Quitting Coffee Cold Turkey

Anyone who knows me knows I love my cuppa hot java.  It’s been a habit for the last few years (and then some) to have at least two big mugs of black coffee first thing in the morning simply to function at a normal level.  And, despite my preaching to the opposite in a previous post on Creativity and How to Deal With Mental Blocks, I have begun to rely on coffee and caffeinated drinks to kick start the inspiration… that is until the last week.  

I don’t want to drug myself in order to function normally. I won’t drink it just for the caffeine hit, and put up with dire, satan-spawn machine coffee because it’s the only version of the drink available to me. I want to enjoy coffee for the flavour, the ceremony and the experience.  

I expected that quitting coffee cold turkey would lead to some rotten withdrawal headaches, depleted productivity and a pretty crotchety nature.  It certainly been that way anytime I’ve tried it in the past… and I’ve given up within a day of the resolution.  Pretty lame to say the least.

I read a few sources that said the cold turkey route was the least effective. Gradual phasing out of the offending substance was the best, and replacing the bad habit with another, better habit would be the best.

So I ignored the advice and cut myself off from the bean. Bizarrely, this time I had none of the horrendous withdrawals.  It’s quite strange, though I can point to a few helpers that may have taken the edge off of it.

Green smoothies are the most wonderful invention I’ve come across recently.  In the past, for me, green smoothie a day keeps the hangover at bay to say the least, never mind withdrawal headaches from a sudden lack of caffeine. They also provide that inspirational kick first thing in the morning. 

Instant chicory coffee is strangely more-ish and yummy.  It looks, smells and tastes enough like coffee to fool me into not feeling deprived of its caffeinated distant cousin.

Having a few days working from home with a laid back schedule also took the pressure off, and so I stopped stressing out that the caffeine dip would stop me meeting any imminent deadlines.

So now I’m on day eight, and feeling rather calm.  My pace has slowed a little, but I’ve got such a consistent energy level from the moment I wake up to the moment my head hits the pillow at night, that I’m more productive overall.

My conversations are more reserved, but I can keep to a point rather than meandering off on tangents that have no relevance to the topic and little interest from the listener! My co-ordination has also improved – I would normally consider myself quite a klutz, but now I’m much more aware of the periphery and much less jumpy or prone to surprises. 

Or perhaps I just had so much caffeine in my system its kept me going til now, and the withdrawals will kick in about noon tomorrow. 😉

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