageable. Not that anyone in any period of their life, crazy or calm, can’t quit coffee and alcohol. They can. We can! That’s what’s great. We can create little changes in our life through our diet. We have control over our diet. We may not always want or need to exercise that control, but it’s there.
But I like the invigorating feeling of a caffeine charge just as much as the calm of tea. Or do I? I drink a cup of coffee and my heart beats a little faster, my excitement about life rises a little higher, I have the feeling that I can do more in a day than I actually can. I send emails and texts galore, making plans for the present and the future, on this high, this energy kick, that gets me going, gets me excited, gogogo. And, when it falls, will I want to keep half the plans I’ve made? Perhaps not. And perhaps, out of obligation to keep commitments, combined with fatigue from a long day, I’ll have to drink another cup of coffee.
You see, I love coffee, for it makes me feel like a king, but I am afraid of it. My shoulders rise up with a little feeling of tension and stress, so I must move, do, go, in order to keep up with the demands of my internal system on its high. My risen shoulders tell me that my body wants me to move, not to relax.
Ahhhh. The coffee houses of Austria would be neat. If I were a man, sipping a strong brew, discussing the philosophical debates of the day, engaged in intellectual conversation, back when Austrian coffee houses were intellectual gathering places. It’s a romantic thought. But here in my house, jacked up on caffeine, well…I think I’ll just have to go for a bike ride. 🙂
What’s your take on coffee and your body? How does coffee affect you? Do you drink it? Why or why not?