Last Monday I decided to give up caffeine. For how long, I am not yet sure. Many times before I considered such a measure, but never got past the idea stage. September 27 was different. Tortured by a cold of unusual severity, for several days I replaced my coffee with black or green tea. That Monday I woke up and decided, “Since I’m already suffering, I may as well add to my suffering with this other long-contemplated sacrifice.” Looking back, I question the wisdom of listening to my illness-addled brain.
Today is my tenth caffeine-free day. It is hard to pinpoint when my caffeine habit really kicked in, but I think it was during my second year in Tallahassee. My roommate drank Cuban coffee and I got hooked once I started relying on it to help me survive rising at 5:30 in the morning. That means that for nine years I have been drinking coffee. This is the longest I have been without it for almost a decade!
At first it was easier than I had imagined. At worst it felt depressing; my hands were empty and there was nothing with which to refill them during my morning routine. To my surprise, I did not feel tired or have difficulty waking up. Now I wonder if that is because I got so much rest while I was sick.
This week is proving to be more of a challenge. Yesterday I did manage to drag myself out of bed at 5:30, but only because I absolutely had to have time to study for Spanish. This morning I simply failed. The chains of sleep held me to the bed until 7:00 AM. Only then did my husband, sweet tempter that he is, tell me that he had set the coffee pot to brew for me at 5:15 AM, when my first alarm went off. I guess I should be grateful for my ignorance; had I known, it would have been hard to resist. But, I also would have been empowered to break the grasp of slothfulness.
What do you think? Should I keep resisting? Should I embrace my relationship with caffeine as a positive thing? Waking up early is definitely good for my mental health and nothing aids that like a cup of coffee. At the same time, it does seem laudable to be able to make those morning hours without the aid of stimulants. Your comments are welcomed.