I never thought I would give up caffeine. I drank coffee twice a day, in obscenely large servings. At the dining hall, I drank it out of those soup bowls with handles because the coffee cups were too dinky. If there was some reason I couldn’t get 8 hours of sleep, I’d just have an extra cup of coffee in the morning. Done and done.
I had to quit caffeine last week, suddenly, because of health reasons. Rationally speaking, this really wasn’t a tragedy at all– but for awhile, I felt like it was. I had listed drinking coffee as one of my hobbies in all of my author bios I had written during the past year! I just bought a new bag of coffee! And I couldn’t remember the last day I had gone without caffeine!
I’ve been officially caffeine-free for 7 days now, and I’ve learned a few things from it.
So many people are caffeine-dependant! Go into any office, and you’ll find tons of people who drink three to five cups of coffee a day. Can you imagine how devastating it would be for everyone if we stopped having access to coffee in this country? That would be a really rough week for America.
The second day without caffeine is the hardest. The first 24 hours without caffeine was okay. The second 24 hours without caffeine was unbearable. I had a horrible headache all day long that wouldn’t go away with pain killers. This comic strip sums up the first few days brilliantly.
Caffeine messes with your brain. When I was drinking a lot of coffee, I thought, “I won’t be able to focus unless I have this coffee.” But after a few days without, I got used to it. Nothing devastating happened. I didn’t suddenly start failing all my classes. In some ways, I was able to focus more, because I compensated by getting more sleep.
It pays off not to be in a rush all the time. After not drinking coffee for a week, I realize I’m a lot calmer, and as a result, I work more efficiently. I’m a lot more patient with everything, especially writing.
I still love coffee. I still love going to coffee shops. Right now, I’m working on a blog with my friends about coffee shops in Santa Cruz. I will forever be a fan of decaf.
This is the first year I’m going to do National Novel Writing Month without coffee. I can’t wait to see how it goes.