It’s only taken me two years of actively trying to remove coffee from my diet but as of today I’ve been without for over a month! This doesn’t sound like too much to shout home about but it is, and I am. In fact I’m sitting on my bed, with an open window and shouting (more like a loud whisper really) to our Eucalyptus tree in the garden as there’s no-one else about, “I’ve finally broken this once-thought-of unbreakable habit!”
The reason this is such a big deal for me is that after each cup, I would beat myself up, daily, and I mean really give myself a hard time. I knew it wasn’t co-operating with my body; in fact, coffee was stirring the rebellious kid inside, knowing I’m pissing myself off with naughty antics but carrying on regardless – acting out in anyway to gain attention. I certainly handed coffee way too much of my time. I thought about my first cup as soon as my eyes opened in the morning. I thought about coffee as I made a pre-coffee beverage of hot lemon with cider vinegar, the good stuff (all be it a little bitter), a drink that actually seems to sooth my body – but on no, I was cheating on the good stuff by dreaming of the bad. Yes, I’d given up my personal power to coffee.
I know coffee isn’t ‘bad’ and many enjoy their daily hit with little effect but for me it was creating havoc and spurring, not only restrictive feelings of panic but a fuelling of self annoyance, hatred even if you want to go to extremes, which I do seem to sway towards. I’d address the bean like a teacher would their tiny-tots “you will co-operate with me today”. Yet, no, it didn’t and after one cup I withstood another hyper reactive morning to everything and everyone. My heart would pound like it wanted free from my body and my palms would sweat – a side note here but I seem to have generally stopped sweating as much since I kicked the habit, plus not smelling so bad – bonus! Coffee just wasn’t working for me, it never did and I’ve been drinking if for 8 years.
I know, I know, it’s not about the coffee at all is it? Coffee is what it is and I made the choice to drink it. Stripped to the bone honesty – it was the habit of hating myself that I was finding hard to let go of. I needed something to get riled about, something to blame for my anxieties even though I knew; deep down, blaming a bean was passing an unhealthy buck. My anxieties were rooted in much deeper soils and coffee was merely the stimulant, raising the seed that needed pure waters, not caffeinated grains. We can believe to know something but putting it into practice is a whole different ball game. We can want something so strongly but this power of wanting can put up the barrier to achieving – basically I wanted to not feel so shit about myself anymore and only I can do something about that.
So coffee here’s the deal, I needed to break free from our toxic relationship, you get that, right? I wish you well, live long and prosperous (your popularity seems to be growing in abundance), aiding others in their early morning slumps.
Breaking the habit was more than saying goodbye to sweaty palms, armpits and feet (yep, I know, odd right). It was more than enjoying calmer and more manageable mornings. It was more than stamping out caffeine cravings and uncontrollable highs. It was one of the many steps I’m taking to honour and love my body and soul in a way I’ve never done before.
May I go forward and explore the herbal tea world, enjoying the many healing properties of camomile or rooibos or any other exotic blend that graces my daily routines. I love myself that little bit more already, happy coffee-less days for me.