Coffeeless

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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.

Conversation on Love

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Writing poetically (or not poetically, just writing) about being in love and falling in love seems to be a stumbling block for me at the moment. This is not because I haven’t felt love; I’ve felt love abundantly, like a sugar bomb exploding in my gut. I’ve loved so much my cells ached and I was one thread away to falling apart if I wasn’t with them… note to self, this wasn’t a healthy love and didn’t end well.

Can you end love well?

The last relationship I was in, what can I say, it was intense. We met in America while I was on holiday. Me being British and he being American, maintaining a long distance relationship was top 3 of our priorities. It’s a way of loving I wasn’t familiar with. Our expression came purely through conversation; we stimulated each other with ideas, curiosities, and verbal explorations. If we argued we had to talk about it, we couldn’t play the card of saying we’re fine but the ridged body language expressing otherwise. We had to find ways to communicate exactly how we were feeling and not skate around the houses because like I said, we knew it was hard enough loving each other with such a distance between us. The effort to understand was magnified; this is why I believe the intensity between us was so strong. We saw each other physically for three months out of ten– crazy right? Point is despite the four-hour conversations each day and knowing each other on a level that surpassed physical cravings (shit, that was tough too because the cravings were strong) it ended really badly. Hateful words were exchanged and a complete cut off had to happen (of course it helped that we lived in different countries, I knew there was no supermarket I had to avoid or “has he a girlfriend yet” friends to harass). At the time, I thought what bad luck but it’s not luck at all is it? We attract into our lives what we feel we deserve and a highly intense, dramatic, physically starved and painful relationship was exactly what my subconscious was craving. Have I just answered my own question of ‘can you end love well?’ It seems no, I can’t. I’ve never parted from love on a high note but I’m sure there are people who have. Hats off to them.

Love is fucking complicated, we all know that, maybe the reason I’m finding it so difficult to write about love is because I’ve always thought loving outside of myself as the unifying force but I’m realising, it’s not. If times were good in the relationship, I was high on pink skies. If they were bad, I was drowning beneath murky waters. It’s like waiting for someone else to tell you exactly what you should be feeling that day – which, if I’m honest, is a power I’ve given way too many people over the years. It sounds crazy when I write it down but how easy is it to slip into the habit of handing the responsibility of your own life to others? Very. I never once thought about the words I used during self-talk or how I truly felt about the woman I am. My belief, if you can call something you’re not actively thinking about a belief, was I am who I am and I don’t need to give it much thought. News flash, I do!

All my relationships have taught me something but they have nothing on the lessons I’m learning as I begin to love myself.

Love myself, really really love myself. It has a wonderful ring to it, doesn’t it?

So, could it be that writing about love is a confusing topic for me right now as I’m discovering new territory. Self-love is a world away from lessons taught at school, we can learn about Tudor times yet not how to process our human emotions but hey, when are we gonna need emotions, right? We see how others are being treated, some we know, some through media coverage and Love seems lost in space with thousands of stray satellites, just forgotten. It seems that loving ourselves, honouring ourselves, accepting every part of who we are, well it’s a whole new language! So that’s it, I’m finding writing about love a floundering task because I’ve not quite learnt the language yet, bingo! I’m studying, everyday and more often than not it’s a trying process but its starting to make a little more sense. I can feel I’m honouring more, understanding more and truly embracing those uncomfortable sides of me that I’ve pretended didn’t exist.

I’m beginning to think that loving ourselves is the only role we have to master during our time on Earth because if we can get that right, the rest just seems to fall into place.