I’m Going Off Caffeine After Abusing the Sh*t Out of it

Well, at least I was never this guy

I’m going off caffeine.

For most of my life I wouldn’t let caffeine into my system. I decided at eighteen that it was a terrible chemical to introduce to one’s system and never let it pass my lips. In that same year I became an evangelist against milk and swore off the white. I had read a book which said both were evil and would be the downfall of health. You have to remember that this was before the internet and anything I read in a book was gospel. I fell for pretty much every new-age fad including chakra healing, food combining, subliminal positive messages, and neuro-linguistic programming. I studied hypnosis and moved my furniture around so my bed was in alignment with the earth’s polarity. I bought a juicer and had nothing but freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast. Today we call that an unbalanced breakfast (and probably the onset of a candida fungus). Back then it was the healthiest thing you could do.

So, even though I would punish my system with heroic amounts of fast food I never touched a Diet Pepsi. Oh, and I couldn’t stand the taste of coffee, either. Weird, I know.

I was good with any of the three flavors of Fresca. Simple and clean.

Well, after a lifetime of avoiding caffeine, I took the plunge. I can’t remember exactly how it happened but, in a moment of weakness I tried a Monster energy drink and got gacked to the nines. Oh yeah, I don’t drink or do drugs, so it was pretty exciting.

Caffeine was a real rush. Pure pleasure shot up my spine and into every neural synapse. I could concentrate like never before and a sense of well-being emerged.

It took around a week before I was hooked.

Unfortunately, my body doesn’t understand moderation. As much as I’ve educated myself through exercise, diet, therapy and education, I’m just not wired up to have one drink of anything. I’ve tried coffee (which I hate) and I end up having like four cups in a row. It’s an insane rush and I must have more.

I even switched recently from caffeine drinks to caffeine pills (not the super unhealthy diet pills – just pure caffeine) to see if that would manage my intake better. It did not. I ended up drinking energy drinks plus  the pills.

In short – I was hooked. Correction – I am hooked.

Now, I know people think energy drinks are the devil and all that, but I’ve looked at the research and it’s not all that alarming. I’m not dealing with any health issues that I know of. Of course my adrenal glands are probably burning out, but, who knows?

I decided today to stop cold turkey.

Today is Day 1.

I had a few last energy drinks in my desk at work yesterday. I slammed them in a final hurrah of immaturity.

The reason why I’m giving up caffeine isn’t for a health concern or even that I’m abusing the substance. It’s because it’s yet another example of how I use an external object to take me out of the present. The present consists of my thoughts and feelings. I am so afraid of the tough feelings that I run from them at first sight. We all stray away from time to time, but I’ve remained jacked on the sauce for pretty much every waking hour of the day the past few months. Not ideal.

When I’m on caffeine and not present for my feelings I don’t write well (or at all), I’m not as active with my friends or relationships, and I just don’t get a lot of stuff done. I escape to a fantasy world. It’s a little crazy.

Most people just use a cup of coffee to wake up a bit. I drink 200 mg and start flying around the room.

So tomorrow it’s back to the old D.J. – all of me which includes  fear, sadness, anger, and guilt that that I’ve been avoiding for the past three months.

Oh, I know I’m going to have a massive headache for a few days so I will stay jacked up on ibuprofen. I’m okay with that.

Wish me luck.

Well, at least I was never this guy
Well, at least I was never this guy