100k Twitter Followers and Caffeine Addiction

by D.J. Paris on January 28, 2014

I crossed over 100k Twitter followers today.

Yes, it’s a not-so-subtle brag. But, screw it.  I’m taking a victory lap.

The victory lap equates to a night of eating pizza until passout.

Before the carbs and fat sink my consciousness I’m going to attempt to eek out this post.

I’m not proud here, but I’m back on caffeine. I’ve written about swearing off the stuff a few times. For a month or so I’m off it and then I get back on. Lately, I’ve been using it like crazy.

Most of America is hooked on caffeine, so what’s the big deal? For me, it’s different than the average consumer. I use it as an escape – a way to change my state. A high, as it were. In short, I abuse it.

The problem isn’t that caffeine is ruining my life (it’s not). It’s that I am “on” it most days all day long. Over the past few months I’ve become habituated to the drug and its positive effects are almost nil.

I no longer receive energy from caffeine. Maybe a slight pick me up in the morning, but it fades quickly. I have to increase my dosage for continued alertness. Since a stimulant’s main job is to stimulate, and mine isn’t working, what am I left with?

Well, I’ll tell you because I’m on it right now. I had two Diet Pepsis tonight before writing. For some reason caffeine now makes me anxious and scared. I’m not a naturally fearful person and I’ve never had anxiety problems. Yet as I’m typing this I’m feeling a slight sense of impending doom. Also, caffeine depresses me. It reduces my humor to nothing and induces some less-than-pleasant feelings. It makes me dark and foreboding. It crushes my creativity. I don’t get the rush of ideas throughout the day that I get when off the stuff.

So, with limited upside and a whole bunch of downside, why do it at all?

That’s a darn good question. I guess I’m still hoping caffeine will work – that it will give me pleasure and make me feel good. It did this in the beginning. No longer.

Well, I’m obviously using it to escape – escape what?

I’m afraid of regular, daily life.

Somehow I have the misaligned belief that if I’m not having extreme experiences I’m missing out. Of course 99% of life is living in the middle and not on the edge.

This is what I’m running from. In an effort to avoid the discomfort of regular life I escape through caffeine.

I’ve been exploring this addiction (with me it’s a definite addiction) for a few weeks and I’m about ready to let go of it entirely. Well, first, it isn’t working anymore as I mentioned earlier. But second, I’m retarding my growth. I’m not feeling emotions that would naturally arise. I’m just feeling the effects of the drug.

Today I decided that I wouldn’t buy caffeine no matter how much I wanted it. I walked by a grocery store and didn’t go in. My inner addict yelled, “You’ll feel better on it! It’s going to be fun!” Then, another voice started listing all the ways in which it would harm my day. These two voices battled for a few seconds.

Tonight, however, the addict voice won and I finished off the last two cans I had in the refrigerator. And just as I suspected I am feeling the negative effects throughout my body. They’ll wear off soon, but I’ll have the urge to drink caffeine again tomorrow.

The answer is simple – I must learn how to stay present without escaping. This means sitting in normal day-to-day discomfort. Boredom. Tiredness. Natural states we all experience. The feelings that I am terrified of.

I’m excited to get off the stuff and back to regular life. I’m sure I’ll be battling it over the next few days, but it’ll pass and I’ll be back to my normal non-extreme self. This time I’ll try to stay there permanently.

caffeine addiction

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18 comments… read them below or add one

Karen January 28, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I’m proud of you.

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D.J. Paris January 28, 2014 at 10:42 pm

thanks Karen!
D.J. Paris recently posted…I Have a Big Brag to Announce About My Greatness

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AlwaysARedhead January 29, 2014 at 7:29 am

Years ago I drank pepsi like it was going out of style. I then quit cold turkey and replaced it with Club Soda. I don’t miss pop at all and haven’t had one in years.
AlwaysARedhead recently posted…Hubby and I went on a double date with the eldest and her boyfriend

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Kate Hall January 29, 2014 at 7:44 am

I sent you a congrats tweet on your 100k.

That impending doom part…I finally read Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. She talked about how in her research she found that when people hit middle-age many people regularly get this sense of impending doom. I thought it was just me, so I was happy to hear that I’m not alone and it’s just a part of our culture or getting older, or whatever.

That kind sucks to have that thing with caffeine. I’m addicted, but not the same way. I crave it every morning and use it to give me energy, but then stop after two cups. If I drink coffee later in the day, I have decaf, I can’t sleep otherwise.
Kate Hall recently posted…Confession: I Watch Netflix and Drool on My Pillow

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Sarah (est. 1975) January 29, 2014 at 8:55 am

Congrats on 100k! I’m coming up on… 900. (looks around furtively) BILLION!

Caffeine. If you have ADD or ADHD you might be self-medicating. That’s what I need it for. I drink like forty to sixty ounces of caffeine a day. Water? Psht. Who needs water?

*pees Jell-o*
Sarah (est. 1975) recently posted…my weekend

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Karma Girl January 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Had to give up caffeine when I came down with a bladder infection. It was the worst week of my life. Keep some ibuprofen on hand and a punching bag. I wish you luck, my friend.
Karma Girl recently posted…Namaste, M*therf*ckers!

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Lori E January 29, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Keeping my fingers crossed for you and sending you happy, positive vibes.
Lori E recently posted…Never Chew Gum While Running and Other Basic Truths

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Eva Laflamme January 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Congrats on 100K! You were my very first follower – now I am up to a scorching 22 – still have a ways to catch up with you.

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Katjaneway January 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

It sounds kind of like alcohol addiction. Luckily you’re not on that stuff! My ex also needs to learn how to cope without drinking. It’s hard for sure. Good luck to you!
Katjaneway recently posted…Boiling Pasta is for the Birds

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Kelly January 31, 2014 at 6:28 am

At least they were DIET Pepsi’s!

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Mandi January 31, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I’m going to not Enable you and tell you to drink more water. See. Look. I’m growing. Good luck on your crashing this addiction. But more importantly, congrats on 100K. That’s pretty impressive. Does it ever bother you though that over 100K people know your happenings day in and day out? I’m constantly wondering if maybe twitter should be called stalker, but then I think Facebook has the rights for that. Random peep into my head. Disclaimer: I am not a stalker.
Mandi recently posted…I’m So Fly – I’m OG Baby Like Grape Koolaid

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Linda Roy February 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I’ve gone off caffeine a couple of times and both times had major withdrawal symptoms. I started drinking decaf for awhile because that 3% or whatever it is, was enough to energize me. But when I got a Kuerig, I dove right back in – headfirst. Because decaf drinkers are discriminated against when it comes to flavor variety and I would sooner risk being an jacked up, frenzied bitch on the edge than submit to discrimination of any kind. So far, it’s been working out. But only if I don’t get too crazy with the Extra Bold roast.
Linda Roy recently posted…I Don’t Like Mondays #50 – Free Wheelin’

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Kat February 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Addiction is addiction regardless of what the substance is. The first step is recognizing it and negative effect is has on your life. You got control of an alcohol addiction so I know you can beat this one too.

Congrats on the 100,000!
Kat recently posted…A childhood pet……. where are they now?

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Ruby February 4, 2014 at 4:44 am

Well done Paris – it’s a bloomin’ good day :)

Ruby
Ruby recently posted…DIY Coffee Table Ideas | DIY

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Lynne Logan February 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm

First – CONGRATS on the 100K Twitter followers! :) That’s AWESOME (from one of your followers)!

Secondly, I feel your pain – except my problem is peanut butter, which I wrote about on my website/blog if you’re interested. I don’t think I eat it to escape boredom, necessarily, and while peanut butter may not give me the rush of mainlining heroin (though I wouldn’t know personally), my taste buds/psyche so love the culinary nirvana it induces.

But back to your problem…:). Have you considered doing something ELSE to alleviate the tedium of ordinary life? I realize this may sound terribly cliche, but you’re obviously very creative – maybe consider taking a painting class? Or if that’s too tame, maybe hang gliding or something else to break up the monotony of day-to-day life? Challenging myself physically by taking a spinning class or doing yoga for an hour helps me avoid consuming and/or craving the P BUTTER, and all of the above, obviously, are a lot healthier.

I realize a spinning class doesn’t sound very exciting, but when you’re 48, and you have bad knees, um, yeah, I’m proud to say I fared better than the 20-somethings in my class the first day! :) And to me, that totally rocked, and the endorphin rush was a good substitute for eating my nemesis (yes, peanut butter – what’d you think I meant ? :) ).

If my suggestions won’t work for you, I’d say STEP ONE – stop buying caffeinated beverages. If they’re not in easy reach makes it easier for me at least. If you don’t curtail this habit somehow you could eventually cause your heart some serious damage. My son, who is 27, was hospitalized 5-6 years ago for overdosing on caffeine from too much coffee plus several Red Bulls in a 24-hour period, and now he gets heart palpitations if he drinks more than one cup of coffee, and he LOVES coffee, so that totally sucks.

Anywho – enough said. GOOD LUCK in eradicating the demon caffeine from you life! :) And thanks for sharing! :)

Lynne Logan/TenaciousBitch
Columbus, Ohio

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barbie February 16, 2014 at 9:19 pm

New writing materials or meds needed. Caffeine addiction, girlfriend, caffeine, girlfriend, addiction, girlfriend. And so on and so forth….

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nancy ariss February 17, 2014 at 8:52 pm

wow – over 100 k followers – I am just learning this “twitter stuff” – I don’t even have 100 followers….
Congrats on your coffee decision – I am hanging on to this addiction – but I do try 1/2 decaf. (silly how we rationalize) – great post!

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F*cktard February 22, 2014 at 8:02 am

Wow! Congrats on 100k followers!

I have never received energy from caffeine… after getting caffeine into my body, I have to go to bed, like immediately, I get tired even of doing absolutely nothing. It’s kinda weird – caffeine does to me exactly the opposite of what it should. But I never heard somebody would have anxiety issues because of it… are you sure it’s because of the caffeine? I heard that caffeine only contributes to anxiety so I would say it’s possible that something else causes it and caffeine just helps you to realize it.

When it comes to staying present – have you tried meditation? It’s a little bit strange – It’s kinda boring yet fulfilling at same time. I recommend it if you have problems with anxiety and feelings of boredom. It helped me and I don’t even do it on regular basis, just when I seem to have problems just like these… It really does help.

Hope you will overcome this.
PS: Excuse my English, it’s not my first language.

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